Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is caused by a number of things including alcohol, drugs, chemicals and viral infections. If the inflammation of the liver continues at least six months or longer, it is called chronic hepatitis. Chronic hepatitis can lead to scarring.
What are the Symptoms of hepatitis?
Viral hepatitis is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are vague and similar to a flu-like illness. In other cases, there are no symptoms at all. Some individuals with viral hepatitis experience or develop:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Muscle and joint aches
- Changes in the color of urine and stools
How is Hepatitis Diagnosed?
- liver enzymes
- antibodies to the hepatitis viruses
- viral proteins or genetic material (viral DNA or RNA)
How is Hepatitis Treated?
Treatment for hepatitis will vary depending on the underlying cause.