Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Some people have only mild illness that last a few weeks, but some others face more severe problems that can last for months. This infection causes liver inflammation and affects your liver’s ability to function.
You can get Hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with a person or object that’s infected. Most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage. Vaccine is available for people most at risk.
Hepatitis A sign and symptoms typically don’t appear untill you have had the virus for a few weeks,but not everyone with Hepatitis A develops them. Some people, especially , children don’t have symptoms. The symptoms might be –
• Pain abdomen
• Dark urine
• Loss of appetite
• Pale colored poop
• Joint pain
• Intense Itching
These problems tend to go away after about 2 months, but might keep coming back up to 6 months. You can spread the infection about 2 weeks before your symptoms appear and during the first week after the symptoms show up.
Hepatitis A infection is caused after contracting Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with faecal matter that contains the virus. It spreads through the bloodstream to the liver. It doesn’t spread through coughing or sneezing.
Following are some specific ways to spread the infection –
• Eating food handled by someone with the virus who doesn’t thoroughly wash his or her hands after using the toilet.
• Drinking contaminated water.
• Eating raw shelfish from polluted sewage water.
• Being in close contact with person who is infected.
• Having unprotected sex with someone who has the virus.
If you contract the virus, you will contagious two weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period will end about one week after symptoms appear.
Risk Factors –
• Living in an area where Hepatitis A is common including most countries with low sanitation standards.
• Injecting or using illegal drugs.
• Living in a house with someone who is Hepatitis A positive.
• Having sex with Hepatitis A positive person.
• Being HIV positive.
It doesn’t cause long term liver damage and also it doesn’t become chronic. In extremely rare cases it can lead to acute liver failure in older adults or people having chronic liver damage.
After checking your symptoms and check for high level of liver enzymes in your blood,doctor may need to look for more blood tests which are-
• IgM antibodies – your body makes these antibodies when you are first exposed to Hepatitis A. They stay in your blood for about 3-6 months.
• IgG antibodies – These show up after the virus has been in your body for a while. If your test comes positive for IgG but not for IgM antibodies, it means you had a Hepatitis A infection in the past or had vaccination to protect against it.
No specific treatment is needed for Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Your body will clear the HAV on its own. In most cases the liver heals within six months with no lasting damage.
Hepatitis A treatment usually focuses on keeping comfortable and controlling sign & symptoms – you may need to
• Rest –
Take complete rest to ease yourself from fatigue.
• Managing nausea –
Try snacking throughout the day rather than eating full meals. To get enough calories, eat more high calorie foods e.g. drink fruit juice or milk rather than water.
• Avoid alcohol & use medications with care –
Your liver may have difficulty processing medication and alcohol.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
According to Ayurveda ,any liver infection or disease is caused by the aggravation of pitta in the liver. It is believed that when the pitta becomes vitiated, the body experiences problem .Since the liver is governed by pitta dosha ,any aggravation in this life energy instantly affects the liver and makes it prone to infections and diseases.
Beneficial Herbs –
• Triphala – It excreted toxins from body .
• Katuki – It is known as best pittavirechak for liver.
• Bhumiamla – It is best known liver tonic.
• Kalmegha – It has antiinflammatory and antipyretic properties.
• Punarnava – It has antiinflammatory properties.
• Useful Medications –
• Katuki churna
• Aarogyavardhini vati
• Swarnvasant Malti ras
• Punarnava asav
For more articles on health issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult.