Hepatitis Physician in Orlando, FL

See Orlando Gastroenterology Doctor for Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E

Hepatitis is a disease of the liver, the organ in the body that fights infection, removes harmful chemicals from the blood, helps digest food, stores nutrients and vitamins, and stores energy.

Hepatitis is an infection caused by a virus. It can be acute or chronic, depending on the type of virus. There are five kinds of hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. At Orlando Gastroenterology, we understand hepatitis. We will identify what type you suffer from and establish a treatment plan to restore you to health.

Hepatitis A

This kind of hepatitis is the mildest form of the five. It does not cause long-term liver damage and usually disappears on its own within six months.

Who gets hepatitis A?

Anyone can get hepatitis A, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people who travel to developing countries
  • people who live with someone who has hepatitis A
  • people who use illegal drugs, including non-injection drugs
  • men who have sex with men

How can I avoid getting hepatitis A?

You can avoid getting hepatitis A by getting the hepatitis A vaccine.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is given through two shots. The second shot is given six to 12 months after the first shot. Both shots are needed to be fully protected from the virus.

Hepatitis B

This form of hepatitis can last up to six months—it can be acute but not chronic. Most people get Hepatitis B through sex or intravenous drug use. It is most often spread through bodily fluids. It can lead to complications such as liver failure or cancer if not treated.

Who gets hepatitis B?

Anyone can get hepatitis B, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people born to a mother with hepatitis B
  • people who live with someone who has hepatitis B
  • people who have lived in countries where hepatitis B is common
  • people who are exposed to blood or bodily fluids at work
  • people on hemodialysis
  • people who have had more than one sex partner in the last six months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
  • injection drug users
  • men who have sex with men

How can I avoid getting hepatitis B?

You can avoid getting hepatitis B by getting the hepatitis B vaccine, which is given in a series of three shots over several months. You need all three shots to be fully protected.

Hepatitis C

This form of the disease spreads through blood, not bodily fluids, so most people get Hepatitis C through intravenous drug use. Although it usually goes away by itself, in some cases it develops into chronic hepatitis and may cause damage to the liver.

Who gets hepatitis C?

Anyone can get hepatitis C, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • people who have had more than one sex partner in the last six months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
  • people who had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • people with hemophilia who received blood products before 1987
  • people who have used illegal injection drugs

How can I avoid getting hepatitis C?

  • do not share drug needles
  • wear gloves if you must touch another person’s blood
  • use a condom during sex
  • do not borrow another person’s toothbrush, razor, or anything else that could have blood on it
  • make sure tattoos or body piercings are done with sterile tools

Do not donate blood or blood products if you have hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D and E

Only patients with Hepatitis B can get Hepatitis D. It is rare in the United States.

Hepatitis E is rare in the United States. It is most often caused by drinking water contaminated with fecal matter.

Hepatitis signs and symptoms

The intensity of symptoms depends on how advanced the disease is. People with acute or chronic hepatitis may suffer from these symptoms:

  • Appetite loss
  • Aching joints or muscles
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stools that are grayish-white
  • Urine that is dark

People with chronic forms for Hepatitis B and C may be symptom-free for years. Sometimes symptoms do not manifest until after liver damage has occurred. This can also be the case with acute forms of hepatitis.

Hepatitis treatment

Treatment for hepatitis depends on which form of the disease a person has.

Hepatitis A treatment

No medication is available to cure Hepatitis A, but this form of the disease usually goes away by itself and does not damage the liver. It can take up to six months to be disease-free. Physicians most often focus on managing nausea, fever, and other symptoms.

Hepatitis B treatment

Physicians focus treatment for acute Hepatitis B on managing symptoms and encouraging patients to eat properly, drink fluids, and rest. Treatment for chronic Hepatitis B may include antiviral medications and watching for signs of liver damage.

Hepatitis C treatment

Hepatitis C is not treated unless it becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis C is treated with drugs that slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver.

Chronic Hepatitis C is most often treated with the drug combination peginterferon and ribavirin, which attacks the hepatitis C virus.

 A person whose liver has already become damaged may need a liver transplant.

How is hepatitis diagnosed?

All forms of hepatitis are diagnosed through blood tests. A physician may also order a liver biopsy to test for liver damage.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the hepatitis entries at the NIDDK website.

Make an Appointment

See Orlando Gastroenterology Doctor for Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E

Hepatitis is a disease of the liver, the organ in the body that fights infection, removes harmful chemicals from the blood, helps digest food, stores nutrients and vitamins, and stores energy.

Hepatitis is an infection caused by a virus. It can be acute or chronic, depending on the type of virus. There are five kinds of hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. At Orlando Gastroenterology, we understand hepatitis. We will identify what type you suffer from and establish a treatment plan to restore you to health.

Hepatitis A

This kind of hepatitis is the mildest form of the five. It does not cause long-term liver damage and usually disappears on its own within six months.

Who gets hepatitis A?

Anyone can get hepatitis A, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people who travel to developing countries
  • people who live with someone who has hepatitis A
  • people who use illegal drugs, including non-injection drugs
  • men who have sex with men

How can I avoid getting hepatitis A?

You can avoid getting hepatitis A by getting the hepatitis A vaccine.

The Hepatitis A vaccine is given through two shots. The second shot is given six to 12 months after the first shot. Both shots are needed to be fully protected from the virus.

Hepatitis B

This form of hepatitis can last up to six months—it can be acute but not chronic. Most people get Hepatitis B through sex or intravenous drug use. It is most often spread through bodily fluids. It can lead to complications such as liver failure or cancer if not treated.

Who gets hepatitis B?

Anyone can get hepatitis B, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people born to a mother with hepatitis B
  • people who live with someone who has hepatitis B
  • people who have lived in countries where hepatitis B is common
  • people who are exposed to blood or bodily fluids at work
  • people on hemodialysis
  • people who have had more than one sex partner in the last six months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
  • injection drug users
  • men who have sex with men

How can I avoid getting hepatitis B?

You can avoid getting hepatitis B by getting the hepatitis B vaccine, which is given in a series of three shots over several months. You need all three shots to be fully protected.

Hepatitis C

This form of the disease spreads through blood, not bodily fluids, so most people get Hepatitis C through intravenous drug use. Although it usually goes away by itself, in some cases it develops into chronic hepatitis and may cause damage to the liver.

Who gets hepatitis C?

Anyone can get hepatitis C, but some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • people who have had more than one sex partner in the last six months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
  • people who had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • people with hemophilia who received blood products before 1987
  • people who have used illegal injection drugs

How can I avoid getting hepatitis C?

  • do not share drug needles
  • wear gloves if you must touch another person’s blood
  • use a condom during sex
  • do not borrow another person’s toothbrush, razor, or anything else that could have blood on it
  • make sure tattoos or body piercings are done with sterile tools

Do not donate blood or blood products if you have hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D and E

Only patients with Hepatitis B can get Hepatitis D. It is rare in the United States.

Hepatitis E is rare in the United States. It is most often caused by drinking water contaminated with fecal matter.

Hepatitis signs and symptoms

The intensity of symptoms depends on how advanced the disease is. People with acute or chronic hepatitis may suffer from these symptoms:

  • Appetite loss
  • Aching joints or muscles
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stools that are grayish-white
  • Urine that is dark

People with chronic forms for Hepatitis B and C may be symptom-free for years. Sometimes symptoms do not manifest until after liver damage has occurred. This can also be the case with acute forms of hepatitis.

Hepatitis treatment

Treatment for hepatitis depends on which form of the disease a person has.

Hepatitis A treatment

No medication is available to cure Hepatitis A, but this form of the disease usually goes away by itself and does not damage the liver. It can take up to six months to be disease-free. Physicians most often focus on managing nausea, fever, and other symptoms.

Hepatitis B treatment

Physicians focus treatment for acute Hepatitis B on managing symptoms and encouraging patients to eat properly, drink fluids, and rest. Treatment for chronic Hepatitis B may include antiviral medications and watching for signs of liver damage.

Hepatitis C treatment

Hepatitis C is not treated unless it becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis C is treated with drugs that slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver.

Chronic Hepatitis C is most often treated with the drug combination peginterferon and ribavirin, which attacks the hepatitis C virus.

 A person whose liver has already become damaged may need a liver transplant.

How is hepatitis diagnosed?

All forms of hepatitis are diagnosed through blood tests. A physician may also order a liver biopsy to test for liver damage.

The above information comes from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To ensure that you’re viewing the most up-to-date information, we recommend visiting the hepatitis entries at the NIDDK website.

Make an Appointment