Hepatitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in your liver. A virus most often causes it, but it may also develop from too much alcohol or drug use and certain medical conditions.
There are three main types of hepatitis, including:
Hepatitis A is highly contagious and causes mild infection symptoms. It's unlikely to cause long-term damage to the liver, and many get it without even knowing. It’s spread person to person and through certain foods.
Hepatitis B is often a short-term virus with mild symptoms, but in some cases, it becomes chronic. When this happens, it can compromise your liver or lead to cancer. It’s spread through unprotected sex and contact with bodily fluids.
Hepatitis C is a chronic disease, with up to 75% of people contracting it and having it for their lifetime. It’s associated with liver failure and cancer. This form of hepatitis is transmitted through blood, and is common among IV-drug users.
Hepatitis has a range of symptoms that you may experience, including:
As the condition progresses, jaundice symptoms may appear, including yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Symptoms may not appear right away, sometimes taking months, or even years with hepatitis B and C, to appear. By the time symptoms are noticeable, liver damage may have already occurred.
Hepatitis treatment depends on the type of hepatitis you have. With hepatitis A, treatment is typically unnecessary, as symptoms go away quickly on their own.
Hepatitis B may or may not need treatment, depending on if the disease becomes chronic. Dr. Gaston monitors your liver functioning and may recommend antiviral medications.
Hepatitis C always chronic requires treatment. Multiple FDA-approved treatment regimens can reduce the damage it causes and protect your liver. These regimens often include multiple medications and may take months to administer adequately.
If you have hepatitis or think you may be at risk, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact Dr. Gaston today to schedule your appointment. Call his office or book easily online.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!