Hepatitis A

What is it? Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is transmitted by contaminated food or water.

What are the symptoms? The symptoms of Hepatitis A are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, no appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Later symptoms include dark urine, jaundice (yellowed skin) and itching.

How is it treated? Most of the time, the infection will get better on its own. However, these things will help recovery occur faster: rest, avoid drinking alcohol, and avoid certain medications that are hard on the liver.

Can Hepatitis A be prevented? Yes, there is a vaccine available to prevent this illness. In addition, Hepatitis A can be avoided by being selective and avoiding foods prepared by those who are ill, and avoiding raw or undercooked shellfish.

Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a viral infection of liver. It is acquired by blood transfusion, tattoo from infected needle, IV drug use, or sexual intercourse with an infected individual. It causes a chronic infection that can be treated with medications however, at this time, there is not a cure. One in twenty adults who gets Hepatitis B develops chronic Hepatitis B.

What are the symptoms? Typical symptoms are darkened urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), and abdominal pain. Long term infection with Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis (liver failure). Untreated hepatitis B and liver failure associated with it increases the risk for liver cancer.

What is Cirrhosis?

Symptoms of Cirrhosis Include:
  • Swelling in the belly and legs, and fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Bruising or bleeding easily.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Feeling full.
  • Confusion.
  • Coma.
Is there a vaccine available for Hepatitis B? Yes! Please contact your medical provider about vaccination.

Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver. Chronic Hepatitis C infection often follows a progressive course over many years. It can ultimately result in liver failure (cirrhosis) and/or liver cancer.

How do you get Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is acquired by blood-based contact, including blood transfusion, dirty needles (IV drug use, tattooing), and sexual contact with an infected person.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C? Most people do not have any symptoms, and can remain without symptoms for many years. That’s why it’s so important to be screened if you have ever been a drug user, had unprotected sex, or fall between the birth years of 1945-1965. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. Late symptoms may include those previously discussed under ‘cirrhosis’.

What is the treatment for Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C treatment has come a long way in the past few years. The treatment used to be difficult to endure, with many side effects. Cure rates weren’t nearly as high as they are now! There are many new drugs that have been shown to cure infection in as little as 12 weeks, with a 90+% cure rate. They are very well tolerated, and have a 90+% cure rate with new medication regimens like Harvoni, Viekira Pak, Daklinza, and Technivie. We are a very efficient office at collecting necessary labs and imaging and treating people as quickly as possible.

Is there a vaccine available for Hepatitis C? No, unfortunately, there is not a vaccine developed for this virus.