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What’s the Difference Between Hepatitis A, B, and C?

Did you know that the most common types of hepatitis are A, B, and C?

Hepatitis A is spread through the stool of an infected person, hepatitis B is spread through bodily fluids, and hepatitis C is spread through blood. It’s important to remember that you can’t get hepatitis just by touching someone who is infected.

To avoid exposure to the disease, wash your hands regularly, wear protective gloves, and never share needles.

Find out more information about liver transplants at UPMC.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

Symptoms of hepatitis can vary depending on the type. Although some people may not experience symptoms at all, important signs to look for include:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • General aches and pains
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Joint pain
  • Dark urine
  • Loose, light-colored stool
  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment for Hepatitis

Treatments vary for each type of hepatitis. Hepatitis A and B may go away on their own within a few weeks. If the infection lasts longer than six weeks, however, you may need medication.

Hepatitis C is more serious and requires treatment. While antivirals have shown success in treating hepatitis C,  they may cause serious side effects.

Over a long period of time, hepatitis C can harm the liver and lead to:

Hepatitis and Liver Transplant

Any form of hepatitis can cause liver damage. If the liver becomes severely damaged, a liver transplant is necessary.

With more than 14,000 Americans on the waiting list for a liver transplant, patients often wait years for a transplant. Living donor transplantation allows a transplant to take place before the disease progresses further.

To reduce time on the transplant waiting list, you can choose to find a living donor. During a living-donor liver transplant, the surgeon takes a small part of the donor’s healthy liver and transplants it into the recipient. This process is possible because of the liver’s unique ability to regenerate, or regrow.

 

 

 


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