How to Recognize Hepatitis Symptoms
A distinctive yellowing of the skin is a sign of
Hi I'm Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This segment is called How to Recognize Hepatitis.Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. The way to recognize the disease is fairly easy. When something involves the liver - the inflammation of the liver - there's a loss of appetite, lassitude and fatigue. There's also yellowing of the whites of the eyes, it's called the scleral icteru, and a yellowing of the mucus membranes of say the mouth. There's also a yellowing of the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, and a distinctive yellowing of the skin which we call jaundice.Now there is little difference in icterus between people who are dark-skinned and people who are light-skinned. If you look at a dark-skinned person and you cannot see the yellowing of the skin, you can always look at the sclera or the whites of the eyes which turn distinctly yellow in patients who have severe hepatitis.Hepatitis affects all sorts of things: the hepatitis A and B are both hepatitities where vaccines exist and so one can be immunized against both of those. Unfortunately hepatitis C is more insidious. Hepatitis C is usually acquired from a blood transfusion or some other means where bodily fluids are inadvertently swapped. Now hepatitis C can be chronic and go on for many years with eventual cirrhosis and has to be treated at some point. Hepatitis A and B are more acute and so the jaundice, the itching of the skin, the lassitude, the nausea, the vomiting, the loss of appetite is usually a bit more acute and they require hospitalization in some cases where a patient is dehydrated or under-nourished or suffering intensely.For more information about recognizing hepatitis, go to About.com.