HERIBERTO SEDENO, M.D., LECTURE ON HEPATITIS

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Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are, however, other causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis (a disease occurring when the body makes antibodies against the liver tissue) and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins and alcohol.

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HERIBERTO SEDENO, M.D., LECTURE ON HEPATITIS

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Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are, however, other causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis (a disease occurring when the body makes antibodies against the liver tissue) and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins and alcohol. The liver is located on the upper right side of the abdomen. It performs many critical functions that affect metabolism throughout the body, including: bile production that is essential to digestion filtering of toxins from the body excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins

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activation of enzymes (specialized proteins essential to metabolic functions) storage of glycogen, vitamins (a, d and k), and minerals synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin synthesis of clotting factors According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 4.4 million Americans living with chronic hepatitis, and many more are unaware that they have it (CDC). Viral infections of the liver that are classified as hepatitis are: hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses. Hepatitis A is a milder version of the disease, whereas hepatitis D is more severe. Treatment options vary depending on what form of hepatitis is diagnosed, and what caused it. Some forms of hepatitis are preventable.

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If you have forms of hepatitis that are usually chronic (hepatitis B and C), you may not have symptoms in the beginning. Symptoms may not occur until liver damage occurs. Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly. They include: fatigue flu-like symptoms dark urine pale-colored stool abdominal pain loss of appetite unexplained weight loss yellow skin and eyes (may be signs of jaundice)

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Since chronic hepatitis develops slowly, these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to notice.

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