Hepatitis in Texas
Ready to Consult a GI Physician?Find a Provider
What is hepatitis?
Around the world, almost 300 million individuals are living their lives unaware that they have a condition called viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, broken down to its most fundamental description, involves swelling or inflammation of the liver. Most commonly heard of are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The three types of hepatitis mentioned here are categorized according to the strain of the virus that leads to liver inflammation. Each individual variation of viral hepatitis can practically be considered a unique disease since each variation responds to varying treatments. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with, or suspects, a form of hepatitis, contact Texas Digestive Disease Consultants today. Our seasoned gastroenterology specialists regularly treat patients with hepatitis in Texas.
Hepatitis A (HAV)
The variation referred to as hepatitis A (HAV) is found to be extremely infectious and generally infects people that consume beverages or foods that have been exposed to fecal excrements or other individuals that have been infected by the disease. Although very communicable, it is not exceptionally harmful in comparison with other forms of hepatitis. HAV is preventable by a vaccine and can be addressed by a medical professional.
People with hepatitis A could experience symptoms that include:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Vomiting and nausea
- Dark urine
- Unexplained weight loss
- A yellowing of the eyes and/or skin (Jaundice)
- Loss of appetite
The standard treatment for hepatitis A is to get plenty of rest, consume fluids, and avoid alcohol. The majority of the time, hepatitis A will subside on its own. To avoid hepatitis A, patients can receive a hepatitis A vaccine from your healthcare provider or our Texas gastroenterology team.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
The virus hepatitis B (HBV) is a more severe type of hepatitis infection. Without proper medical care, it can potentially result in liver failure and even liver cancer. When adults get HBV, their bodies can usually fight it off over a few months. After the virus has abated, an immunity develops. Should a baby get HBV during birth, however, the disease will most likely be chronic. Hepatitis B is usually communicable via saliva, sexual fluids, blood, using a needle after someone with the virus, or passed from an infected pregnant woman to her child during birth.
Some of the common symptoms of hepatitis B include:
- Aching joints
- Persistent fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Light-colored stool
If you may have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, it is important to see your provider at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants as soon as possible. The quicker you undergo care, the better.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Generally spread through blood and other bodily fluids, hepatitis C (HCV) is an additional viral infection that can cause damage to the liver. This variation can develop into two different forms, acute hepatitis C or chronic hepatitis C.
- Acute hepatitis C is less concerning and commonly lasts for six months. Following the six-month time period, most individuals' immune systems will overpower the virus.
- Chronic hepatitis C develops when the immune system cannot fight off the infection within the first six months and the virus causes infection in the body for an extended timeframe. This type of hepatitis C may lead to chronic medical problems, such as hepatic cirrhosis (liver cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
The most common symptoms of hepatitis C are listed below:
- Itchy skin
- Extreme exhaustion
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, dark urine)
- Swelling in the legs
- Joint pain
- Slurred speech
- Unintentional weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Clay-colored stool
- Bruise easily
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleed easily
Hepatitis C has a cure rate of more than 90%. Routine treatment methods for hepatitis C involve:
- Antiviral drugs
- Liver transplant (chronic HCV)
How can I avoid getting hepatitis?
The greatest protection against developing hepatitis A or B is to undergo vaccination for the viral infection. It is advised to have children receive a vaccine for hepatitis A somewhere between the ages of 12 months to 23 months, but patients can also have the vaccine at any time after that. Vaccination for hepatitis B is generally given to newborns, but you can receive the vaccine at any stage in life. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Further healthy methods to prevent contracting hepatitis include the following:
- Do not share personal hygiene products, such as toothbrushes, razors, etc.
- When having sex, use protection
- Make certain any needles you use are sterilized, such as when getting tattoos or piercings or if using illicit drugs
- If traveling, check if the place you are going has high incidences of hepatitis infection
- Avoid consuming uncooked meat and unclean food or water, and purchasing food from street vendors
- Make sure to always wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom or coming into contact with any bodily fluids
Treatment for patients with hepatitis
Though a hepatitis infection could potentially result in serious medical problems, including hepatic cancer and loss of liver function, it can typically be treated with help from your GI physician. If you are experiencing any distressing GI symptoms or signs, such as any of those mentioned above, request a consultation at a Texas Digestive Disease Consultants location near you as soon as possible. As physician-led group of gastroenterologists, we offer quality, patient-centered care. To learn more about the treatments available for all types of hepatitis in Texas, talk to our caring team today.
This is a top-of-the-line office. Very thorough measuring of all your possible problems. They don't leave anything to guessing. They cured me of hepatitis C which is phenomenal.
Dr. Very has been my doctor for at least 15 years. He treated me for Hepatitis C at a time when the cure was multiple pills daily and a self administered shot once a week. Being free of Hepatitis C is truly a lifesaver. I would refer anyone in need of diagnosis and treatment to Dr.Vesy.
It's been many years since I got a follow-up call from the doctor himself. I was very impressed that he took the time to call and give me information on my surgery.
I feel like Dr Stevens saved my life. He was on top of every trail drug that came out for Hepatitis C and had me in every one until we found one that cured my Hep C. What a wonderful doctor and man.
Dr Mathews was very familiar with my medical records and gave me information and advised me of necessary test to determine my diagnosis.