What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a disease that is a major health threat in the world. Hepatitis disease can cause inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B and C are common hepatitis diseases. This condition is caused by a virus, so it can be transmitted to others very easily.
This hepatitis virus infection can interfere with liver function in the digestive process. In addition to the digestive process, filtering of toxins and harmful substances in the body, the production of bilirubin, hormones and enzymes will also be disrupted. There are 5 types of viruses from hepatitis that are common and experienced by some people. This disease takes hundreds or even thousands to millions of victims.
Hepatitis virus is divided into 5 types, namely hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. In addition, consuming certain drugs and even alcohol, autoimmune diseases can cause hepatitis to occur. However, infections caused by viruses are the leading cause of hepatitis in the world.
How common is hepatitis?
This disease can affect the quality of public health, life expectancy, productivity, and the socio-economic impact of the community. The types of hepatitis that often occur are heppatitis A, B and C.
What causes hepatitis to occur?
Viral infection that takes place in the liver is a major cause. This condition can cause liver inflammation. The most common cases in Indonesia are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C virus infection. The three types have different characteristics, so they have different modes of transmission.
Hepatitis A is an endemic disease that often affects the developing population. This disease can cause minor health problems. Compared with other types of hepatitis. In general, this disease does not cause symptoms.
When people are infected with this disease, symptoms of an acute nature will occur. These symptoms include headaches, nausea and vomiting, discoloration of the lining of the eyes to yellowing. HAV transmission occurs through contaminated food and drink, direct contact with sufferers, especially during sexual intercourse. Viruses that cause this disease include viral RNA, which lacks a protective sheath.
After entry into the liver, HAV will experience an incubation of approximately 2-6 weeks. When infecting, HAV will apply in liver cells called hepatocytes. HAV unlike most viruses, cytopatic is capable of causing damaged liver cells. The damage is caused by a response from the body’s immune system.
Therefore, someone who has HAV can be found anti-HAV IgM and anti-HAV IgG. This type of hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination, and the adoption of a healthy and clean lifestyle.
Initially, people who are infected with HBV will suffer from acute hepatitis B. Symptoms that appear are not typical in general, namely, pain in the abdomen. Jaundice appears, and the urine comes out thick dark like tea. This infection will be at risk and develop in a chronic stage.
However, this disease can be prevented by vaccinating early. HBV transmission will occur vertically, namely during pregnancy and childbirth. Other things can also be at risk for this disease, including blood transfusions, use of needles, and organ transplants. Most babies experience this disease as a result of transmitting HBV from the mother during the delivery process.
The virus that causes this disease will not cause damaged hepatocyte cells to become the host. The damage to hepatocyte cells is caused by the T-cell reaction. T-cells try to fight the HBV virus or viral antigen membranes present on hepatocyte cells.
Also Read: Can a mother with hepatitis B breastfeed?
People with chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis of the liver are more likely to become infected with hepatitis C. In general, the infection caused by HCV can progress to a chronic stage. This requires special treatment. To date, no specific vaccine has been found that can prevent HCV transmission.
Moreover, these viruses have different types of genes. Like HBV, HCV infection can be transmitted through blood transfusions, body fluids and organ transplants. It is also possible to transmit the virus during childbirth or during sex. However, the possibilities are still very minimal.
Hepatitis D and E
HDV and HEV in Indonesia are not found many cases. However, its spread still has to be watched out for. HDV or delta virus is a type of virus that is rarely found, but the most dangerous among other viruses that cause hepatitis. HDV will require HBV to reproduce.
This condition can only be found in people who have hepatitis B. HEV has more or less the same characteristics as the HAV virus. Both are types of RNA viruses that are transmitted to the mouth.
Apart from the cause, hepatitis disease can be triggered by several risk factors. There are several conditions that can increase your risk of developing hepatitis. Including the following:
- Sharing needles with other people, this is done when using drugs and even getting tattoos.
- Have had HIV before. HIV is able to reduce the body’s immune system, so that opportunistic viruses can enter.
- Have sex
- Take drugs that cause the liver to become damaged. Such as acetaminophen or methotrexate.
- Sharing utensils with people who have hepatitias A and E.
- Food and drinks that have been contaminated with the virus.
- Perform blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and suppress the body’s immune system.
- Transmission from mother to child through childbirth
Signs and Symptoms That Appear
Not all cases of hepatitis cause signs and symptoms. However, it is possible to experience signs and symptoms immediately after becoming infected. Symptoms that arise can be mild and even severe, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastric pain
- Yellow skin and eye sclera
- Joint and muscle pain
- Itching feeling on the body
- Lack of concentration
- Internal bleeding
People who have hepatitis B and C have the potential for severe complications. These complications can lead to a severe disease. Some of the complications that arise include:
- Heart cancer
- Hepatitis B fulminant
The drugs most commonly used to treat hepatitis include:
- Protease inhibitor antiviral drugs
- Polymerase inhibitors
- Combination drug therapy
- Nucleoside analog antiviral drugs
Also Read: Beware of Hepatitis B in Children
Treatment and Prevention
Hepatitis treatment focuses on reducing signs and symptoms. You can take some simple maintenance steps, as well as prevention. Here are the steps.
- Much rest. Patients in general will feel tired, sick so they do not have energy.
- Overcoming nausea. You should try to divide your meal by eating small portions, and slowly. Choose foods that are high in calories. Like fruit juices and milk.
- Rest your heart. Avoid consuming alcohol while infected with the disease.
- Avoid sexual activity. Hepatitis can be transmitted through sexual contact.
- Get in the habit of washing your hands. This virus can be transmitted easily from hand to hand, or from feces to hands.
- Avoid preparing food for other people, if you have an active infection. It is very easy for you to pass the infection on to other people.
Hepatitis is an inflammatory infection of the liver caused by a virus. Applying a clean lifestyle, washing your hands regularly is one of the best ways to protect yourself from this hepatitis disease. Hope it is useful.