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Liver Cirrhosis: The Impact of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Infections You Should Know About

A Old Man if felling pain because of Impact of Hepatitis B and C

To prevent such complications it is essential to consult a gastroenterologist or hepatologist to find the best treatment. Dr. K V Dinesh Reddy, with over a decade of extensive clinical experience in the field, is one of the best gastroenterologists in Hyderabad.

 Keep reading to learn about hepatitis and the risks it poses for developing long-term conditions. Also, discover preventive measures to minimize the risk of liver damage.

 To prevent such complications it is essential to consult a gastroenterologist or hepatologist to find the best treatment. Dr. K V Dinesh Reddy, with over a decade of extensive clinical experience in the field, is one of the best gastroenterologists in Hyderabad.

 Keep reading to learn about hepatitis and the risks it poses for developing long-term conditions. Also, discover preventive measures to minimize the risk of liver damage.

The Progression of Chronic Hepatitis to Liver Cirrhosis

Chronic infections with hepatitis B (HBV) and/or hepatitis C (HBC) viruses are the leading causes of cirrhosis worldwide. Cirrhosis develops after 10-20 years of viral hepatitis.

 Chronic hepatitis is inflammation of your liver that lasts at least six months. It is commonly caused by HBV, HCV and certain drugs. The condition is not as common as acute hepatitis but can persist for years and even decades. Most people have no or mild symptoms, but some might experience vague symptoms such as loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, and fatigue. However, in some individuals, chronic hepatitis slowly causes inflammation and damage to the liver.

 The liver has an extraordinary capacity to heal after damage.  But, in cases of chronic hepatitis, the process is interrupted due to the repeated injury caused over the years. Eventually, the working efficiency of the liver declines and results in cirrhosis.

 Cirrhosis is a disorder in which healthy liver tissue is replaced by inactive scar tissue. The condition decreases liver function, which can lead to liver failure and, in rare cases, liver cancer.

Factors Influencing the Progression of Cirrhosis

A Patient is consult with Doctor because of Impact of Hepatitis B and C
A Patient is consult with Doctor because of Impact of Hepatitis B and C

Several common lifestyle factors can speed up the risk of cirrhosis, including:

  1. Consuming alcohol
  2. Having HCV and another
  3. virus, like HIV or hepatitis B
  4. Having a lot of iron in the blood

Anyone suffering from a chronic HCV infection should abstain from alcohol. Cirrhosis can also worsen in adults over 45 when fibrosis and scarring worsen. In younger individuals, aggressive HCV treatment may help prevent the development of cirrhosis.

Diagnosing Hepatitis and Its Complications

If hepatitis is left untreated, it can lead to significant problems. To diagnose hepatitis, the doctor will advise a blood test to detect the virus and determine its type. Other tests, including imaging tests, such as an MRI, ultrasound, or CT scan, and a liver biopsy might also be recommended.

Preventing Cirrhosis Caused by Hepatitis

Vaccination against hepatitis B and C viruses is the best way to protect against cirrhosis.

To prevent the progression of chronic hepatitis into cirrhosis, consider the following steps:

Regular Screenings

If you have HBV and HCV, regular screenings for liver cirrhosis are crucial. This helps catch any development of cirrhosis at an early stage, allowing for timely intervention.

Vaccination and Timely Treatment

Ensure you receive vaccinations on schedule for hepatitis B and seek treatment for HBV and HCV as recommended by your doctor. Timely treatment can help manage the progression of liver damage.

Avoid Alcohol

Steering clear of alcohol is essential for maintaining liver health. Alcohol consumption can exacerbate liver damage, especially if you have hepatitis.

Healthy Lifestyle

Embrace a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing your weight. These measures contribute to overall liver health.

Regular Medical Check-ups

If you’ve been dealing with chronic hepatitis, it’s advisable to schedule regular medical check-ups. These check-ups can monitor the status of your liver health and address any concerns promptly.

Once you’ve successfully undergone treatment, the risk of encountering other liver complications is greatly minimized.

Effective Treatments for HBV, HCV, and Cirrhosis

Treating chronic hepatitis

Whether it’s HBV or HCV, if you have cirrhosis, you need treatment for that too. Advanced cirrhosis becomes difficult to treat due to complications like ascites (build-up of fluid in your abdomen) and hepatic encephalopathy (impaired brain function due to liver dysfunction).

 Ascites is treated by limiting salt consumption and using a diuretic (a medicine that helps the kidneys expel more sodium and water into the urine).

 Treating hepatic encephalopathy involves medications to assist the body in clearing toxic substances that might cause brain function to degrade.

 If the complications worsen, liver transplantation may be necessary. It is the only effective cure for advanced cirrhosis.

Treating chronic hepatitis

Whether it’s HBV or HCV, if you have cirrhosis, you need treatment for that too. Advanced cirrhosis becomes difficult to treat due to complications like ascites (build-up of fluid in your abdomen) and hepatic encephalopathy (impaired brain function due to liver dysfunction).

Ascites is treated by limiting salt consumption and using a diuretic (a medicine that helps the kidneys expel more sodium and water into the urine).

Treating hepatic encephalopathy involves medications to assist the body in clearing toxic substances that might cause brain function to degrade.

If the complications worsen, liver transplantation may be necessary. It is the only effective cure for advanced cirrhosis.

Takeaway

Major cases of cirrhosis occur due to hepatitis B and C infections. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize the prompt treatment of hepatitis to prevent further damage to the liver.

Individuals who are infected with both HBV and HCV should have their liver cirrhosis checked. In the initial stages, cirrhosis might not exhibit noticeable symptoms. As a result, even if one doesn’t experience any apparent symptoms, it is strongly recommended to undergo screening. Timely diagnosis and effective management are key. Individuals with cirrhosis can live for many years, particularly when the condition is detected early and well-managed.

Consult Dr. K V Dinesh Reddy, one of the best gastroenterologists in Hyderabad, who specializes not only in providing effective treatments but also in ensuring prompt and accurate diagnosis. This aspect is particularly crucial in cases of hepatitis, where timely and precise diagnosis can make a significant difference in the overall outcome of the disease.

Best gastroenterologists in Hyderabad

Dr. K V Dinesh Reddy

MBBS; MS (Gen.Surg); DNB (Surg.Gastro)

Dr K V Dinesh Reddy is the gastroenterologists in Hyderabad with over 10 years of experience in hernia treatment.

He has treated hundreds of hernia patients which makes him the gastroenterologists in Hyderabad and known as the Best Bariatric surgeon in Hyderabad.

He strongly believes that surgery should only be considered as a last resort and prefers a holistic approach to treatment. So, if a disease can be effectively treated with medication, he never recommends surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the questions you might have about Liver Cirrhosis: The Impact of Hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis B or C can cause cirrhosis, but it usually takes many years for this to happen. For most people, it can take 20 to 30 years of having the virus to develop cirrhosis. However, this can vary. Some people might develop it faster, especially if they have other health issues like heavy alcohol use or other liver problems. Regular check-ups and early treatment can help slow down or prevent cirrhosis.

Early signs of liver cirrhosis in hepatitis patients can include feeling very tired, losing appetite, and having a swollen belly. You might also notice yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is called jaundice. Other signs include easy bruising, itchy skin, and dark urine. If you experience any of these symptoms

Yes, vaccination can help prevent hepatitis B infections. There is a safe and effective vaccine available for hepatitis B, which is given in a series of three shots. This vaccine helps your body build immunity against the hepatitis B virus, reducing the risk of infection. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C yet. For hepatitis C, it’s important to avoid risky behaviors like sharing needles and to get regular medical check-ups if you are at risk.

Cirrhosis increases the risk of liver cancer due to long-term liver damage. Common risk factors include chronic hepatitis B or C infection, heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, and diabetes. Certain genetic disorders and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can also contribute. Regular screening and management of these conditions can help reduce the risk of liver cancer in people with cirrhosis. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options.

 

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