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Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a disease that affects the liver, the largest and one of the most important organs in the body. The liver makes proteins, eliminates waste, stores and releases glucose energy, along with breaking down many drugs used in medicine. It also helps in the digestion of food. The liver is able to regenerate itself if injured, and all blood in your body flows through the liver and returns to the heart. Being diagnosed with a disease that can affect the function of this precious organ should not go untreated. There are many different types of treatment and monitoring options available for you through our practice.

Symptoms of Viral Hepatitis (some people will have no symptoms):

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes

  • Fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Low grade fever

  • Headaches

Types of Hepatitis

There are currently three commonly studied forms of hepatitis, all of which are contracted from different means of transmission.

Hepatitis A – This is spread mostly through contaminated feces that make its way into food or water. There is no chronic infection with this virus and it can usually resolve on its own over time. Prevention is offered for Hepatitis A by getting vaccinated through your primary care provider.

Hepatitis B – This can be contracted through infected blood, spread by sexual contact with an infected person, or spread during child birth from an infected mother to child. This form cannot be cured, but can be managed by suppressant therapy ordered by your gastroenterologist. Prevention is offered for Hepatitis B by getting vaccinated through your primary care provider. 

Hepatitis C - In the past this form was contracted mostly through blood transfusions. This disease can be passed by using contaminated needles or coming in contact with the blood of an infected individual and, less commonly, through unprotected sexual contact with an infected individual and through childbirth.

There is currently no preventative vaccination for Hepatitis C but successful treatment is now possible with medications in most individuals.

Hepatitis C Diagnosis

Patients will rarely become acutely ill, so it is possible for this virus to go unnoticed for some time before Hepatitis C is properly diagnosed. Our physicians can order a number of tests to properly diagnosis a patient with hepatitis and specify the form and severity of hepatitis by ordering specific blood tests, and also with use of ultrasound, liver biopsy, and specific scans.

Treatments Offered for Hepatitis C

The liver disease Hepatitis C affects roughly 3.2 million people in the U.S.; let us educate you on the causes and treatment.

Curable treatment options are now offered for Hepatitis C. Once it has been properly diagnosed and a series of necessary steps have been completed by the patient and provider, there are several different medications that can be prescribed. An approval by your insurance company will first be obtained, and with successful treatment this virus can be eliminated from your blood stream.