Chronic hepatitis: symptoms and treatment
Chronic hepatitis — inflammatory-dystrophic liver damage, leading to a violation of its functionality and lasting more than six months. With this pathology, the lobular structure of the organ remains, but inflammatory-dystrophic changes take place in it, and without treatment the disease develops into cirrhosis, which can cause death. That is why the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and other forms should be carried out under the close supervision of a doctor who individually selects the dosage of medicines and supplements therapy with traditional medicine.
Most often this disease has a latent flow, that is, the symptoms of pathology are extremely vague and do not give an accurate idea of the nature of disorders in the body. The early symptoms include:
- a slight increase in body temperature;
- Unspecified nausea;
- decreased appetite
- mood reduction;
- general malaise and increased fatigue
Such symptoms can rarely be observed in muscle pains or even develop anorexia against a background of disgust of a person from habitual food.
With the progression of pathology, patients complain of pain under the ribs on the right side, which first appear only after eating, especially fried and fatty, and then acquire a permanent character.
Due to the fact that the symptoms are often absent or not expressed, it can be extremely difficult to diagnose in time, because patients attribute these symptoms to other diseases or even sin on stresses and poor ecology. Therefore, it is so important, with the slightest suspicion of a liver disruption, to consult a doctor for diagnosis.
It should be noted that in the medical classification, hepatitis is divided into six main types. Of these, two, A and E, never grow into a chronic form. The most common form of the disease is chronic hepatitis C, which is also the most complex pathology, because it is asymptomatic with the development of severe complications.
The disease is caused by the hepatitis C virus, which people often get infected in medical institutions, including in stomatokabinets. To infect this virus, it is required that the biological fluids of the patient or virus carrier enter the human body, which is possible when performing various medical manipulations, for example, injections into a vein or blood transfusions.
The most common ways of contracting viral hepatitis C are:
- unprotected sexual contact
- non-observance of personal hygiene (use of other towels, toothbrushes, manicure devices)
- transmission of infection from the mother to the child during labor;
- using one and the same disposable syringe by drug addicts
- Visit dental offices and manicure salons, where insufficient attention is paid to sanitizing tools.
Chronic viral hepatitis C can be asymptomatic for 10 or even 15 years, but still a strange symptomatology that should alert a person is present. In particular, he may suffer from persistent allergic reactions, often get sick with infectious and cold diseases, experience headaches, and even migraines. In addition, with pathology, symptoms of abnormalities in the functioning of the digestive tract are noted:
- loss of appetite
- Liver enlargement
- weight loss, etc.
If we talk about chronic hepatitis B, then they are most often infected parenterally, that is, through intravenous injections or blood transfusion. There is also a way of transmitting the virus from the mother to the fetus.
According to the ICD 10, chronic hepatitis B is indicated in the classification system in figures 18.0 and 18.1. The course of the disease is multivariate — it is entirely possible that a person, when a virus enters his body, will not suffer from his negative influence, but at the same time will be a virus carrier. The second variant of the current leads to the development of acute liver failure, and the third — to the development of cirrhosis and even a cancerous tumor.
A very dangerous variant is the combination of virus B and D, which is the cause of the development of co-infection. If the virus D joins the already developing in the body virus B, doctors say about superinfection. With this development of events, a lightning-fast form of the disease course is observed, and the person dies in the shortest time. The least studied is the virus G, which in its clinical picture is similar to the virus C.
There is also autoimmune chronic hepatitis, which is a consequence of autoimmune processes, which are more often affected by women. Medicinal hepatitis progresses also often — the liver is affected due to excessive use of medications.
In medical practice there is such a thing as cryptogenic chronic hepatitis, which is spoken about in cases when the causes of inflammatory-degenerative changes in the organ are not elucidated.
It is necessary to talk about chronic toxic hepatitis — a disease that is characterized by a sharp onset and rapid current. Developed pathology due to the impact on the body of various drugs, chemicals, industrial poisons and other harmful to the human body, poisoning substances.
If we talk about the forms of pathology, then chronic viral hepatitis C and B can be active and persistent. Chronic active hepatitis is a disease in which there is a pronounced tendency to develop cirrhosis of the liver. Such pathology can have both hepatic and extrahepatic manifestations, depending on which virus the disease is caused by. In particular, chronic active hepatitis C and B is characterized by severe symptoms characteristic of this pathology, but autoimmune or cryptogenic hepatitis hide behind the symptoms of other gastrointestinal diseases.
If we talk about chronic persistent hepatitis, then this pathology is the easiest form of the disease, with unexpressed symptomatology. With timely treatment and observance of the doctor’s recommendations, chronic persistent hepatitis is completely cured.
As it became clear from the above information, different forms of hepatitis develop due to certain reasons.
Of course, the main thing is getting a virus into the body of a healthy person. In addition, some factors can cause some types of pathology:
- Adverse environment
- alcohol and drug abuse
- work in adverse conditions
- uncontrolled use of drugs
- autoimmune pathologies
- reduction of body defenses
- Regular stresses and other negative factors.
To detect chronic viral hepatitis, it is necessary to conduct a complete examination of the patient. First of all, an anamnesis is being prepared, as well as human complaints. Then a visual inspection and palpation of the liver is performed, after which the doctor prescribes the necessary tests and instrumental diagnostic methods. Currently, diagnostic methods use the «ELISA» methods, which make it possible to establish accurately the presence in the organism of the causative agent of a particular form of viral hepatitis. An accurate diagnosis is established when HCV RNA markers are detected in human blood for half a year.
An important role in diagnosis is played by ultrasound examination and computed tomography. These studies allow us to clarify the degree of inflammatory-dystrophic disorders in the affected organ.
To date, chronic hepatitis is successfully treated, only long-term treatment and requiring a responsible approach. All patients who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, B and other hepatitis of a viral nature are prescribed antiviral therapy. To achieve success in treatment, it is recommended to treat viral hepatitis B and C in a medical institution so that the doctor can monitor the dosage of drugs taking into account the dynamics of pathology.
A single regimen for treating such a pathology as chronic hepatitis does not exist, because everything depends on the form of the disease and its stage. In particular, chronic viral hepatitis C is treated with antiviral drugs that prevent the progression of the disease, and chronic viral hepatitis B requires both antiviral and symptomatic therapy, which helps maintain the liver and improve its functional state. Disintoxication therapy is also prescribed.
If you talk about chronic persistent hepatitis, then in the remission phase, the disease does not require treatment — you just need to follow the doctor’s recommendations regarding nutrition in this pathology. If a period of exacerbation occurs, chronic persistent hepatitis is treated in a hospital — detoxification therapy is indicated by intravenous administration of saline, glucose and haemadeza.
Chronic active hepatitis, in which manifestations of the disease are pronounced, requires large-scale therapy with antiviral drugs and drugs that relieve local symptoms. Since chronic active hepatitis often causes serious complications, it is necessary to support the body by taking those drugs that protect certain internal organs from damage.
Important in the treatment of diet. It is forbidden to eat foods harmful to the body, including fatty and fried foods, sausages and canned foods, chicken eggs in any form and much more — it is recommended to adhere to diet number 5.
The following products are permitted:
- vegetables and fruits
- natural honey
- dried fruits
- Dietary types of fish and meat
- Vegetarian soups;
- Herbal teas.
A good combination of medicines and folk methods has a good effect in such a pathology as chronic hepatitis. In particular, chronic viral hepatitis C is successfully cured with cranberry infusion or regular use of birch sap. However, it should be remembered that such treatment is effective only in case of simultaneous reception of modern medicines, and in itself can not relieve this ailment.