Hepatitis is a growing epidemic that is gripping our country today. Majority of the patients are undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed. Viral Hepatitis has been considered as a major health issue not just in India but worldwide. According to WHO estimates, around 52 million Indians are infected with various forms of Hepatitis and around 40 million are suffering from chronic hepatitis and associated complications. Inflammation of liver is usually referred as hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is a widespread infectious disease normally caused by the hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is important that we are informed about how to deal, prevent and treat Hepatitis.
Ways to protect your liver from Hepatitis
- Avoid alcohol & fatty diet – This is the most common risk factor that affects the liver and causes hepatitis. An unhealthy life style associated with junk food, no exercise, obesity and alcohol use is a cocktail for Hepatitis Disease and liver failure.
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A,B and other disease including pneumonia – It is important to take precautions and vaccinations are the best for the same. Contact your local hospital or doctor and get your dosage. Follow the dosage plan.
- Avoid over the counter pain medicine – This can interfere with your body’s metabolism and can affect your liver. A number of pain medications directly affect the liver as a side effect. Do not self medicate. It is best to consult a doctor and follow a prescribed clinical plan.
- Wash hands after going to bathroom, changing diapers and dirty clothes – Hygiene is most important to prevent Hepatitis. Keep yourself and your children clean. It is important to take care of your house cleanliness too.
Avoid giving the disease e.g.-Hepatitis B to other people by:
- Using a Latex condom during sex.
- Telling sex partners that you have disease
- Not sharing toothbrushes, razors and needles
- Family screening
Treatment methods recommended for Hepatitis:
- Get plenty of rest till jaundices and appetite is back.
- Increase fluid intake.
- Special medicines for Hepatitis B & C
Pay attention to food safety – Most important step to prevent Hepatitis:
- Wash hands and knifes and cutting board after cutting raw food.
- Keep fridge cooler than 40 degree Fahrenheit.
- Don’t drink unpasteurized milk.
- Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them.
- Cook eggs until the yolk is firm.
- Cook meat and seafood until moll done.
- Avoid water of unknown purity, food from street vendors.