Hepatitis Diagnosis & Treatment Doctor – Best Hepatitis Gastroenterologists Doctor NYC
Hepatitis A is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated food and water supplies. Numbers of hepatitis A cases have declined markedly since the early 1990’s. A very effective vaccine is available by the best in class NYC gastroenterologist, Dr. Shawn Khodadadian, to protect people against Hepatitis A. Hepatitis B is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood or medical supplies. Numbers of cases have declined markedly since the early 1980’s. A very effective vaccine is available by the NYC gastroenterologist to protect people against Hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood or medical supplies or during tattooing or body piercing – but only if non-sterile instruments are used. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
Among the many vital functions that your liver performs, it filters the blood from your digestive tract before releasing it to the rest of your body. This filtering process eliminates toxic chemicals, readies drugs to be absorbed by your body and helps your intestines dispose of waste.
Hepatitis is a disease that causes the inflammation of your liver, leading to elevated liver enzymes in your bloodstream. This condition usually means that toxins are escaping your liver and entering your body. Since you depend on your liver to aid your digestion and trap dangerous chemicals, hepatitis is a serious medical condition that can have serious consequences.
Hepatitis comes in several strains, each of which is caused by a different virus. The most common strains are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Hepatitis A is the least dangerous of the three strains; most people recover completely. Hepatitis B is a virulent strain that can cause cirrhosis or scarring in your liver or even liver failure in extreme cases, but most people fully recover with proper treatment. Hepatitis C sufferers rarely know they have the disease, as the symptoms don’t show up for years. Hepatitis C can cause liver cancer or liver failure, which requires a transplant.
Symptoms of hepatitis can vary by strain, but they may include jaundice, fatigue, dark-colored urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, muscle and abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. Some symptoms may not appear at all, not until several weeks after infection, or in the case of hepatitis C, not for up to 20 years after infection.
Causes of Hepatitis
All symptoms from hepatitis strains are caused by liver inflammation and liver disease. You can get the different hepatitis viral infections in several ways. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are contagious diseases.
Hepatitis A is caused by ingesting tiny amounts of contaminated fecal matter. This virus is transmitted several ways, such as:
- Drinking contaminated water
- Eating raw shellfish from polluted water
- Eating food prepared by someone with the virus (especially if he hasn’t washed his hands after using the toilet)
- Being in contact (including having sex) with someone who’s infected, even if that person has no symptoms
The hepatitis B virus is passed via blood or other bodily fluids. The most common ways you can get infected are by having sex and sharing hypodermic needles, although it’s possible to get the disease through an accidental needle stick. A mother transmits the disease to her baby during childbirth.
A hepatitis C viral infection is the most serious of the three hepatitis viruses. You can only catch this virus through direct contact with contaminated blood. This can happen if you:
- Have a mother who was infected during your birth
- Injected drugs using a shared hypodermic needle
- Got a tattoo or piercing with equipment that wasn’t properly sterilized
- Used clotting factor concentrates earlier than 1987
- Received an organ transplant or transfusion earlier than 1992
- Work in health care and suffer an accidental needle stick
- Had hemodialysis treatments over a long period
- Are HIV positive
Hepatitis A usually can be identified with a blood test. Dr. Khodadadian may use several tests for hepatitis B: to determine if you have it; if so, to what extent; and to see if you can pass it to others. Blood tests commonly tell the doctor what he needs to know, although a biopsy of liver tissue also is a possibility.
Diagnosing hepatitis C requires several blood tests: to discover if you have the disease, to find out how badly you have it and to perform a genotype test to narrow the treatment options. Sometimes screening blood tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C are performed because the symptoms don’t show up until damage to your liver has already been done.
There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B that the Upper East Side NYC gastroenterologist hepatitis specialist offers to prevent you from getting them. If you contract hepatitis A, there is no treatment, as your body can fight the disease on its own. During this time, you will likely have less energy and may be nauseous sometimes. Take care of yourself, drink plenty of fluids, and you will heal completely in a month or two.
Acute hepatitis B usually goes away after a short duration, so treatment is to control your symptoms during that time. Chronic hepatitis B, however, is more serious and may require strong antiviral drugs or even a liver transplant. Depending on your prognosis, hepatitis C may require only monitoring, strong antiviral drugs, or at worst, a liver transplant.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult a GI doctor about your specific condition. Only trained, experienced NYC gastroenterologists like Dr. Khodadadian can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
As a best in class NYC Upper East Side gastroenterologist, Dr. Shawn Khodadadian provides highly personalized and comprehensive care. His philosophy regarding the doctor/patient relationship is based on trust and has earned him one of the most respected reputations in NYC.
For more information about Hepatitis screening and treatments or to schedule a consultation with the best in class hepatitis GI doctor, Dr. Shawn Khodadidan, please contact our Upper East Side NYC office.
Dr. Shawn Khodadadian
983 Park Ave, Ste 1D
New York, NY 10028