Eisenman & Eisenman, M.D., Advanced Gastro Consultants
Gastroenterologists & Hepatologists located in Lake Worth, FL
Eisenman & Eisenman, M.D., Advanced Gastro Consultants in Lake Worth, Florida, offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for hepatitis A, B, and C. The skilled medical team can identify the variants of infectious hepatitis and create a treatment plan for those who have conferred an infection. Learn more about treatments available for hepatitis A, B, and C, by calling the team or by requesting an appointment online today.
Infectious Hepatitis Q & A
Scientists have discovered five unique viruses that cause hepatitis. Each type of hepatitis is differentiated by a letter that identifies it, and the most common variants are the A, B, and C types. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to severe and life-threatening complications.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that the A variant of the virus causes. You can contract hepatitis A via exposure to contaminated food or water, or from close contact with an infected person.
Most people infected with hepatitis A recover completely with no permanent liver damage. Most kids who are exposed show no signs of illness. However, if the virus is contracted later in life, you may experience symptoms of infection, including fever and possibly jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
Practicing good hand washing hygiene is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A. Vaccines are available for people who are most at risk and those who are traveling to a region where this infection is endemic. The vaccine is administered in two doses, six months apart.
Risk factors for contracting hepatitis A include:
- Travel to areas of the world where hepatitis A is endemic
- Child care centers
- Live with or have sex with another person with hepatitis A
- Man who has sexual contact with another man
- Are HIV positive
- Illegal drug abuse, including IV drugs, needles, and snorting
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends hepatitis A vaccines for the following people:
- All children older than one year of age
- Homeless people or those who have been homeless
- Laboratory workers who may come in contact with hepatitis A
- Men who have sex with men
- People who work or travel to countries where hepatitis A is endemic
- People who use any type of illicit drugs
- People with clotting factor disorders
- People with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis
- People with hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- Anyone wishing to obtain immunity for hepatitis A
Hepatitis B is a liver infection that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes. This virus is transmitted through contact with another person's blood, saliva, semen, or vaginal secretions.
There are a few ways that HBV can spread:
You may get hepatitis B if you have unprotected sex with someone infected. Semen and vaginal fluid can transmit HBV, which is why it's essential always to practice safe sex.
Sharing of needles or accidental needle sticks
If you use drugs that involve needles and share them with someone who has hepatitis B, you may contract the virus. An unintentional prick from a needle an infected person uses can also transfer the virus.
Mother to child
Pregnant women infected with HBV can pass the virus to their babies during childbirth. However, the newborn can be vaccinated to avoid getting infected.
Risk factors for hepatitis B include:
- Having unprotected sex with someone infected with HBV
- Sharing needles during IV drug use
- Being a man who has sex with other men
- Living with someone who is infected with HBV
- Being born to a mother infected with HBV
- Having a job that exposes you to human blood
- Traveling to regions with high infection rates of HBV, such as Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Eastern Europe
To protect against hepatitis B, you need a vaccine typically given as three or four injections over six months.
The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for:
- All people not vaccinated at birth
- Those who work or live in a center for people who are developmentally disabled
- People who live with someone who has hepatitis B
- Health care workers who come into contact with blood
- Anyone who has a current or prior sexually transmitted infection
- Men who have sex with men
- People who have multiple sexual partners
- Sexual partners of someone who has hepatitis B
- People who inject illegal drugs or share needles
- People with chronic liver disease
- People with end-stage kidney disease
- Travelers planning to go to an area of the world endemic to hepatitis B
- People who have HIV or hepatitis B
- People who receive kidney dialysis
- People in prison
Those born in a country where hepatitis B is endemic, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Eastern Europe, or those who have parents or adopted children from places where hepatitis B is common, should receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
You should also receive a hepatitis B vaccine if you take medications that suppress the immune system, such as those used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant.
Some people with chronic hepatitis B infection need treatment for the rest of their lives. Treatment helps reduce the risk of liver disease, liver cancer, and prevents you from passing the infection to others. This treatment is available in the form of a daily pill.
The hepatitis C virus is blood-borne. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C; however, there is now a curative treatment available in the form of a pill. The treatment has little to no side effects and is effective at curing between 95-99% of hepatitis C cases.
Failure to treat an infection with hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
The CDC recommends baby-boomers born from 1945-1965 get tested for hepatitis C. According to the CDC, 75% of people with hepatitis C were born during the years 1945-1965. Up to 85% of those infected are estimated to be unaware of their status.
Risk factors for hepatitis C include:
- Being exposed to infected blood
- Injecting illicit drugs
- Having HIV
- Receiving a piercing or tattoo in an unclean environment
- Having been incarcerated
- Having received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Having received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
- Receiving hemodialysis treatments over a long time
- Having been born to a woman with hepatitis C
Schedule an appointment with Eisenman & Eisenman, M.D., Advanced Gastro Consultants in Lake Worth, Florida, today to be screened for hepatitis A, B, or C.
If you have any of the risk factors or symptoms of hepatitis, it’s important to receive the appropriate diagnostics and treatments — your liver health depends on it. Call or book online today for your hepatitis evaluation.
Conditions & Procedures
Upper Endoscopymore info
Inflammatory Bowel Diseasemore info
Abdominal Painmore info
Crohn's Diseasemore info
Acid Reflux Treatmentmore info
Colorectal Cancermore info
Infectious Hepatitismore info
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)more info
Liver Diseasemore info
Ulcerative Colitismore info