Take note of the following symptoms, treatment procedures, as well as what you can do to prevent contracting hepatitis:
• Asthaenia (tiredness unconnected to any effort)
• Loss of appetite, nausea
• General poor health accompanied by weight loss
• Oedema (swelling) of the lower limbs
• Whites of the eyes and skin and tissue of the eyelids turn yellow (jaundice)
• Swelling (oedema) of the abdomen
• Cirrhosis and hepatitis tend to have similar symptoms. However, in cirrhosis, the symptoms may not be evident until the disease process has been occurring for several years
• Consult your doctor immediately if you have one or several of the above symptoms; rapid detection aids optimal management of the condition.
• A full examination should be made in order to eliminate similar conditions requiring different treatment (such as gallstones and cancer of the liver, gall bladder or pancreas).
• Diagnosis can be confirmed by means of a blood test.
Here some things you can do to protect yourself from contracting hepatitis:
• Stop all alcohol consumption and recreational drug use.
• Make a point of eating dried fruit, grapes, figs, spinach, watercress, potatoes, carrots, artichokes, rice, wholemeal bread, yogurt, chicory (in salad), sunflower oil, olive oil, brewer’s yeast, sesame seeds.
• If you belong to a high risk group for hepatitis B or C (sex with different partners, intravenous drug use, health worker), regular testing for the presence of these viruses increases the chances of successful treatment.
• Vaccinations are available against hepatitis A and B.
• In the acute stages of the disease, a protein-free diet may be recommended.
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