The information you are going to get from this Article are:
1. What is Hepatitis?
2. What is the function of a liver?
3. How does the Hepatitis Virus attack the Liver?
4. Relation of Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) with hepatitis.
5. Different types of Hepatitis.
Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes swallowing of the liver. It may be acute (lasts for short period) or chronic (lasts for long period) depending on the type.
Function of Liver
The liver is the second largest organ of the human body. It plays a vital role in the body. It performs many functions such as regulating the blood sugar level, producing important nutrients, removing waste products from the body, etc.
The liver filters the blood from the heart and the intestine. The blood is filtered by the liver with the help of hepatic lobules (the building block of liver tissue). The filtered blood consists of many nutrients and carbohydrates. The liver breakdown the carbohydrates into sugar which is used by the body in the form of energy. The liver also stores some of the nutrients for later use. Many substances are produced by the liver and the most important one is bile. The hepatocytes break down the toxic substances into a liquid called bile which is stored in the gallbladder. The bile is then transferred into the intestine where it breaks down the fats into fatty acids and removes toxins from the body.
Effects of Hepatitis on Liver
1. Attack ff Virus on the Liver cells
When the virus enters the liver, it starts to attack the liver cells and after entering into the cell the virus transports its DNA into the nucleus of the cell and begins to make copies of the virus. The body responds to the attack by sending the immune cells that then start to attacks the infected cells. Due to this, the cells begin to swell and die.
After the death of the cells, the healthy liver tissues are replaced by scar tissues and cause damage to the liver. Patients with a chronic condition of hepatitis have a large number of scar tissues in the liver that avoid the liver from working properly and cause permanent damage to the liver ending up a condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is an incurable disease that causes the liver to permanently shrink.
Relation of Hepatitis with Jaundice
Jaundice or icterus is a condition that causes yellowness in the skin and sclera (white of the eye). Jaundice occurs when the level of a yellowish liquid called bilirubin increases in the body. Bilirubin is produced when the old red blood cells are phagocytosed by the macrophages (cells that destroy the microorganisms and harmful organisms). In other words, bilirubin is the waste product of broken hemoglobin. Bilirubin is taken to the liver in the unconjugated form. Inside the liver, bilirubin is converted into the conjugated form and then released by the liver into the bile. The bile including bilirubin is stored in the gallbladder and released into the intestine when needed. Bilirubin is used to digest the food we eat and after completing its work, it is excreted out of the body. The bilirubin gives a brown color to the feces and yellow color to the urine. But when there is a problem with the liver or when the liver cells are destroyed, a large amount of bilirubin is produced and released. Due to the malfunctioning of the liver, the bilirubin starts to move into the cells of the body and the skin and sclera start getting yellow. Dark urine and pale stool in hepatitis patients is also a sign of jaundice.
Types Of Hepatitis Their Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments
Hepatitis has different types because they are spread by different viruses. They may be acute or chronic. If the condition lasts for less than six months it is acute but if it remains for more than six months, the patient is having a chronic disease. There is no cure for hepatitis but treatments are available.
1. Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)
This type of hepatitis is acute (lasts for short periods). This virus is transmitted by coming in contact with feces, eating contaminated food, having sex with someone infected with the virus, etc. Symptoms of hepatitis A are Vomiting, Diarrhea, Jaundice, dark color urine, etc. Hepatitis A virus is destroyed by the body on its own but it can also be treated by given vaccines of hepatitis A. For any treatment must consult your doctor.
2. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
This condition may be acute or chronic. Hepatitis B is spread by the blood, by sharing the needles, from mother to baby at birth, etc. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, etc. The hepatitis B is cleared out by the body itself but it also gets treated by a hepatitis B vaccine.
3. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
Hepatitis C could be acute or chronic. Most of the time this virus is transmitted from the blood of an infected person. Other less common modes of transmission are sharing contaminated hygiene items such as a toothbrush, having sex with someone infected, transmitting to the child from the mother during birth, etc. The symptoms are fatigue, easily bleeding, bruising, jaundice, etc. There are some medications available for hepatitis C which a patient can use according to the prescription of the doctor. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
4. Hepatitis D Virus (HDV) or Delta Virus
This virus only spread to patients who already have hepatitis B. It may be acute or chronic. This is because the delta virus needs the hepatitis B surface antigen or HBsAg for replication. When a person is infected by both HBV and HDV viruses it is called coinfection and when someone already infected with Hepatitis B virus gets Hepatitis D then it is called superinfection. Symptoms are abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc. There is no vaccine available for hepatitis D but certain medications are available which are given to the patient according to the prescription of the doctor.