Hepatitis in New Orleans, LA

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Worldwide, nearly 300 million people are living their lives unaware that they have viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, at its most basic description, is essentially the inflammation or swelling of the liver. The most common types include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The three types of hepatitis mentioned here are defined according to the type of virus that causes liver inflammation. Each variation of hepatitis can almost be classified as a unique disease since each form of infection responds to different treatments. If you or a family member suspects, or has been diagnosed with hepatitis, contact Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates today. Our experienced GI providers treat patients with hepatitis in New Orleans, LA often and are here to help.

Hepatitis A (HAV) is known to be highly contagious and generally impacts those that drink or eat something that has been around feces or another person that has been infected by the virus. Although very infectious, it is not as dangerous as other types of hepatitis. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine and can be treated by a medical professional.

If you have hepatitis A, you could have signs or symptoms that include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Dark-colored urine (Jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Yellow eyes, yellow skin
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting

The most common treatment for HAV is to get plenty of rest, consume fluids, and avoid drinking alcohol. In most situations, hepatitis A will subside on its own. To avoid HAV, you can schedule a hepatitis A vaccine from your medical provider or our New Orleans, LA gastroenterology team.

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a more concerning variation of hepatitis. Without treatment, it has the potential to result in liver cancer and liver failure. If you are an adult and get hepatitis B, your body can typically fight it off over a few months. When the virus has abated, immunity develops. When you are infected with HBV at birth, however, the condition is unlikely to go away. HBV is most commonly transmitted via blood, sexual fluids, saliva, using a contaminated needle, or if your mother had hepatitis B while pregnant with you.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of hepatitis B involve:

  • Light-colored stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Aching joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Vomiting

If you have possibly been exposed to hepatitis B, we urge you to see your medical provider or contact Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates as soon as possible. The sooner you receive care, the better. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend a vaccine for hepatitis B and further antiviral medication.

Typically carried through bodily fluids (such as blood), hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infection that can cause damage to a person's liver. This variation can manifest itself in two different variations, acute hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis C.

  • Acute hepatitis C is less serious and commonly lasts for six months. After six months, most individuals' natural immune response will overpower the virus.
  • Chronic hepatitis C arises when a person's immune system is unable to stave off the virus over the first six months and the virus lingers in the body for an extended time. This may result in lasting health concerns, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Common symptoms of hepatitis C include:

  • Joint pain
  • Confusion
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Slurred speech
  • Bruise easily
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Itchy skin
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine)
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Bleed easily
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme exhaustion

The cure rate of HCV is more than 90%. Routine treatments for hepatitis C are:

  • Liver transplant (chronic hepatitis C)
  • Antiviral drugs
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The greatest way to avoid getting hepatitis A or B is to be vaccinated for the infection. It is recommended to have children undergo vaccination for hepatitis A somewhere between the ages of 12 months to 23 months, but individuals can also have the vaccine at any point after that. The hepatitis B vaccine is commonly administered to newborns, but individuals can get the vaccine at any age. There is no vaccine for HCV.

Other healthy ways to avoid contracting hepatitis are:

  • Before traveling, check if the location you are going has high rates of hepatitis infection
  • Do not share personal hygiene products, such as toothbrushes, razors, etc.
  • When having sex, use protection
  • Make sure to always wash your hands after coming into contact with any bodily fluids or using the bathroom
  • Make certain any needles you use are properly sterilized, such as when getting piercings or if using illicit drugs
  • Avoid consuming uncooked meat, unclean food or water, and buying food from street vendors

Although a hepatitis infection can potentially lead to significant health problems, including liver failure and liver cancer, treatment can be found with help from a gastrointestinal specialist. Should you experience any concerning GI symptoms or signs, such as those listed above, get in touch with Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates near you. As a skilled physician-led team of gastroenterology experts, we strive to offer safe, patient-centric care. To find out more about the treatment options available for all variations of hepatitis in New Orleans, LA, talk to our caring staff today.

Dr Kedia is kind and compassionate. I feel fortunate to be a patient of his.

D.M. Google

Great place to go for your gastrointestinal issues.

J. Google

Dr. Tanenbaum is the best!! So sad to see him retire soon! He deserves a fabulous retirement!!

K.R. Google

This was my first time visit with Dr Brenner and I was fully satisfied. He was very friendly and sincere in talking to me,

V.K. Google

Dr. Brett Hymel kept informed on how things was going with my treatments. I would refer him to my family and friends. Thanks Dr. Hymel!!!

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