Hepatitis

Your liver helps your body digest food, store energy and remove poisons. Hepatitis is a swelling of the liver that makes it stop working well. It can lead to scarring, called cirrhosis, or to cancer.

Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. The type of hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it; for example, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Drug or alcohol use can also lead to hepatitis. In other cases, your body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. You can help prevent some viral forms by getting a vaccine. Sometimes hepatitis goes away by itself. If it does not, it can be treated with drugs. Sometimes hepatitis lasts a lifetime.

Some people who have hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may have

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements
  • Stomach pain
  • Jaundice, yellowing of skin and eyes