Hepatitis treatment in Florida
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What is hepatitis?
Around the globe, 290 million individuals are living without knowing that they have viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, broken down to its most basic definition, is essentially inflammation or swelling of the liver. The most common forms are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. These three forms of hepatitis are defined according to the strain of the virus that is the reason for the inflammation of the liver. Each individual form of viral hepatitis can almost be regarded as a unique disease given that each type responds to separate treatments. If you or a loved one suspects or has been diagnosed with hepatitis, please get in touch with Gastroenterology Associates of Florida. Our board-certified gastroenterology experts routinely treat patients with hepatitis in Florida.
Hepatitis A (HAV)
The type known as hepatitis A (HAV) is found to be extremely infectious and often infects those who consume foods or drinks that have been around feces or other individuals who have been infected by the virus. Though incredibly transmittable, it is not exceptionally harmful compared to the other forms. Hepatitis A can be avoided with vaccination and is treatable by a healthcare professional.
Patients with hepatitis A could experience the following symptoms:
- Decreased appetite
- Dark urine (Jaundice)
- Unwanted weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- A yellowing of the eyes and/or skin
- Vomiting and nausea
The most prevalent treatment option for hepatitis A is to get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and avoid alcoholic beverages. Most cases of HAV will subside on their own. To avoid getting hepatitis A, you can receive a hepatitis A vaccination from your medical practitioner or one of our Florida gastroenterology locations at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
The virus known as hepatitis B (HBV) is a more serious variation of viral hepatitis. Left untreated, it can possibly cause liver cancer and liver failure. If you are an adult and get hepatitis B, your body can typically fight it off over the course of a few months. After the virus has abated, an immunity occurs. Should individuals are infected with hepatitis B during birth, however, the virus will most likely be chronic. Hep B is typically transmitted through saliva, sexual fluids, blood, using a needle after a person infected with the virus, or passed from an infected pregnant woman to her child during birth.
The common signs and symptoms of hepatitis B consist of:
- Light-colored stool
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent fatigue
- Aching joints
- Loss of appetite
If you may have been infected by HBV, it is important to see a healthcare practitioner or contact Gastroenterology Associates of Florida as soon as possible. The faster you undergo treatment, the better for your health and wellness. Your GI provider at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida will likely advise hepatitis B vaccination and additional antiviral drugs.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Typically carried via bodily fluids (including blood), hepatitis C (HCV) is an additional virus that can cause damage to a person's liver. Hepatitis C can manifest itself in two separate variations, acute hepatitis C or chronic hepatitis C.
- Acute hepatitis C is the less severe form of hepatitis C and often lasts for six months. Following the six-month time period, the majority of individuals' natural immune response will defeat the viral infection.
- Chronic hepatitis C occurs when your natural defenses are unable to fend off the infection within the first six months and it impacts the body for a prolonged timeframe. This can cause long-term health concerns, such as cancer of the liver and liver cirrhosis.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of hepatitis C involve:
HCV has a cure rate of above 90%. Routine treatment methods for hepatitis C involve:
- Joint pain
- Unwanted weight loss
- Bleed easily
- Extreme exhaustion
- Clay-colored stool
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Swelling in the legs
- Slurred speech
- Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine)
- Appetite loss
- Itchy skin
- Bruise easily
- Antiviral medications
- Liver transplant (chronic HCV)
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How can I protect myself against hepatitis?
The best way to avoid getting hepatitis A or B is to be vaccinated for the disease. It is healthcare practitioners' advice to have young children receive a vaccine for hepatitis A between 12 months and 23 months of age, but individuals can also have the vaccine at any point after that. The hepatitis B vaccine is commonly given to newborns; however, individuals can have the vaccine at any time in life. Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Further healthy methods to prevent contracting hepatitis are listed below:
- Avoid eating uncooked meat, consuming unclean water and food, and buying food from street vendors
- Make sure to always wash your hands after coming into contact with any bodily fluids or using the bathroom
- Ensure any needles you use have been properly sterilized, such as when getting tattoos or piercings or if utilizing illicit drugs
- Do not share personal hygiene products, such as razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- If traveling, check if the place you are visiting has elevated rates of hepatitis infection
- When having sex, use protection
Find treatment for hepatitis
Even though a hepatitis virus could potentially result in concerning health issues, such as liver failure and liver cancer, treatment can be obtained with help from a GI specialist. If you are noticing any distressing GI symptoms, like any of those mentioned above, contact Gastroenterology Associates of Florida right away. As an experienced physician-led network of gastroenterologists, we endeavor to deliver quality, patient-centric care. To find out more about the treatments available for all forms of hepatitis in Florida, speak with our friendly support staff today.
He is a very friendly and knowledgeable doctor who take his time to just simply talk to his patients about their condition
I had my first appointment with Dr. Medrano as a new patient two days ago. The front desk was busy but running smoothly. I was admitted into the exam room at almost the exact appointment time. Nurse Keva was nice and efficient to go through the regular patient intake procedures. She also gave very detailed instructions later during checkout to make sure I understood the steps to follow. Dr. Medrano took time to listen and learn about my health concerns. I really appreciated the guidance that he provided patiently. I was also very grateful for the treatment options that he offered so graciously. He cited statistics to give me a big picture view of the health issue as well as clear opinions about what would be the most rational treatment plan. I went to Dr. Medrano because two of my colleagues were his patients and both strongly recommended him. When I called in December 2022 for an appointment with Dr. Medrano, the earliest appointment available was February 2023. I am very glad to have waited for this appointment with him.
Great experience with the entire staff. I would recommend his services to family and friends.
Very informative and respectful he's a good man and doctor
On my visits , I would like dr Hurwittz spend more time with patient. I’m satisfied with his work and knowledge, but after seeing him, always has unpleasant feelings, like he is hurrying and I don’t have enough time to ask questions.