Hepatitis in Denver, CO
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What is hepatitis?
Across the globe, almost 300 million people are going about their lives not knowing that they have viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, when considered at its most simple definition, involves swelling or inflammation of the liver. Most common are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The three types of hepatitis mentioned here are labeled in reference to the strain of virus that causes the inflammation of the liver. Each single type of viral hepatitis can nearly be considered a unique disease since each form of infection responds to varying therapies. If you or someone you love may have, or has been diagnosed with a form of hepatitis, contact Colorado Gastroenterology today. Our experienced GI physicians routinely treat individuals with hepatitis in Denver, CO.
The difference between hepatitis types
Hepatitis A (HAV)
The type of hepatitis labeled as hepatitis A (HAV) is known to be highly transmissible and typically infects people that eat or drink something that has been in contact with feces or another person who has been infected by the virus. Although very contagious, it is not as dangerous in comparison with other forms of hepatitis. HAV can be avoided with a vaccine and can be treated by a healthcare professional.
People with hepatitis A could notice symptoms that include unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, pain in the abdominal area, dark urine (Jaundice), yellow eyes and/or yellow skin, exhaustion, fever, and diarrhea. The standard treatment protocol for hepatitis A is to rest, drink fluids, and avoid alcoholic beverages. In most instances, hepatitis A will clear up on its own. To avoid getting hepatitis A, individuals can receive a hepatitis A vaccination from your healthcare provider or our Denver, CO gastroenterology practice.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
The variation of the virus referred to as hepatitis B (HBV) is a more serious form of viral hepatitis. In the absence of medical care, it has the potential to lead to liver failure and even liver cancer. If adults get hepatitis B, their bodies should be able to fight it off over the course of a few months. When the virus has diminished, you become immune. When individuals contract hepatitis B during birth, however, the condition is unlikely to go away. Hepatitis B is most often spread through saliva, blood, and sexual fluids, using a needle after someone with the virus, or passed from an infected pregnant woman to her child during birth.
Common signs and symptoms of hepatitis B are jaundice, pain in the abdominal area, decreased appetite, light-colored stool, aching joints, vomiting, persistent fatigue, and fever. If you may have been exposed to HBV, we urge you to see your medical provider or contact Colorado Gastroenterology as soon as possible. The earlier you undergo care, the better your health and wellness. Our team will probably recommend a hepatitis B vaccine and additional antiviral prescriptions.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Usually passed on through bodily fluids (like blood), hepatitis C (HCV) is an additional virus that can cause damage to the liver. Hepatitis C can occur in two separate types, acute hepatitis C or chronic hepatitis C.
- Acute hepatitis C is the less serious form of hepatitis C and frequently takes six months to subside. Following the six-month time period, most individuals' natural immune response will overcome the virus.
- Chronic hepatitis C happens when a person's natural defenses are unable to fend off the virus within the first six months and it impacts the body for a prolonged amount of time. This type of hepatitis C could lead to more long-term medical diseases, like liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.
Common hepatitis C symptoms include bleeding easily, swelling in the legs, nausea and vomiting, clay-colored stool, confusion, itchy skin, and extreme fatigue. Additional symptoms can include bruising easily, slurred speech, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, joint pain, jaundice, and unintentional weight loss. The treatment cure rate of hepatitis C is over 90%. The routine treatment approaches for hepatitis C consist of antiviral drugs and liver transplants for chronic cases.
How can I avoid getting hepatitis?
The best method of prevention against getting hepatitis A or B is to get vaccinated for the virus. We recommend having young children receive a vaccine for hepatitis A somewhere between the ages of 12 months to 23 months, but you can also have the vaccine at any time after that. The hepatitis B vaccine is generally provided to newborns; however, people can have the vaccine at any age in life. There is no vaccination process for hepatitis C.
Other healthy habits to avoid getting hepatitis are listed below:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom or touching any bodily fluids
- Avoid consuming uncooked meat and unclean food or water, and purchasing food from street vendors
- Use protection when having sex
- Avoid sharing personal hygiene items, such as razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Make certain any needles you use have been properly sterilized, such as when getting piercings or if injecting illicit drugs
- If traveling, learn whether the location you are visiting has elevated incidences of hepatitis infection
Contact our team at Colorado Gastroenterology for additional information on how to effectively avoid hepatitis. Schedule an appointment today with one of our GI physicians.
Get treatment for hepatitis
Although a hepatitis infection can potentially cause concerning health issues, including hepatic cancer and loss of liver function, it is generally treatable with help from your gastroenterologist. Should you have any distressing gastrointestinal signs or symptoms, like those discussed above, please get in touch with Colorado Gastroenterology. As a physician-led team of gastroenterology specialists, we provide quality, patient-centric services. For further details about the treatment approaches available for all variations of hepatitis in Denver, CO, speak with our caring staff today.
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Dr. Sieja and his team are thorough and do a great job at explaining any diagnosis you may have. I felt confident being in his care and he has a great bedside manner.
Very good, positive experience.
This is a very professional practice! The staff was friendly. Dr Trouillot is warm and knowledgeable.