Hepatitis Awareness Week falls during the week of July 28th. There are three main types of hepatitis in the U.S., and each one has symptoms that can make it hard to function. Here are six facts to learn about hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Elder care can help by providing respite care to the caregiver.
Millions Don’t Realize They Have Hepatitis
It’s estimated that more than 3 million Americans have hepatitis B or C. Around half of them may not realize it. Around 51 percent of people with hepatitis C don’t know it, and approximately 67 percent don’t realize they have hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B and C Can Lead to Liver Cancer
This is concerning as both of these forms of hepatitis can cause liver damage. They can lead to liver cancer. Being diagnosed and seeking treatment is the best way to protect the liver.
Symptoms Aren’t Always Apparent
Some of the symptoms of hepatitis aren’t always noticeable until the disease has advanced. By the time jaundice sets in, the liver is already being damaged. You may not realize that your exhaustion is caused by the anemia that occurs with hepatitis. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Loss of appetite
There Are Five Types of Hepatitis
You usually hear of hepatitis A, B, and C. There are two other types of hepatitis. Delta (type D) only appears in people who have type B.
Hepatitis E is not common in the U.S. It is linked to drinking water that contains the virus or eating raw or undercooked pork, shellfish, venison, or wild boar.
Treatments and Elder Care Can Help Many Cases of Hepatitis
Anti-viral medications are the primary treatment plan for people, but they’re not cures. Hepatitis A and E may go away on their own. A diet that protects the liver is essential, and it’s best to stop drinking alcoholic beverages.
Vaccinations Help Protect You From Hepatitis
Vaccinations are available for hepatitis A and B. These vaccines are part of a routine immunization schedule for infants and children. Older adults are less likely to have gotten these vaccinations. They’re usually only offered to adults living in high-risk communities, live with someone with hepatitis B, have chronic liver or kidney disease, or plan to travel to a country where hepatitis A is common.
Arrange to Have Elder Care Available Until Your Mom or Dad Feels Better
Could elder care help a parent who has one of the common types of hepatitis? Talk to your parents about the benefits of having caregivers available for respite care.
As the body heals and medication side effects kick in, it is helpful to have a helping hand with daily chores. Nausea and vomiting, a lack of energy, abdominal pain, and muscle pain can make it hard to function.
Symptoms don’t always last and affect people differently. Until your mom or dad’s health improves and regains energy, call our elder care agency and learn more about having caregivers available to help.