In the human body, the liver is responsible for metabolism and the breakdown of food in the digestive system. As such, the condition of hepatitis infects the liver and causes inflammation, breaking down its capabilities. Understanding the treatment options for different types of hepatitis can help us heal from these conditions to the best of our abilities. The go-to treatment options for the most common types of viral hepatitis are as follows:
- Hepatitis A: This particular condition is a short-term disease and hence does not require extensive treatment. If the symptoms are severe and causing significant discomfort, then bed rest is suggested. In case the individual also experiences vomiting and diarrhea, the doctor could suggest a few treatment options for the sake of hydration and nutrition. Vaccination is available for this condition, and the first dose is usually given to children between the age of 12 and 18 months. The vaccination is also available for adults and is usually combined with the hepatitis B vaccine.
- Hepatitis B: This condition is usually treated with the help of antiviral medication. These prescribed medicines would need to be continued for a few months and can extend up to a few years. In the case of chronic hepatitis B, regular medical evaluations would be required to monitor if the virus is responding to the medicines and if the prescribed medication is the way to go forward. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends hepatitis B vaccination to be given to all newborns. This vaccination will be injected in three doses over the first six months. All the healthcare and medical personnel are also seriously advised to get this vaccine.
- Hepatitis C: Both acute and chronic forms of this condition are treated with antiviral medications. However, when the condition develops to be chronic, the individual might be put on a combination of antiviral drug therapies. Testing to determine the best way forward in terms of treatment might also be required in chronic conditions. If scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) occurs due to the condition, the individual might require a liver transplant. The vaccination for hepatitis C is under development.
- Hepatitis D: There is no antiviral medication available to treat this condition as of now. However, a study from 2013 showed that a drug called alpha interferon was capable of treating this condition. But it only helped about 25% to 30% of people. However, as hepatitis D cannot be present without hepatitis B, vaccination for hepatitis B can prevent individuals from contracting hepatitis D.
- Hepatitis E: While there is no specific treatment option, as the condition is usually acute, it can be treated by getting sufficient rest, plenty of fluids, a good nutritious diet, and avoiding alcohol.
While contracting this condition is very unfortunate, all hope is not lost when it comes to treatment. Carefully following the required procedures can be of great help in recovering from the condition. However, there is no denying that prevention is better than cure, which points out the significant role of vaccines in reducing the spread of these conditions.