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Hepatitis
NAVIGATION
  • An infected liver; infection may be chronic and grumble on for months or years or it may be sudden and acute, caused by hepatitis A or B virus or by the viruses which cause Glandular fever and yellow fever or by alcohol and certain drugs. In some cases acute episodes may lead on to chronic infection.
  • Hepatitis A onsets suddenly, although incubation time is up to 3 months; virus is spread by faucal-oral route, through contaminated food or sewage. At first, symptoms resemble those of Influenza (aching, weakness), often with Nausea and loss of appetite; as these subside, Janundic appears and lasts for 2-3 weeks, until the liver is sufficiently recovered to remove yellow pigment from blood. Person feels weak, run down, sometimes depressed, for a month or two afterwards and may suffer further attacks, but no lasting damage is sustained by the liver.
  • Hepatitis B produces similar symptoms to hepatitis A, has a longer incubation time (3-6 months) and is potentially more serious as it can lead to acute liver failure or chronic hepatitis Virus is transmitted by blood (unspecialized needles used in tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing, or drug-taking, transfusions in countries where blood screening is poor) or by body fluids (saliva, semen, vaginal secretions); a few people are carriers of the virus, though they may not know it until they donate blood.
  • Chronic hepatitis is rare, causing fatigue, Indigestions, loss of appetite, some degree of Jaundice and eventually Cirrhosis of the liver. It may develop insidiously, or set in after an attack of hepatitis B or occur in conjunction with Ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease.
  • Though the root cause is thought to be an auto immune reaction the culprit may also be large quantities of alcohol or paracetamol.
  • Since acute hepatitis is virally caused, antibiotics are of no use; the liver has to be helped to heal itself, by rest, abstention from alcohol, fatty foods, and other causative or aggravating agents, and by taking plenty of fluids. In the case of chronic hepatitis, steroids may be prescribed to retard further damage to the liver. Injections of gamma globulin, which boost resistance to hepatitis A for about 6 months, are a sensible precaution if you live with a hepatitis A sufferer or travel to counties where the disease is endemic.
  • Homeopathic treatment of chronic hepatitis is constitutional. In cases of acute hepatitis or while waiting for a diagnosis, the remedies below may be beneficial.

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