Did you think that liver damage was only caused by alcohol? Well think again...
Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) are serious viral illnesses that lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. In fact HCV accounts for 40% of all chronic liver disease. 170 million people are infected worldwide, 4 million in the USA with 40,000 acute cases of hepatitis C. According to the CDC, 800,000 to 1.4 million in the USA are infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis is eventually eliminated from the body, chronic hepatitis remains in the body throughout the carrier’s lifetime. A majority of those infected will develop chronic hepatitis. Of the 4 million Americans infected with HCV, only ½ million have been treated with a vast majority not identified. HCV is the leading cause for liver transplant in the USA. Common causes include:
A variety of liver conditions that may be related to hepatitis infections include:
It is possible to have hepatitis and not know it. However, many with hepatitis experience general ill health that can be confused with other common ailments. Many flu-like symptoms such as fever, appetite loss, muscle aches and vomiting can be misdiagnosed. Telltale symptoms of hepatitis include:
The most common risk factors for contracting Hepatitis are as follows:
Hepatitis is a growing and dangerous epidemic occurring world-wide. Spread primarily through sexual contact and sharing needles, the disease often goes undetected until severe liver damage occurs. Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are different viruses with very similar symptoms and risks. Abnormal liver function tests can be a result of HBV or HCV.
This profile tests for the presence of antibodies produced by the body as a result
of exposure to the hepatitis B virus.