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Hepatitis

Hepatitis services offered in Richmond, Colonial Heights, Midlothian, N. Chesterfield, Short Pump, Henrico and Mechanicsville, VA

Approximately 24,000 Americans develop viral hepatitis (types A, B, and C) every year. At Richmond Gastroenterology Associates, with eight offices throughout Richmond, Colonial Heights, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Mechanicsville, Virginia, the team of hepatitis experts provides patient-focused care to relieve symptoms and enhance your quality of life. Book your appointment through online scheduling or call the office nearest to you now.

Hepatitis Q & A

What is viral hepatitis?

Viral hepatitis is a group of diseases that damage the liver. The most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States are:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a virus that usually causes short-term sickness, including issues like abdominal pain, jaundice, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The most common source of hepatitis A is food poisoning. Hepatitis A usually resolves independently, but can occasionally cause complications, including liver failure.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that can cause symptoms similar to hepatitis A, with common issues including jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. This type of hepatitis typically resolves naturally; however, in some cases, it can become chronic. Hepatitis B is spread by blood exposure or contact with other bodily fluids, usually through sexual intercourse. 

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C may be acute or chronic, with about half of people who have the virus developing the chronic form. It’s typically asymptomatic in the early stages. Many people don’t know they have hepatitis C until they experience liver damage, often years later. This type of hepatitis spreads through blood contact.

Hepatitis D and E are two other forms of the disease. Both are rare in the United States but may occur in people who traveled to places where the viruses are more common. 

What is nonviral hepatitis?

Nonviral hepatitis is noninfectious hepatitis. It causes symptoms similar to those of viral hepatitis, but it occurs for different reasons. Some of the most common types of nonviral hepatitis include:

  • Alcoholic hepatitis from excessive alcohol use long-term
  • Autoimmune hepatitis in which your immune system attacks your liver
  • Toxic hepatitis from poisons, medications, chemicals, or other sources

Nonviral hepatitis has similar symptoms to viral hepatitis symptoms. 

How is hepatitis treated?

Hepatitis treatment depends on the kind of hepatitis you have (acute or chronic) and what kind of symptoms you’re dealing with. Rest and fluids may be enough to help your body fight off some types of hepatitis.

You may need to make some changes in your life, like quitting drinking. If you have chronic hepatitis, you may need antiviral medication, a medication to reduce liver inflammation, or other types of medication based on the type of the disease. Early treatment is vital because it can help to prevent complications like cirrhosis (liver scarring). 

Most children have hepatitis A and B vaccinations, but there’s currently no vaccination available for hepatitis C. So, along with vaccinations, making smart choices and protecting yourself wherever possible is the best way to prevent hepatitis.

For compassionate hepatitis help, call Richmond Gastroenterology Associates or use the booking tool now.