Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of Hepatitis, types A, B, C, D, and E. Vaccines are available for types A and B, with the Hepatitis B vaccine also protecting against Hepatitis D. Hepatitis E occurs mostly in developing countries. A vaccine has been developed for Hepatitis E, but this vaccine is not as widely accessible as the vaccines for A and B. Hepatitis C, however, does not currently have a vaccine. Following safe behaviors may help a person prevent infection. Hepatitis C is passed through blood and bodily fluids, so using condoms, not sharing needles, and thoroughly researching sanitization policies before receiving tattoos or piercings may go a long way to prevent infection.
Hepatitis C is treatable, and sometimes even curable, but it has the potential to cause serious, long-term damage to the liver. It may lead to cirrhosis, a deep scarring of the liver. This condition is responsible for more liver transplants than any other condition. While this information may sound bleak, it does not necessarily mean that a Hepatitis C patient is doomed.
Choosing the doctor who will help you treat your hepatitis is something that deserves serious consideration. Though Hepatitis C is, in some cases, curable, chances are that you will be spending a lot of time with the medical team treating you, and it is important that you trust your doctor’s ability to treat your condition. There are many specializations in medicine that deal with the liver, but it may prove invaluable to choose the care of somebody who has had a great deal of experience treating Hepatitis C.
Any chronic disease may cause significant distress for an affected patient. Even if you have great supportive friends and family members, you may want to consider joining a support group for the extra support and motivation. Also common in chronic disease patients is depression or anxiety. The risk of these conditions is heightened with Hepatitis C, since some forms of treatment carry depressive symptoms as a side effect. Participation in a support group may help a patient cope with depression, but therapy and antidepressants may be more effective for certain people.