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HEPATITIS IN EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS IN PAKISTAN

Hepatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis including autoimmune hepatitis, drug-induced hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease to name a few. If you want to know more about hepatitis and how you can protect yourself form getting it, find a physician online and get expert medical advice at home.

We will be talking mainly about viral hepatitis since it is the most common type in Pakistan and is rampantly on the rise. 

What does the liver do?

Your liver is considered to be one of the major organs in the body. It is located in the right upper part of your abdomen. It is responsible for several critical functions such as:

  • regulating metabolism throughout your body
  • bile production, which is essential for digestion
  • filtering and removing toxins from your body
  • excretion of bilirubin (a product of broken-down red blood cells), cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
  • breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • activation of enzymes, which are specialized proteins essential to body functions
  • storage of glycogen (a form of sugar), minerals, and vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
  • synthesis of blood proteins, such as albumin
  • synthesis of clotting factors

You can find a physician online or ask a doctor online if you have a specific question regarding liver health. Download an online doctor app on your smartphone and access top notch physician online with just a few clicks. 

How common is hepatitis in Pakistan?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, approximately 4.4 million Americans are currently living with chronic hepatitis B and C. Many more people don’t even know that they have hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and a rising cause for concern in Asian countries, particularly Pakistan. Weather it is transmitted by blood or water/food the increasing burden of the hepatitis virus is alarming for Pakistan. 

Whether you live in Lahore, Karachi or Peshawar, you can find a physician online and book an online doctor’s appointment today. Discuss preventive measures with your online doctor and keep yourself and your family safe. 

Studies show that within the region, Pakistan and Egypt bear the highest burden of hepatitis and within Pakistan around 12 million people are suffering from hepatitis B or C. There are about 150,000 new cases each year!

Treatment options vary depending on which type of hepatitis you have. You can prevent some forms of hepatitis through immunizations and lifestyle precautions. Have you gotten the hepatitis vaccine? If not, contact your doctor or find a physician online and ask about the vaccine. Download the My live doctors app on Get it as soon as you can. 

Different types of hepatitis

There are 5 different types of viral hepatitis namely Hep A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E infections are transmitted by consuming food and water contaminated with the respective viruses. More commonly found in areas with poor sanitation and contaminated water supply. 

If you live or work in an area where clean water is scarce, then take appropriate measures to ensure the water is filtered or boiled before consumption. Avoid buying food from street vendors. Make sure the produce you buy is thoroughly washed and cleaned before use. Further talk to a healthcare provider about additional measures you can take to prevent hepatitis. Talk to a physician online. Look up your doctor at My live doctors and book a doctors appointment on line. If you live in Lahore, then find a physician online in Lahore, one that is familiar with the local disease trend. 

Hepatitis B, C and D are transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the respective hepatitis viruses. Sharing contaminated syringes for injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, sharing razors with an infected person, or contaminated surgical instruments particularly dental tools may cause hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C are at the forefront in Pakistan while hepatitis D often occurs in conjunction with Hepatitis B. 

If you or a family member require blood transfusion or a dental procedure, make sure the blood is screened and instruments sterilized respectively. Find and connect  with a physician online and ask about which hospitals/blood banks provide screened blood and are safe to use. Get expert medical advice on the go at My live doctors. 

The incidence of hepatitis is extremely high in rural areas. Online physicians are playing their role through telemedicine in raising awareness about this serious medical condition and making prevention the key aspect of management. 

There are other causes of non-infectious hepatitis. Autoimmune hepatitis is when the body’s own cells attack the liver cells and cause inflammation. Certain drugs/medicines cause hepatitis, also known as drug induced hepatitis. Alcoholic hepatitis is common in alcoholics. 

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis

Most people with hepatitis infection don’t show symptoms till much later. However, here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • dark urine
  • pale stool
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice

If you experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. You can also book an appointment at My live doctors and find a physician online who can take a look at you until you are able to visit your doctor. An acute or sudden infection may also show similar symptoms. 

As the disease progresses, chronic hepatitis can lead to progressive liver failure, resulting in jaundice, swelling of the lower extremities, confusion, and blood in the feces or vomit.

The following may also occur:

  • itchy skin
  • light-colored feces
  • yellow skin, whites of the eyes, and tongue
  • blood in stool
  • vomiting of blood

These are serious symptoms and warrant emergency care and management. 

How do you treat hepatitis?

Hepatitis A and E is managed mostly by wait and watch method. Emphasis is more on primary care like diet, abstaining from alcohol and rest. It usually gets better without any intervention. Hepatitis B and C are treated with antiviral drugs along with managing any complications associated with hepatitis. 

Minimal invasive techniques such as TACE may also be performed to try and wall off and minimize infection. Liver transplant is the last treatment option in case of total liver failure. 

Find a physician online anywhere in Pakistan and learn more about different options. Get a second opinion or get a lab report checked and understand what it means. An informed patient is an empowered one. For more details, go to https://mylivedoctors.com