Tuesday February 19, 2019

A Full Guide to Public Health Diesease Hepatitis

Considering the rate at which hepatitis is increasing, it is best to be aware of the condition, its symptoms and prevention methods.

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Injection and medicines
Hepatitis A and E are the commonly transmitted hepatotropic viruses transmitted due to poor hygiene, contaminated food and drinking water, poor sanitation, Pixabay

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), hepatitis is one of the widely-recognised public health diseases in India, and liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of death in the country.

Gone are the days when liver diseases were only associated with alcohol consumption, says Dr. D. Palaniyamma, Medical Advisor, The Himalaya Drug Company, while detailing all that you need to know about hepatitis.

Over the years, they are on a rise due to lifestyle changes and increased incidence of obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. If we were to go by the statistics, 5.2 crore people suffer from chronic hepatitis in India, and, every year, 10 lakh new patients are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.

Hepatits, Health
Representational Image. Flickr

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver; it damages liver cells and is normally caused by the hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E. Worldwide, these viruses are the common cause of hepatitis. However, hepatitis is also caused by autoimmune diseases, inappropriate intake of medications, and intake of alcohol and harmful toxins. Among the viral causes, hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common.

Hepatitis A: The hepatitis A virus can spread from person to person and is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water or food. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, low-grade fever, and pain in the liver area are a few of the symptoms to look out for.

Hepatitis B: The hepatitis B virus is transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen, and other body fluids. There are chances of transmission of the virus from an infected mother to her child during birth as well. The hepatitis B virus can remain dormant in the body for six months, before symptoms appear. Hence, it is imperative to be cautious of symptoms such as extreme fatigue, appetite loss, jaundice, pain in the liver area, nausea and vomiting, and get tested for hepatitis at the earliest. The WHO statistics reveal that four crore people are chronically affected by hepatitis B in India, and 1.15 lakh die due to the complications.

hepatitis, Health
Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
Hepatitis C: The hepatitis C virus is transmitted through exposure to infected blood. This happens through blood transfusions and other products/procedures that involve handling blood. There are no visible symptoms for hepatitis C infection, and hence, it remains undiagnosed. Severe hepatitis C infection can lead to liver damage and liver cirrhosis. Thus, hepatitis C is the cause of more deaths than hepatitis A and B.

Hepatitis D and E: Hepatitis D generally occurs in those with hepatitis B. Hepatitis E virus is transmitted mainly through contaminated water.

Prevention and Treatment: With hepatic infections on the rise, the need of the hour is to create awareness about the viruses. Most people with hepatitis are unaware of the infection, thus leading to late diagnosis and not getting the right kind of treatment.

hepatitis, Health
Hepatitis Vaccination. Flickr

Avoid drinking contaminated water, especially from areas with poor sanitation. Ensure that a fresh needle/syringe is used on you each time, to avoid virus contraction through contaminated needles/syringes. Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for children, since they are at a higher risk of developing the infection.

Since the liver performs multiple functions, such as eliminating toxins from the body and purifying the blood, it is imperative that the liver be healthy for good overall health. Natural ingredients and medications can help suppress and clear the hepatitis viruses from the body, thus establishing a conducive environment for the liver to restore and function optimally.

Also Read: Japan Bans Smoking Inside Public Facilities, Seen By Critics as Pointless

Herbs like Nut Grass (Musta) and Umbrella’s Edge (Nagaramustaka) can lower the viral load on the liver. Furthermore, their anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties can help in managing liver diseases efficiently while normalising liver enzyme levels and liver functions.

Considering the rate at which hepatitis is increasing, it is best to be aware of the condition, its symptoms and prevention methods. Consult your physician and get your liver tested to ensure the well-being of your liver. (IANS)

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Know How Higher Intake of Sodium Can Treat Lightheadedness

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

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"Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms," Juraschek said. Pixabay

Higher sodium intake should not be used as a treatment for lightheadedness, say researchers challenging current guidelines for sodium consumption.

Lightheadedness while standing, known as postural lightheadedness, results from gravitational drop in blood pressure and is common among adults.

Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions.

However, contrary to this recommendation, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) found that higher sodium intake, actually increases dizziness.

“Our study has clinical and research implications,” said Stephen Juraschek, researcher from BIDMC in Boston.

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Greater sodium intake is widely viewed as an intervention for preventing lightheadedness when moving from seated to standing positions. Pixabay

“Our results serve to caution health practitioners against recommending increased sodium intake as a universal treatment for lightheadedness. Additionally, our results demonstrate the need for additional research to understand the role of sodium, and more broadly of diet, on lightheadedness,” Juraschek said.

For the study, reported in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, the team used data from the completed DASH-Sodium trial, a randomised crossover study that looked at the effects of three different sodium levels (1500, 2300, and 3300 mg/d) on participants’ blood pressure for four weeks.

While the trial showed that lower sodium led to decrease in blood pressure, it also suggested that concerns about lower level of sodium causing dizziness may not be scientifically correct.

Also Read: ‘It Has Been A Very Long Process, But Ultimately A Very Successful Process’: South Korea Agrees to Pay More for U.S. Troops

The study also questioned recommendations to use sodium to treat lightheadedness, an intervention that could have negative effects on cardiovascular health.

“Health practitioners initiating sodium interventions for orthostatic symptoms now have some evidence that sodium might actually worsen symptoms,” Juraschek said.

“Clinicians should check on symptoms after initiation and even question the utility of this approach. More importantly, research is needed to understand the effects of sodium on physical function, particularly in older adults.” (IANS)