There are several causes of hepatitis

The medical term hepatitis is used to describe the inflammation of the liver. This word is derived from the Greek word hepar (i.e. liver). This inflammation damages important liver cells, so that the liver can no longer fully perform its metabolic and detoxification functions. Over time, this causes a yellowing of the eyes and skin, so that hepatitis is also colloquially known as jaundice or. Yellow is called.

Causes of hepatitis

The causes that most commonly cause hepatitis include:

– Viral infections – Fat and sugar metabolism disorders (metabolic syndrome) – Heavy alcohol consumption – Autoimmune disease

In this way, the causes of this disease are very diverse, but viral hepatitis is one of the most common causes of contagious liver inflammation. For example, viral infections include the following triggers for viral hepatitis or concomitant hepatitis:

– Viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A to E – Concomitant hepatitis: Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, rubella virus, mumps virus etc. – While parasites, bacteria or fungi rarely result in liver inflammation.

The causes of fatty liver hepatitis can be either fatty liver disease or a. sugar metabolism disorder in question or an excessive consumption of alcohol. However, although heavy alcohol consumption leads to fatty liver in practically everyone, only about a quarter subsequently develop liver inflammation. At the same time, environmental toxins or drugs can also trigger fatty liver hepatitis.

However, copper or iron storage disease can also cause hepatitis under certain circumstances. In this context, hemochromatosis or Wilson's disease are different autoimmune diseases in which the body's own organism attacks the body's own tie or. which attacks substances of the body.

there are different causes of the disease hepatitis


The symptoms of hepatitis can be quite diverse. Jaundice does not always occur immediately, so that this disease is often detected much too late. Mostly, this disease has only unspecific symptoms, such as fatigue, vague upper abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite. Whereas it only partially to a yellowing of skin. The white parts of the eyeball. At the same time, in hepatitis, the stool may become discolored, while the urine becomes darker. If the disease causes a bile stasis, this can also cause digestive disorders or itching.

Recognition of the disease

In order to clearly determine hepatitis, a visit to the doctor is always necessary, because extensive examinations, e.g.B. blood tests are performed. Often the laboratory values can already confirm the suspicion of hepatitis, as the laboratory enzymes (GOT and GPT) are significantly elevated in this case. At the same time, the disease can also change the coagulation values and the amount of albumin and bilirubin.

If the suspicion of a hepatitis disease is confirmed, the cause is first clarified. Certain antibody tests for hepatitis A to E help either to exclude or to detect viral hepatitis. But autoimmune hepatitis can also be detected and determined with the help of antibodies, while urine or blood tests are required for metabolic diseases.

To determine how large the liver has become as a result of the liver inflammation, a simple ultrasound examination helps. In this way, the doctor can get an idea of the extent of the liver damage, even if the cause cannot be determined this way. At the same time, a tie biopsy of the liver helps to assess the severity of the liver inflammation. The tie is examined under the microscope. Statements can be made about the severity as well as the changes in the liver tie.

Treatment of hepatitis

In order to successfully treat liver inflammation, the treatment method is adapted to the cause of the disease and the therapies can therefore vary considerably. For example, in the case of alcoholic hepatitis, the patient must abstain from alcohol in order to subsequently treat the consequences of the liver damage that has occurred. While fatty liver due to a fat or sugar metabolism disorder and obesity is treated by slow weight reduction, sporting activity and a diet plan.

Acute viral hepatitis usually heals on its own, whereas hepatitis A and E never become chronic. The situation is different with hepatitis B, which can be chronic in up to 5% of adults. Hepatitis C also leads to a chronic infection, affecting about 50 to 80% of patients. For this reason, rapid treatment is recommended, especially in the case of acute hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis B and C can already be treated well with medication and in some cases can even be completely cured.

The most serious consequences for the liver are caused by autoimmune hepatitis, because this disease always takes a chronic course if left untreated, and in the worst case can even lead to cirrhosis. For this reason, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible, especially for this cause of hepatitis. In this case, immunosuppressants are used, since the disease was triggered by a disorder of the immune system. In this way, the misguided reactions of the body should be suppressed. Immunosuppressants, which are most commonly used, are cortisone and its derivatives. These medications provide significant improvement as symptoms disappear, laboratory values return to normal, and liver tie regresses. However, the treatment can usually only be discontinued after several years or even never, so that the long-term use of cortisone can cause a change in blood values and even osteoporosis.

Another drug that can be used today for autoimmune hepatitis is azathioprine, which is often used in combination with cortisone. Thus, the actual dose of cortisone can be reduced somewhat to avoid undesirable side effects or. to prevent. However, this medication must never be used on its own.

Protection against hepatitis

Although there is not yet effective protection against all forms of hepatitis, vaccinations can at least provide protection against hepatitis A and B. The costs for this vaccination are usually covered by the statutory health insurance. At the same time, sufficient hygiene of food and hands should always be ensured to prevent hepatitis A. So beispielsweibe in countries with lacking hygiene all food should be cooked only and/or be eaten in the morning. eaten peeled as well as also the drinking water be boiled or be bought in closed bottles. At the same time, it is important to wash your hands carefully after each visit to the toilet and before each meal.

To protect yourself from hepatitis types transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse or through blood, it helps to use a condom or. the avoidance of direct contact with blood. At the same time, you should not share any personal hygiene items with people who are infected with hepatitis, such as e.B. Share razors, toothbrushes or nail scissors.

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