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What if I have symptoms of Viral Hepatitis?

If you have symptoms then most probably you are suffering from acute hepatitis. The first thing to be done is to consult a good Gastroenterologist for the evaluation and to get your blood investigations done. If it comes out to be positive then the most important thing is to improve sanitation; strict personal hygiene and regular hand washing may prevent transmission of Hepatitis A to others. If you have hepatitis E then the source of drinking water should be checked and decontaminated. Following are few of the other important recommendations.

Recommendations to prevent Hepatitis or if you have symptoms of Hepatitis:

symptoms of Viral Hepatitis

You should avoid taking heavy meals at a time: Take small frequent meals, don’t wait for hunger have timely meals. Take high fiber diet which prevents you from having constipation. Restrict oily and spicy foods or food items containing preservatives. Avoidance of fatty and spicy meals is not to protect liver but to keep appetite normal and prevent nausea and vomiting which is increased by these foods. You should take adequate amount of water and electrolyte.

No diet restrictions needed: Strict dietary restriction is not necessary like having boiled meals and juices only. You can have normal regular food being cooked in the home for others. Bear in mind that it is not the meals which are curing you, it is your immunity which will ultimately cure, the strict restriction can weaken your immunity.

You should avoid unnecessary medicines which are usually prescribed: The fact is that to recover from acute viral hepatitis you need no medicine in most cases. Take adequate rest and do not indulge yourself in laborious work. But complete bed rest should be avoided.

Remember that it is not communicable: If you are suffering from Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, the biggest misconception among the general public is that it spreads through touching or sitting nearby. It only spreads through blood or body fluid, so, your blood or any other body fluid should not come in contact with the other person’s mucous membrane. Take good care of your wound, if present and not leave them open. Do not share needles, razors, toothbrush, nail cutters etc. Inform your health care worker about your positive status of Hepatitis B or C before undergoing any procedure or surgery, if any. You should take precautions during sexual intercourse. If you are to deliver a baby, you should inform your gynecologist beforehand. You should not donate blood or organs for transplantation.

Maintain personal hygiene: Hepatitis A tend to spread from person to person, so personal hygiene will avoid spreading, schooling should be avoided during the period. Also, vaccination of others exposed should be sought. Hepatitis E usually does not spread from person to person.

Pay attention to your sleep: Person suffering from acute hepatitis should be very cautious about altered sensorium or altered sleep pattern, irrelevant talking etc because this may signal the onset of acute liver failure which is a very serious complication of acute hepatitis.

Report any abnormality and consult a specialist: For person suffering from chronic hepatitis, apart from routine evaluation and treatment, should keep in mind that if they notice passing black coloured stool, blood in vomiting, persistent fever, abdominal distension, altered sensorium or altered sleep pattern, irrelevant talking, constipation or jaundice, should immediately consult doctor.

Note your family history: Persons suffering from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C should screen their family for these as this can be present in other family members silently.