Part I: Liver Disease-Viral Hepatitis

When you hear the term, hepatitis, what word or phrase comes to mind? Did your thoughts conjure up a person with a long history of drinking alcohol or using drugs? Perhaps, the word, liver cirrhosis or cancer were your choices? Whatever your choice, my desire is to provide insight on the condition known as hepatitis.

Interestingly, hepatitis is a distinct condition caused by several unrelated viruses. But, before continuing, let me step back for a moment. Did you know the term; hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver? Inflammation is a localized protective response caused by injury or destruction of tissue where our bodies tries to wall off or remove or dilute the injured tissues AND the agent causing the swelling (https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/inflammation). Globally, the World Health Organization recognizes five main viral strains referred to as types A, B, C, D, and E. In the United States, viral hepatitis typically is associated with types A, B & C. Irrespective to the cause, ALL types of viral hepatitis can cause liver disability and disease if left undiagnosed or treated.

The various types or strains of hepatitis are specifically based upon their (1) modes of transmission or routes used to infect people, (2) seriousness of the illness (severity), (3) clustering or geographical distribution and (4) prevention methods. Modes of transmission include having unprotected sex, sharing needles during intravenous drug use or eating unclean food contaminated by fecal or waste matter (Office of Women’s Health @https://tinyurl.com/y5dbw8jo).

Question. Out of the known strains of hepatitis which are A, B, C, D, & E, which 2 strains of hepatitis has vaccines to prevent its infection? The answer is strains A & B.

According to the World Health Organization, “In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths. An estimated 325 million people worldwide live with hepatitis B and/or C, and for most, testing and treatment remains beyond reach.” (https://www.who.int/health-topics/hepatitis#tab=tab_1) Experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Hepatitis C often “has no symptoms and left untreated, can cause serious health problems, including liver cancer. CDC recommends all adults get tested for hepatitis C…” (https://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/materials.htm  and https://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/HepatitisC-FAQ.htm).

Although hepatitis has various viral strains, there are common symptoms associated with Hepatitis A, B and C. People may experience stomach pain, yellowing of their skin or eyes (jaundice), pale or clay-colored stools, dark urine, low-grade fever, fatigue or loss of appetite. If you are experiencing these conditions, please contact your health care provider as soon as possible for your next steps to take.
Now that we have established our basic understanding of hepatitis, we’ll move forward in this conversation during our next installment to talk about treatment and self-care options!


ESV Scripture. James 5: 15 – “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” 
 
Prayer. Dear God, forgive us this day ALL of our sins and misdeeds and let us seek your face with refreshed spirits. All things whether pestilence, financial chaos and disease filters through your mighty hands of mercy. Redeem those suffering from hepatitis and bless them with your tender mercies that are renewed every morning. Grant them peace and deliverance from these viruses, our invisible enemies that trick our cells to help them bring us disease, disability and yes, sometimes even death. Bring comfort and hope by healing ravaged bodies and removing these unwanted viral invaders. Allow our lives to reflect your glory for you are the Great Healer in the name of Jesus, Amen.  
 
God’s blessings and peace, 
Kathy Trapp-Jackson, MAED, MSN, RN
Email: churchnursekathy@gmail.com