Viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, are distinct diseases that affect the liver. Other causes of hepatitis include drugs and medications. Each type of hepatitis has different hepatitis symptoms and causes. Treatments for hepatitis also depend on the type. Your doctor will run laboratory tests to determine the type of hepatitis.
For this article, let’s look at Hepatitis A & B.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus. It does not lead to long-term liver problems. It is the most common type of Hepatitis forms. The disease is caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is found in the stool of an infected person. It is spread when a person eats food or drinks water that has come in contact with infected stool.
After you have been exposed to the virus, it can take from 2 to 7 weeks before you see any signs of it. Symptoms usually last for about 2 months. Common symptoms are: feeling very tired, feeling sick to your stomach, not feeling hungry, losing weight without trying, pain on the right side of the belly, under the rib cage (where your liver is), a fever, and/or sore muscles.
Older people with hepatitis A may also get yellow skin, known as jaundice, along with dark urine and clay-colored stools.
One way the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to prevent Hepatitis A is by receiving a vaccination. However with all vaccines, there are potential risks of adverse reactions. The following are the recognized problems by the CDC.
According to the CDC, mild problems include soreness where the shot was given, a headache, loss of appetite and tiredness.
Severe problems would be a serious allergic reaction, within a few minutes to a few hours of the shot. But they believe this to be very rare.
Now let’s briefly look at Hepatitis B, also a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. The liver becomes inflamed and may develop permanent damage, such as scarring or liver cancer.
It spreads by way of body fluids, including blood, semen, and vaginal fluids (including menstrual blood).
The infection can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) and may cause flu-like symptoms, such as extreme tiredness, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (or constipation) and muscle aches. Other symptoms may include discomfort under the right rib cage, joint pain, skin rash and jaundice.
Acute hepatitis B usually goes away on its own; home treatment is used to relieve symptoms and help prevent spread of the virus. Treatment for chronic HBV infection includes monitoring the condition and using antiviral medicines to prevent liver damage. If hepatitis B has caused severe liver damage, a liver transplant may be needed.
The CDC recommends a vaccination to prevent it.
They claim Hepatitis B is a very safe vaccine and that most people don’t have any problems with it. Mild problems they report are soreness where the shot was given, and a temperature of 99.9°F or higher.
According to them severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses.
The above signs and symptoms of adverse reactions are the ones that the federal government recognizes. There has been several studies and research has proven time and again that this list is inconclusive. There is a potential for much more serious reactions with the Hepatitis A & B vaccine. This risks include, but are not limited to autoimmune diseases and nerve damage.
If you or your loved one have experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine, please seek immediate medical attention, even if one of your symptoms are not included on the above lists of CDC “recognized” symptoms.