Your liver plays a vital role in your body, particularly in the digestion and processing of food. But sometimes, you can be exposed to a virus or bacterium that can cause inflammation of the liver – which is hepatitis.
There are several different forms of hepatitis, and people can contract them in different ways. Hepatitis A, in particular, is a very contagious type of this disease, but it is also generally the most easily treatable.
What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus. A person can be infected with the virus by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with trace amounts of fecal material. It can also be transmitted by being in close contact with a person with the disease, or by sharing food, water, or eating utensils with an infected person.
Some of the symptoms of this condition are:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
Fortunately, despite the signs, hepatitis A does not do long-term damage to the liver. It can even usually heal on its own without medical intervention and by using simple home-based methods.
Treatments for Hepatitis A
There is no specific treatment for this condition. However, people with hepatitis A can recover relatively quickly by taking the following actions to address and manage its symptoms:
This infection can make you feel sick and lethargic. That is why your doctor will recommend that you get plenty of rest. The lack of energy may be at least partially caused by loss of appetite, which is a common symptom of the infection.
You may also experience vomiting if you have hepatitis A, and this can quickly lead to dehydration. For this reason, it is vital to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. You may opt to drink fruit juice or milk in order to consume enough calories to replace the lost ones, but also be sure to drink lots of fresh, clean water.
Eat Light Meals
Consuming smaller but more frequent meals can help you avoid nausea and vomiting. However, if these symptoms persist, see your doctor to get a quick-acting solution.
You may take over-the-counter pain relievers if you feel aches or pains. However, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication, because medicines must pass through your already-infected liver – and some medicines are harder on the liver than others, even over-the-counter treatments.
Avoid Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol intake puts a strain on your liver. Therefore, completely avoid alcohol while you’re healing in order to avoid placing additional stress on your already-stressed liver.
Get Vaccinated for Hepatitis A
If you haven’t already been vaccinated for hepatitis A, it is a good idea to go ahead and be inoculated. The hepatitis A vaccine can significantly reduce your risk of being infected by the hepatitis A virus, or even from contracting it again.
Liver Care in Austin, Texas
If you experience any symptoms of hepatitis A, it is a good idea to seek medical attention in order to control the symptoms, such as dehydration. Our board-certified gastroenterologists here at Austin Gastroenterology have years of experience treating all types of hepatitis and other liver disorders and infections.