What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a virus that infects the liver. This important organ filters toxins from your bloodstream. Whenever you take drugs, medication, and especially when you drink alcohol, they all pass through your liver.
The most common types of Hepatitis are A, B and C. There are actually 7 types that have been identified, but Hepatitis D, E, F, and G are much rarer. We’ll only talk about the first three.
Hepatitis can become a serious, chronic illness which can cause liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
What are the symptoms?
These can include fatigue (feeling tired), loss of appetite, belly ache, nausea, throwing up, fever, and yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
Many people don’t feel any symptoms at all, and many people aren’t aware they’re infected.
What’s the difference between the different types?
While all types of hepatitis cause damage to the liver, Hepatitis A, B and C have different ways of being transmitted and different long term consequences. You can become infected with more than one type of Hepatitis at the same time.
How do I get tested?
If you are concerned that you have been exposed to Hepatitis, you should make an appointment with your doctor or visit your local CLSC for more information. The only way to be sure if someone has Hepatitis is through a blood test.