Hepatitis A is an inflammatory liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is primarily spread by eating food or drinking water that’s contaminated with feces (poop) from an infected person.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include clay-colored bowel movements, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
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Unlike other types of hepatitis (B and C), hepatitis A doesn’t cause chronic liver disease and is rarely life threatening.
Mild cases don’t typically require treatment and most people recover within a few weeks with no permanent liver damage.
More severe cases take longer to resolve (a few months or so) and typically need supportive treatment for the flu-like symptoms.
There is currently no cure for hepatitis A.
1.Get lots of rest. Symptoms of hepatitis.
A are often described as flu-like and include fatigue (tiredness), weakness, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever. To combat these symptoms, get plenty of rest, especially during the initial stages of the infection, and temporarily reduce your activities and exercise regimen
2.Take pain relieving medication with caution.
Other symptoms associated with hepatitis A are abdominal pain or discomfort near your liver (upper right side beneath your ribs) and joint pain, especially large joints such as your hips, spine and knees.Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help reduce painful symptoms, but keep your dosage well below maximum recommended amounts.
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3.Cope with nausea and vomiting.
Another common symptom of hepatitis is mild-to-moderate nausea and potential vomiting, which can wax and wane throughout the day.To combat nausea, eat smaller meals or snacks throughout the day instead of three large ones. Focus on bland food, such as crackers, bread and white rice. Avoid fatty and fried foods, as well as spicy seasonings.
4.Keep well hydrated.
A further complication of chronic or severe bouts of vomiting is dehydration, especially if you can’t keep fluids down. Symptoms of dehydration to look out for include: severe thirst, dry skin, sunken looking eyes, lack of urination, headache, confusion and lethargy (fatigue).Focus on drinking purified water and herbal teas for hydration, although chicken / beef broths and diluted fruit juices are also good sources of electrolytes (mineral salts that are lost with vomiting).
5.Combat itchy sensations.
Another potential side effect with any form of hepatitis or liver disease is a general sense of itchiness (also called pruritus) all over the body.Liver-related itchiness is caused by two main factors: an accumulation of toxins that haven’t been filtered out by a damaged liver, and a back-up of bilirubin in the blood.
An injured and inflamed liver has trouble processing and metabolizing (breaking down) the toxins in medications, as well as alcohol (ethanol).As such, take it easy on your liver by not drinking alcoholic beverages while your body fights the hepatitis A virus — it may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the infection and strength of your immune system.
7.Practice good hygiene.
In addition to contaminated food and water, hepatitis A is also transmitted from infected people — either sexually or from their dirty dirty hands.As such, practice good hygiene by frequently washing your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap. As an alternative to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after you shake hands with someone or handle fresh produce (fruits and veggies).
The easiest way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated with the hepatitis A vaccine.It’s proven to be effective at preventing infection by the virus. Hepatitis A vaccines are typically given in two doses — an initial shot in the arm followed by a booster shot at least six months later. All children by the age of two years should get vaccinated to help prevent future infection.