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Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease that destroys liver cells and interferes with liver function. The condition can be self-limiting or lead to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis, or liver cancer.

Viral hepatitis is the most common liver disease. Every year in the world only 1-2 million people die from acute viral hepatitis.

Causes of the disease and risk factors:

The most common pathogens of hepatitis in the world are hepatitis viruses, but other infections, toxic substances (such as alcohol and certain drugs) and autoimmune diseases can also cause it.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, called types A, B, C, D, and E. These 5 types pose a huge challenge because of the burden of disease and death they cause and their potential to cause disease outbreaks and epidemic spread. ...

The main cause of hepatitis A and E is usually the consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C, and D usually result from parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission of these viruses include transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and, for hepatitis B, transmission from mother to child during childbirth, from family member to child, and through sexual intercourse. Hepatitis B and C, in particular, lead to the development of chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, in total, are the most common causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

There are two main forms of the clinical course of hepatitis: acute and chronic.

  • • The acute form of the course is most typical for hepatitis of a viral nature, as well as for hepatitis caused by poisoning, including strong poisons.

In the acute form of the development of hepatitis, there is a noticeable deterioration in the general condition of the patient, the development of signs of general intoxication of the body and impaired liver function (increased body temperature, in some cases the development of jaundice, etc.), as well as an increase in the level of transaminases and total blood bilirubin.

With this form of the disease, favorable forecasts are quite possible. Except for her becoming chronic. In its acute form, the disease is easily diagnosed and easier to treat. Untreated acute hepatitis easily develops into a chronic form. Sometimes with severe poisoning (for example, alcohol), the chronic form occurs on its own.

  • • The chronic form can develop on its own (for example, with chronic alcohol poisoning), or continue the development of acute hepatitis (viral hepatitis B, D). The clinical picture in chronic hepatitis is poor, the disease is asymptomatic for a long time. Characterized by a persistent increase in the size of the liver, dull pain in the right hypochondrium, intolerance to fatty foods, etc.

In chronic hepatitis, liver cells are gradually replaced by connective tissue, so that in most cases untreated chronic hepatitis leads to the development of liver cirrhosis. Patients with chronic hepatitis are at high risk of developing primary liver cancer.

Hepatitis symptoms:

Common, but not required, symptoms of acute hepatitis include:

  • • Jaundice, the most well-known symptom, occurs when bilirubin, not processed in the liver, enters the bloodstream and gives the skin its characteristic yellowish tint. However, anicteric forms of hepatitis are also common;
  • • Diarrhea;
  • • Increased fatigue;
  • • Loss of appetite and weight;
  • • Slight increase in temperature;
  • • Pain in muscles and joints;
  • • Nausea, vomiting;
  • • Mild pain or heaviness in the abdomen or right upper quadrant.

If you experience most of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.