Hepatitis ManagementSeiling, OK
While people around the world suffer from acute or chronic hepatitis, progress continues to further on treatment options. Today, there are more ways to manage and prevent this disease, leading to an improved quality of life. Hepatitis management is how a patient and their doctor work together to develop an appropriate treatment plan for the symptoms of hepatitis.
Hepatitis management is available at Janey L Hammons NP-C in Seiling and the surrounding area. Hepatitis infections center around the liver and cause dysfunction and a variety of different types of symptoms. There are several different strands of viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.
Our team of medical providers first identifies the specific strand of hepatitis that affects the patient. Then, we design a treatment plan to manage the discomfort and symptoms of the disease. Call us at (580) 922-4406 to get more information.
Basic Principles of Hepatitis Management
Hepatitis impacts the liver and causes a variety of symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, and flu-like symptoms. Since these signs of illness are similar to many other conditions, millions of people do not realize they have hepatitis.
There are five main types of hepatitis, and depending on the patient's strand of the virus, doctors treat them differently. Managing hepatitis may involve lifestyle changes, immune-suppressing medications, steroid treatment, and other interventions. Here are the different types of hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A: Found primarily in developing countries, the HAV virus causes short-term symptoms and lasts approximately three months. Patients get hepatitis A by eating foods contaminated with the virus or from contact with an infected person. There is a vaccination to prevent infection of hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B: Caused by the HBV virus, hepatitis B starts as an acute infection and may sometimes turn into a chronic condition. At birth, all infants get a hepatitis B vaccination to lower infection rates of children. Adults may also opt to get the hepatitis B vaccination. Patients may acquire hepatitis B at birth from an infected mother, sharing contaminated needles or sexual contact with someone who has it.
- Hepatitis C: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 2.4 million Americans are living with hepatitis C. Unfortunately, there is no vaccination for the HCV virus, which causes hepatitis C. This strand of hepatitis may lead to chronic disease; however, new treatments have dramatically helped the prognosis.
- Hepatitis D: Caused by the HDV virus, hepatitis D is rare. Sometimes this strand coincides with hepatitis B. Hepatitis D can develop into a severe chronic condition.
- Hepatitis E: Hepatitis E passes through contaminated water and is rare outside of developing countries. The HEV virus leads to an acute infection that goes away in a few weeks. There is an increased risk of severe complications with pregnant women.
Diagnosis of Hepatitis
Physicians diagnose hepatitis by first reviewing the patient's symptoms. They may order a sonogram, a liver biopsy, or a CAT scan. A blood test may confirm the disease's presence in the patient's body.
Risk of Hepatitis Infection
Different groups of people may be at risk of getting hepatitis. Newborns, intravenous drug users, health care workers, people needing blood transfusions, and those living in developing countries may have higher rates of hepatitis infections. For high-risk groups, doctors may recommend vaccinations for hepatitis A and B.
Treatment varies depending on the individual strand of hepatitis, the age of the patient, and any other health concerns. Mild, acute hepatitis may not even require any specific treatment. Here are the ways Janey L Hammons NP-C may treat chronic hepatitis:
- Antiviral medications
- Liver transplants
Coping Strategies and Lifestyle Changes
Having chronic hepatitis may cause liver damage. Individuals may cope by making healthy lifestyle changes to help improve their outlook. One of the most important adjustments is to avoid alcohol since this could further damage the liver. Persons with hepatitis must also work with their doctors to keep their condition monitored throughout their life.
Additionally, hepatitis patients should also make efforts to avoid infecting others. They should not donate blood, and they must avoid sharing items such as toothbrushes, nail files, or needles. They must also practice safe sex and cover any wounds or abrasions.
Call Us for Treatment Options
For hepatitis patients looking for an effective treatment plan, we may be able to help. Call us today at (580) 922-4406. In Seiling, we provide options for hepatitis management to give patients more choices about their medical care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis Management
How do I avoid getting hepatitis?
The first step of effective hepatitis management is to avoid transmission. Get vaccinated if possible and know the risks. Practice safe food handling, wash hands, and protect against blood-transmitted pathogens.
How does hepatitis affect the liver?
With hepatitis, the liver experiences inflammation. The type of hepatitis may determine the severity of the inflammation. Hepatitis management helps control the symptoms associated with liver inflammation.
Will hepatitis management be for the rest of my life?
While some cases of hepatitis have no cure, management strategies and treatments may help reduce the severity and improve the patient's quality of life. It is important to follow the doctor's recommendation for lifestyle changes and treatment. Most of the treatments focus on preventing liver damage.
How is a liver transplant part of hepatitis management?
According to a study published in the medical journal Hippokratia, the most common reason for a liver transplant is due to cirrhosis from chronic Hepatitis C. Estimates state that approximately 20% of people infected with chronic hepatitis C may develop liver cirrhosis. Transplants sometimes occur after 20 or 30 years of living with cirrhosis.
How is the quality of life when dealing with hepatitis management?
A hepatitis diagnosis does not always point to a lifetime of chronic illness. For many patients, hepatitis is treatable. Acute infections typically go away after a few weeks or months.
How do I know if I have hepatitis?
The most effective piece of hepatitis management begins with the physician. If patients experience common symptoms of hepatitis, they must call their doctor and come into the office. Ask about blood tests and other diagnostic tools to find out if it is hepatitis.
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