Hepatitis is the name for inflammation of the liver. It has several causes, including;
- Viruses which can be spread through food and water (hepatitis A, E) and body fluid contact (hepatitis B, C, D)
- Alcohol excess
- Auto-immune conditions
- Medications (paracetamol, steroids, some antibiotics)
Often acute (short term) hepatitis has no, or very mild symptoms. Chronic (long term) hepatitis has many symptoms including; pain, fever, fatigue, vomiting, dark urine, pale stool, itchy skin, yellowing of the eyes and skin and these are often not apparent until the liver stops working properly. Signs of liver failure are jaundice, swelling of the legs and abdomen, blood in stools or vomit, confusion and collapse.
Hepatitis is diagnosed with the help of blood tests, ultrasound scans, endoscopy (camera test) of the stomach, and liver biopsy. Our gastroenterologist can recommend the necessary examinations and treatment.