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There is still a lack of awareness regarding hepatitis in India. Likewise, those who know about this condition have misconceptions regarding it. Hence, it is the need of the hour to educate people about this condition and seek timely intervention. Here, Dr. Roy Patankar, Director and Gastroenterologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Mumbai, helps you separate facts from fiction. Keep reading to know more about hepatitis and how to tackle it.
Did you know? Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis that leads to liver inflammation. But you will be shocked to know that along with this, infections, autoimmune diseases, and toxic substances like alcohol and certain drugs can trigger this condition. Hepatitis causes damage to the liver by causing scarring and even cancer if you fail to seek timely treatment.
Are you aware? There are five types of hepatitis that are A, B, C, D, and E. Most of the people who have it are unaware of it and may face serious consequences in later life. Moreover, there are many myths surrounding hepatitis that need to be busted. This will be helpful for people in understanding the disease and stay healthy throughout life. Below Dr. Patankar has busted some common myths about hepatitis with the truth.
Fact: This is a common myth prevailing among people which needs to be debunked. Remember that hepatitis doesn't mean jaundice. Also, jaundice is a symptom, not a disease. Jaundice is a sign of the increased production of a yellow pigment called bilirubin in the blood. Hepatitis can cause jaundice, but not everyone who has hepatitis gets jaundice and all patients with jaundice do not have hepatitis.
If you have been suffering from jaundice, then immediately consult your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Apart from liver problems, causes of jaundice are stones in the bile duct, malaria, dengue, among others.
Fact: Some types of hepatitis will heal without treatment. But sometimes hepatitis can cause serious problems like liver cirrhosis and the patient may require liver transplantation. Thus, it is essential to take prescribed medication and avoid alcohol while recovering from hepatitis. The treatment may differ based on the type of hepatitis you have. So, do not worry, it is possible to cure hepatitis.
Fact: This is not true at all! You will have to eat nutritious food. Food should be low fat moderate protein and high carbohydrate. Eating nutritious food will enhance the functioning of your liver. You can even speak to the expert who will suggest the right kind of diet.
Fact: One can only get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
Fact: One can breastfeed as it is considered safe for the baby. There is no strong evidence that that suggests breastfeeding spreads hepatitis C virus. However, since hepatitis C can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, breastfeeding should be avoided if you have cracked or bleeding nipples.
Myth#6: One can consume alcohol as soon as the jaundice is cured
Fact: Alcohol should be stopped at least for 3 months after liver function test normal.
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