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Can You Really Catch Hepatitis from Everyday Living? What You Need to Know

Hepatitis, a threatening disease causing around 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year, is a disease where liver cells are destroyed due to inflammation in the liver caused by the hepatitis virus. Hepatitis is divided into acute and chronic depending on the duration of the disease, and chronic hepatitis is referred to when hepatitis does not heal for more than six months. Types of hepatitis include viral A and B types, C type, alcoholic hepatitis, toxic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, fulminant hepatitis, etc. As hepatitis occurs due to various causes, misunderstandings about hepatitis are also gradually increasing. Let’s then unravel the misconceptions and truths about hepatitis.

Does hepatitis increase the risk of liver cancer?

Is it true that the risk of liver cancer increases if you have hepatitis? In the case of type A hepatitis, it only progresses acutely and does not damage liver cells, so it is said not to progress to liver cancer. However, type B and C hepatitis have a high probability of leading to liver diseases such as liver cancer. In the case of type B and C hepatitis, they can destroy liver cells and damage the liver as they become chronic over a long period.

Can hepatitis patients breastfeed?

It is not an exaggeration to say that there are no absolute contraindications to breastfeeding except for chemotherapy, radioactive isotope drugs, and AIDS infections. Although the recommendations vary slightly depending on the type of hepatitis, breastfeeding is not prohibited. It’s good to pump and store breast milk until the cause of hepatitis is clear. Also, breastfeeding mothers with type B and C hepatitis need to be careful not to bleed from wounds on the nipples.

Is type B hepatitis transmitted through communal living?

Type B hepatitis is transmitted by direct contact with infected blood through procedures using unsterilized equipment or sexual intercourse. It is said that the possibility of transmission through daily activities such as using the same tableware or sharing a glass of alcohol is very slim. What you need to be careful about in daily life is type A hepatitis. To prevent type A hepatitis, it is important to avoid consuming uncooked food or contaminated water and to maintain cleanliness by washing hands frequently.

Is type A hepatitis more severe in children?

Type A hepatitis is more severe when infected as an adult than when infected as a child. In the case of children, antibodies are formed, and immunity is maintained after suffering from symptoms similar to a mild cold. However, in adults, symptoms such as fatigue and muscle pain are onset, followed by loss of appetite and vomiting, and later, the color of urine becomes thick, and jaundice occurs. Hospital treatment is required, and if the liver function is completely lost, it can lead to death.

If you have type B hepatitis, are you always sick?

There are cases where type B hepatitis goes on for years or decades without symptoms. This is why type B hepatitis is called a silent killer. Some patients progress to liver cirrhosis without symptoms. Initially, many complain of vague constitutional symptoms, so caution is needed, and the degree of symptoms felt varies depending on the progression of liver disease.

Do hepatitis patients bruise easily?

Do hepatitis patients bruise easily? Bruising is rarely observed in people with temporarily impaired liver function, like acute hepatitis. Still, it is easily observed in chronic liver disease patients where the liver is significantly damaged, such as cirrhosis. If you find yourself bruised here and there without knowing it, you should think that your liver function has decreased and visit a hospital.

If you have hepatitis, even if you don’t drink alcohol, does your liver somatic index go up?

Even if you don’t drink alcohol and your liver somatic index goes up, you might have a fatty liver. 25% of patients with a fatty liver have elevated liver somatic index, which is due to inflammation caused by a fatty liver called fatty hepatitis. A diet is needed to improve the liver, and it is said that if you lose 7% of your body weight, the signs of a fatty liver disappear.

What food should liver disease patients avoid?

What food should liver disease patients avoid? First of all, as soon as it is diagnosed with liver disease, it is best to quit drinking. No particular food is good for the liver, but it is good to avoid instant and stimulating food. Consuming moderate rice and side dishes, seasonal fruits, and healthy meat and protein evenly is the most important.

Can you get type A hepatitis again after recovery?

In the case of type A hepatitis, once recovered, antibodies against type A hepatitis are formed, and the protective effect continues without recurring. Also, it does not infect others. However, type A hepatitis has an incubation period, so even after you have recovered, family members or people around you may develop type A hepatitis later, so caution is needed.

If you get vaccinated for hepatitis prevention, do you not have to worry about infection for life?

Currently, the vaccines to prevent hepatitis are only for type A and B, and there is no preventive vaccine for type C hepatitis. Type A hepatitis requires two preventive vaccinations at 6-month intervals, and most maintain lifelong immunity. In the case of type B hepatitis, if you get three preventive vaccinations over 6 months, most maintain immunity for life. However, some people may not form immune antibodies, so after completing the type B hepatitis vaccination, it is good to check whether immune antibodies have formed.

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