Hepatitis A, B, and C: What’s the Difference?

Hepatitis is a serious health condition that affects the liver. This STD occurs in three different forms, which can make it confusing to understand. Here’s what you should know about Hepatitis A, B, and C to protect your health and get the treatment you need.

What Is Hepatitis?

In general, hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver. Some cases of hepatitis are short lived, but others develop chronically over months or years. Viruses, alcoholism, and certain medications are all linked to the development of hepatitis.

Symptoms and Treatment for Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads through the fecal-oral route. Infected people shed a large quantity of the virus in their stool, which makes it all too easy to spread to others through shaking hands, turning door knobs, answering the phone, and touching other common surfaces.

The most common symptoms of Hepatitis A include nausea, poor appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, and dark urine. A blood test is needed to identify hepatitis A, but no specific treatment exists. Instead, the body needs time to recover from the virus on its own. In most cases, the liver can recover in six months with no lasting damage.

Symptoms and Treatment for Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B differs from hepatitis A because it is considered a more serious infection that lasts chronically and increases the risk of liver failure, liver cancer, and permanent scarring of the liver. Though a vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, nothing can cure it once it develops. Symptoms are similar to Hepatitis A, as well as joint pain, fever, and yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes.

Symptoms and Treatment for Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver condition spreads through contaminated blood. It can occur as an acute infection that clears itself from the body with antiviral therapy, or it can become a chronic condition that requires ongoing medical care. Risk factors for Hepatitis C include injecting drugs, working with infected blood, receiving a tattoo or piercing in an unsterile environment, and having HIV.

If you are diagnosed with Hepatitis C that cannot be cured with antiviral therapy, you may develop serious complications that require a liver transplant. The vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B may help reduce the effects of chronic Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis and other STDs are serious conditions that can be most effectively treated when identified early, so don’t procrastinate on receiving your own STD testing. 24-7 Labs has locations in Florida and New York for convenience. Call (813) 932-3741 to learn more.

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