Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a generic term, meaning infection or inflammation of the liver that causes loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, flu-like body aches and cold symptoms, aversion to smoking and bright light, fever, dark urine, painfully enlarged liver, and yellow-tingeing of the eyes and skin. The inflammation can be from any of a number of viruses that directly infect and attack the liver tissues; from chemical toxins, such as alcohol or some anesthetic gasses used to put you to sleep for surgery; and from certain medications, most notably the anti-inflammatory arthritis medicines.

HepatitisViral infection of the liver can occur from various strains of hepatitis viruses (called A, B, C, or D) that directly destroy liver tissue, as well as the inflammation of the liver caused by the Epstein-Barr (mono) virus and others. The true hepatitis viruses also differ in their routes of transmission. Type A hepatitis occurs through eating or drinking food or water contaminated by fecal waste. Type B typically passes by sharing body fluids, and types C and D are passed through contaminated blood products.

What makes hepatitis worse?

• Avoid drinking alcohol. Refer to the discussion under the heading Alcoholism for further information about what helps and harms a liver inflamed by alcohol overuse.

• A diet high in sugar can worsen the inflammation to the liver from any cause; however, especially in the case of viral hepatitis, the immune-defense-system-weakening sugar becomes especially important. A weak immune system makes you more vulnerable to infection from any cause. Recommendation: Eliminate sugar from your diet by curtailing your intake of table sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, and all products made with these substances.

•  Supplementation with large doses of vitamin A can actually cause inflammation of the liver; unfortunately, you may also become deficient in this vitamin when your liver has been damaged by alcohol abuse. Recommendation: Although you may need some additional vitamin A, you should supplement this vitamin only under the direct supervision of your personal physician if you have hepatitis.

 
 
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