Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. It is not a condition, but is often used to refer to a variable infection of the liver. Hepatitis may start and get better quickly (acute hepatitis), or cause long-term disease (chronic hepatitis). In some instances, it may lead to liver damage, liver failure, or even liver cancer.
How severe hepatitis is depends on many factors, including the cause of the liver damage and any illnesses you have. Hepatitis A, for example, is usually short-term and does not lead to chronic liver problems. Many people with hepatitis B or C do not have symptoms when they are first infected. They can still develop liver failure later. If you have any risk factors for either type of hepatitis, you should be tested regularly. The symptoms of hepatitis include:
1. Hepatitis A
Symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after you have been exposed to the hepatitis A (HAV). Possible symptoms include; fatigue, fever, sore muscles, headache, pain on the right side of the abdomen, under the rib cage, nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss, yellowing of the skin and the white apart of the eyes (jaundice), sometimes accompanied by dark urine and clay-colored (whitish) stools. Symptoms of hepatitis A usually last less than 2 months.
2. Hepatitis B
After you first become infected with the hepatitis B virus, you may have no symptoms, but feel sick for a period of days or weeks and become very ill. If your body is able to fight off the hepatitis B infection, any symptoms that you had should go away over a period of weeks to months. Some people’s bodies are not able to completely get rid of the hepatitis B infection. This is called chronic hepatitis B. Many people who have chronic hepatitis B have few or no symptoms. They may not even look sick. As a result, they may not know they are infected. However, they can still spread the virus to other people. But there are some early symptoms may include such as; appetite loss, fatigue, fever, low-grade, muscle and joint aches, neusea and vomiting, yellow skin and dark urine due to jaundice.
3. Hepatitis C
Although hepatitis C damages the liver, 80% of people with the disease do not have symptoms. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear, the damage may be very serious. A minority of people have symptoms during the early acute phase of the infection. These symptoms typically develop 5-12 weeks after exposure to HCV. Some people describe the symptoms as being flu-like. The symptoms may last a few weeks or months. The symptoms may include; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss appetite, fatigue, pain over the liver, jaundice, dark-colored urine, stools become pale in color, fatigue.
4. Hepatitis D
Hepatitis D may take the symptoms of hepatitis B more severe. The symptoms may include; abdominal pain, dark-colored urine, fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, not feeling very hungry, a low-grade fever, muscle pain, joint pain, sore throat, light-colored stool. Oftentimes, these early symptoms may be confused with those commonly seen with the stomach flu. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes) usually occurs several days after early symptoms of hepatitis D first appear. However, it may occur up to two weeks after symptoms begin. At this point, early symptoms tend to improve, but other new symptoms, such as abdominal pain (or stomach pain) on the right side, may appear.
5. Hepatitis E
Symptoms of hepatitis E are indistinguishable from hepatitis A. Not all people infected with hepatitis E will show symptoms. However, 3 or 8 weeks after getting infected, the symptoms may appears. If symptoms of hepatitis E do occur, they usually appear abruptly. These symptoms (especially early ones) may be similar to the stomach flu and can include; fatigue, a lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, a low-grade fever, muscle pain, joint pain, a sore throat, dark urine, pale-colored stool, stomach pain on the right side. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes) usually occurs several days (up to two weeks) after these early hepatitis E symptoms.