What is Hepatitis?


Almost everyone has heard of hepatitis. However, a lot of people simply allow the word pass through one ear and out the other without stopping to think about what it would be like to actually contract this disease. Without a doubt, contracting hepatitis is not necessarily the death sentence that it once was, at least in a number of cases. With that being said, it is still a very serious disease and under the right circumstances, it can do a great deal of damage to the liver that can eventually prove to be fatal. As a result, it is vitally important that you understand what hepatitis is, as well as the different versions of the disease that can be contracted. It is equally important to understand the symptoms of the disease and what treatments are available. Perhaps the most important thing is knowing what types of preventative measures to take in order to stave off the disease and keep it from occurring in the first place.

HepatitusHepatitis is a liver disease that is typically contracted by catching a virus. The disease causes inflammation of the liver and in some cases, it leads to more serious diseases that can result in complete and total liver failure. Some people that contract hepatitis experience absolutely no symptoms and have no idea that they have even contracted the disease. In these cases, it can resolve itself in a matter of weeks without doing any real damage to the liver itself. In some other cases, a person experiences symptoms that start out being mild and then gradually progress to more and more serious symptoms that indicate a real problem. In serious cases, the liver can be significantly damaged before a person even realizes what is going on. For the most part, it depends on the overall health of the individual in question as well as the particular type of hepatitis that is contracted.


Hepatitis A

This is one of the lesser forms of the disease. It is typically contracted in much the same way that virtually every other virus is contracted. As a result, it is possible to contract hepatitis A by simply being around someone else that has it and being a little bit careless. The good news is that this form of the disease does not usually cause longstanding damage to the liver. In fact, a lot of people have contracted the disease without ever knowing that it was present. It typically resolves after just a couple of weeks and the individual in question is able to go on and live a full life without having any additional problems. Those that are most at risk for contracting it include those who are very young or very old, as well as health care workers that are typically around people that have the disease. In addition, those that already have compromised immune systems are at risk for getting it. Symptoms of all three forms of the disease will be discussed in a later paragraph.

Hepatitis B

This form of hepatitis is very close to hepatitis a. In fact, they are almost identical in the ways that they can be contracted as well as the length and severity of the disease itself, save for one exception. Some individuals who contract hepatitis B contract a chronic form of the disease that then begins to affect the health of their liver and ultimately, their overall physical well being. For anyone that is vulnerable to the disease due to other health conditions, age or other factors, this is always a concern and it is one that should be taken seriously.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is typically the form of the disease that everyone worries about the most. This is because it can turn into a chronic form of the disease that can wreak havoc on the health of the liver. While it is true that some people contract it without experiencing hardly any symptoms and eventually recover on their own without any long lasting health effects, that is typically not the case for most people that contract hepatitis C and fail to get prompt medical treatment. It is vitally important to note that there are treatments available. Without treatment, the liver can become so inflamed that is incapable of doing its job. More importantly, it can damage the liver so severely that a person eventually develops either cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or both. Without treatment, this form of the disease can easily lead to death by crippling the liver and preventing it from functioning. This in turn makes other organ systems in the body shut down one by one until a person can no longer sustain life.

Symptoms of hepatitis

In all cases, the symptoms of the disease are similar. People typically experience a high fever along with stomach pain that can be so crippling that it is impossible to stand up straight, as well as nausea and vomiting. In some individuals, excessive diarrhea may be present. The belly may become distended and tender to the touch. One of the hallmark symptoms of any of the three types of hepatitis is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and even the whites of the eyeballs. Although it has already been mentioned, it is important to reiterate that many people contract the disease and experience virtually no symptoms at all.

Treatment of hepatitis

Several years ago, a person who contracted either hepatitis A or B had some treatment options available to them, but those who contracted hepatitis C were destined to live in agony until the disease eventually took their lives. This is no longer the case, at least for most people. Today, there are treatments that can be effective. The catch is that they are not effective for every individual. As a result, prevention is still the best way to deal with any form of hepatitis.

Prevention of hepatitis

As is the case with most diseases, the best way to approach hepatitis is to prevent it. Fortunately, one of the best ways to prevent it is by simply increasing a substance that is already produced inside the body, glutathione. Glutathione can be found in a number of different sources, including diet and supplements. Some people that eat a lot of fish and chicken or that eat salads on an almost daily basis might get enough glutathione in their diet to make a positive impact on their liver function but the overwhelming majority of individuals need to take supplements in order to ensure that they are doing everything possible to keep their liver healthy. Glutathione reduces the inflammation that is caused by hepatitis, thereby reducing the chances that the disease will progress to something more serious.

No one wants to experience any type of chronic disease, especially hepatitis. It can wreak havoc on a person's life and in a worst case scenario, it can be passed on from that individual to someone else close to them. As a result, finding something as simple as glutathione that could potentially prevent all of this from happening is one of the most effective ways of staying healthy and living a long and happy life.