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Hepatitis: Introduction

Hepatitis is a general name for a group of serious diseases that affect the liver. Hepatitis often refers to infectious hepatitis, which includes hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, hepatitis E. Each of these types of hepatitis are caused by the hepatitis virus of the same name, such as the hepatitis A virus. The most common forms of hepatitis in the U.S. are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

There is also a type of hepatitis called chronic hepatitis, which can develop as a complication of viral hepatitis or from other conditions, such as a severe medication reaction or from autoimmune hepatitis. Hepatitis can also result from excessive amounts of alcohol and overdoses of certain medications, including Tylenol (acetaminophen).

All forms of hepatitis cause an inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ, and normal functioning of the liver is crucial to health and life. Hepatitis can reduce the liver's ability to do its vital job in helping the body to fight infection, stop bleeding, clear the blood of toxins, store energy, produce healthy blood, digest food and remove waste.

There are differences in the way that the various forms of infectious hepatitis are passed from person to person and how they progress. Symptoms of hepatitis also differ between individuals depending on such variables as the specific type of hepatitis, age, medical history, the presence of complications and general health.

Symptoms common to hepatitis include flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, nausea, muscle aches and jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Complications can be serious, even life-threatening, and include the development of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and increased risk of liver cancer, and liver failure. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of hepatitis.

Making a diagnosis of hepatitis includes performing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. This includes questioning about risk factors for contracting hepatitis, such as being sexually active outside of a monogamous relationship, living in or travelling to places with poor sanitation, and being an IV drug abuser who shares needles.

Blood tests include tests that can check for the viruses that cause hepatitis. Liver function tests are blood tests that can help to determine the level of severity of hepatitis by checking level of functioning of the liver and if there is any damage to the liver.

Imaging tests that create a picture of the liver and may be performed in some cases include an ultrasound, CT, and/or a nuclear liver scan.

It is possible that a diagnosis of hepatitis can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be vague or there may be no symptoms in some people in some forms of the disease. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of hepatitis.

Treatment of hepatitis includes rest and ensuring good nutrition. For serious cases, especially if there is liver damage, hospitalization may be necessary. Treatment in the hospital may include medications, a liver biopsy, and other diagnostic testing and treatment. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of hepatitis....more »

Hepatitis: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of hepatitis may be overlooked or delayed because in its early stages there may be no symptoms. In addition, symptoms, such as flu-like symptoms, fever, poor appetite, fatigue, and weakness, may be attributed to other diseases and conditions, such as flu, gallstones and peptic ulcer. ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Hepatitis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Hepatitis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Hepatitis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Hepatitis

Home medical tests possibly related to Hepatitis:

Causes of Types of Hepatitis:

Review causes of types of Hepatitis in more specific categories:

Review causes of more specific types of Hepatitis:

Hepatitis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Hepatitis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Hepatitis Treatments

The most effective treatment plan for hepatitis uses a multifaceted approach and varies depending on the specific type of hepatitis. Treatment plans are individualized to best fit the patient's age, medical history, and type and stage of the disease. The goal of treatment is to stop or slow the progression of damage to the liver and minimize and quickly treat any ...Hepatitis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Hepatitis may include:

Review further information on Hepatitis Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Hepatitis

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Hepatitis may include:

  • Milk thistle (silymarin)
  • Licorice root extract (glycyrrhizin)
  • Neominophagen C (glycyrrhizin, cysteine, glycine)
  • Bing Gan Tang plus
  • more treatments »

Hepatitis: Animations

Medications or substances causing Hepatitis:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Hepatitis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Hepatitis:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Hepatitis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Rifampin and izoniazid interaction - Severe hepatitis
  • Rifadin and izoniazid interaction - Severe hepatitis
  • Rimactane and izoniazid interaction - Severe hepatitis
  • Rifamate and izoniazid interaction - Severe hepatitis
  • Rifater and izoniazid interaction - Severe hepatitis
  • Warfarin and Ticlopidine interaction
  • Coumarin and Ticlopidine interaction
  • more interactions...»

Hepatitis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Hepatitis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Hepatitis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Hepatitis:

Hepatitis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Hepatitis deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Hepatitis

Chronic liver disease often undiagnosed: One study reported that 50% of patients with a chronic liver disease remain undiagnosed by their primary physician. The reasons are multifactorial. Possible conditions include more »

Hepatitis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Article Excerpts about Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by certain viruses and other factors, such as alcohol abuse, some medications, and trauma. Its various forms affect millions of Americans. Although many cases of hepatitis are not a serious threat to health, the disease can become chronic (long-lasting) and can sometimes lead to liver failure and death. (Source: excerpt from Hepatitis: NWHIC)

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by certain viruses and other... (Source: excerpt from Hepatitis: NWHIC)

Definitions of Hepatitis:

Inflammation of the liver caused by a virus or a toxin
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Inflammation of the liver and liver disease involving degenerative or necrotic alterations of hepatocytes.
- (Source - CRISP)

Disease of the liver causing inflammation. Symptoms include an enlarged liver, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dark urine.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)

Detailed list of causes of Hepatitis

The list below shows some of the causes of Hepatitis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Hepatitis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Hepatitis. Of the 42 causes of Hepatitis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 3 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 5 causes are "common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 10 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 25 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Hepatitis:

The following list of conditions have 'Hepatitis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Hepatitis or choose View All.

View All A C E H K L M N O P Q S T U V










Conditions listing medical complications: Hepatitis:

The following list of medical conditions have Hepatitis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.












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Causes of Hepatitis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Hepatitis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?

    Classifications of Hepatitis:

    Medical Conditions associated with Hepatitis:

    Liver symptoms (1644 causes), Liver problems (1613 causes), Upper abdominal symptoms (2707 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes)

    Symptoms related to Hepatitis:

    Liver symptoms (1644 causes), Yellow skin (397 causes), Jaundice (789 causes), Yellow discolouration, Hepatitis B vaccination, Antiviral drugs, Liver injury, Alcoholism, Cirrhosis

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Hepatitis:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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