Dr. Taiwo Sofoluwe
Symptoms of hepatitis you should know about

The symptoms of Hepatitis can start subtle. Yet, they can be grave if not properly taken care of. Hepatitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the liver, usually caused by viral infections. There are five main types of hepatitis, namely A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E are commonly transmitted through poor hygiene and contaminated food and water, while hepatitis B, C, and D are primarily spread through contact with infected blood, sperm, or bodily fluids.

If left undiagnosed, chronic hepatitis infections can lead to severe complications leading to symptoms of hepatitis such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, making it the leading cause of these conditions. However, the good news is that a simple blood test can help identify the presence of the infection, even in individuals who may not exhibit any symptoms.

Symptoms of hepatitis you should know about


Here are some essential facts about hepatitis:

  1. Prevalence: Hepatitis B is the most common type of hepatitis worldwide, affecting millions of people. In total, around 400 million individuals are infected with hepatitis globally, leading to approximately 1.4 million deaths each year.
  2. Transmission: Hepatitis C is particularly worrisome as it is estimated to be 10 times more infectious than HIV, and hepatitis B is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.


Common symptoms of hepatitis include fever, reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, joint pain, itchy skin, dark urine, headache, and jaundice.

Individuals at higher risk of contracting hepatitis include those who share needles, come into contact with blood or inject drugs, engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners, and men who have sex with men.


To protect yourself and others from hepatitis, here’s what you should do:

  1. Get tested: Regular testing is crucial, especially if you belong to any high-risk groups or suspect exposure to the virus.
  2. Get vaccinated: Vaccines are available for both hepatitis A and B. If you haven’t been vaccinated and test negative for these viruses, consider getting immunized to reduce the risk of infection.
  3. Get treated: If you test positive for hepatitis, seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the infection and prevent complications.

Hepatitis and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a joyous and transformative time in a woman’s life, but it also comes with added responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. For women who are affected by hepatitis, whether it’s chronic or acute, this time can bring about unique challenges that require careful management and medical attention. Understanding the implications of hepatitis during pregnancy is crucial for safeguarding the health of both the expectant mother and the unborn child.

Prenatal Screening and Care:

During prenatal care, healthcare providers routinely screen pregnant women for various infections, including hepatitis B and C. If you are pregnant or planning to conceive and have a history of hepatitis, experienced symptoms of hepatitis or any risk factors, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider to ensure comprehensive screening and appropriate management.

Managing Hepatitis During Pregnancy:

The management of hepatitis during pregnancy involves a collaborative approach between the expectant mother, her obstetrician, and a hepatologist or infectious disease specialist. Here are some key considerations:

Antiviral Treatment: For women with chronic hepatitis B, antiviral medications may be prescribed during pregnancy to reduce viral replication and the risk of transmission to the baby.

Monitoring Liver Function: Regular monitoring of liver function is essential to assess the impact and symptoms of hepatitis on the mother’s health and detect any signs of liver damage.

Cesarean Section (C-section) Delivery: In some cases, women with a high viral load of hepatitis B may be recommended to deliver their babies via C-section to further reduce the risk of transmission.

Avoiding Breastfeeding (for Hepatitis B): If the mother has hepatitis B, it is generally recommended to avoid breastfeeding to prevent transmission to the baby through breast milk.

Postnatal Care: After delivery, the baby will be tested for hepatitis B and C. If the baby is found to be infected, further evaluation and appropriate care will be provided to manage the condition effectively.

In conclusion, understanding hepatitis and its different types is essential for taking preventive measures and promoting public health. By getting tested, vaccinated, and seeking timely treatment, we can collectively work towards reducing the burden of hepatitis and protecting our liver health. Stay informed, stay safe! If you will like to buy a health plan, feel free to click here to get a quote.

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