Friday, August 31, 2012

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Hepatitis

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that can inflame and damage the liver. Unlike other forms of hepatitis, hepatitis A is usually mild and does not last long. Usually spread in contaminated food or water, hepatitis A also can be passed during sexual practices that involve the anus.

In rare cases, hepatitis A can be spread by contact with the blood of a person who has the infection, for instance, when intravenous drug users share needles.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

If the infection is mild, there may not be any symptoms, especially in a child. When symptoms appear, they can include:

• Tiredness

• Loss of appetite

• Fever

• Nausea

• Tenderness in the stomach area

• Dark, tea-colored urine

• Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)

Treatment of Hepatitis A

There are no drugs to treat hepatitis A. Doctors generally recommend getting bed rest, eating well-balanced meals, drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding alcoholic beverages. It is also essential to avoid medications that can be toxic to your liver, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

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