Hepatitis E Treatment in Hickory, NC
Hepatitis E is one type of viral hepatitis disease that affects the liver. It presents symptoms like nausea or yellowing skin.
You can be infected with hepatitis E (HEV) by consuming contaminated water or infected meat that’s been improperly prepared. Though not common in the United States, Hepatitis E is more common in certain areas of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central America.
While the virus usually dissipates without treatment, it can sometimes cause acute liver failure. To learn more about how you can protect yourself from HEV, find a specialist in Hickory by calling (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online.
What Are Symptoms of Hepatitis E?
Hep E symptoms usually appear two to nine weeks after exposure to the virus and include:
- mild fever
- lack of appetite
- abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
- joint pain
- skin rash and itching
- dark-colored urine
- clay-colored stool
How Do You Get Hepatitis E?
The main way that you can become infected with hepatitis E is by drinking water that’s been contaminated with fecal matter. Eating undercooked meat from infected animals or raw shellfish that comes from tainted water can also spread the virus. A pregnant woman with HEV can also spread the virus to her fetus.
Are There Different Types of Hepatitis E?
There are two kinds of HEV:
- acute hepatitis E: a short-term infection that oftentimes requires no treatment; can cause acute liver failure and stillbirth, premature birth, or low birthweight in the infants of pregnant women with the condition
- chronic hepatitis E: a rare, long-lasting infection that affects those with weak immune systems; can cause liver failure and cirrhosis
How is Hepatitis E Treated?
Hepatitis E is indistinguishable from other types of hepatitis; if you’re presenting symptoms of HEV, your healthcare provider will use a blood or stool test to diagnose your condition.
Hepatitis E usually resolves on its own without treatment, with the virus going away in about four to six weeks. Treatment is sometimes needed though. Results of HEV treatment vary from patient to patient, depending on age, genetics, environmental conditions, and other health factors.
You can treat symptoms of acute HEV by resting and drinking lots of water. Foods that you should avoid include:
- wheat and gluten
- dairy products
- fruit juice
- artificial sweeteners
Foods that you should eat include:
- vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower
- vegetable juice
For more severe cases of HEV, your healthcare provider may want to monitor you in the hospital. This is especially true if you’re pregnant.
Ways to prevent hepatitis E include:
- not drinking water unless it comes from a clean source
- not eating undercooked meat
- avoiding areas with poor sanitation, especially in third-world countries
- washing your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before you prepare or eat food
How is Hepatitis E treated?
There is currently no preventative hepatitis E vaccine available in the United States, though the HEV 239 vaccine has been registered in China since 2011. Further studies are necessary to establish or improve HEV immunization worldwide.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe a specific dose and duration of the antiviral medication ribavirin and peginterferon alfa-2a together to treat chronic hepatitis E.
Common side effects of these medications include:
- nausea and vomiting
- a headache and dizziness
- stomach pain or loss of appetite
- weight loss
- mood changes like irritability or anxiety
- dry skin or mouth
- temporary hair loss
Tell your healthcare provider if you have serious side effects like:
- irregular heartbeat
- breathing difficulties
- easy bruising or bleeding
- muscle or joint pain
- vision changes
- a persistent sore throat or fever
- increased thirst or urination
- bloody diarrhea
- numbness or tingling in the limbs
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell treatment is also an option to treat chronic HEV that develops into cirrhosis. These cells are injected to stimulate your own cells damaged by hepatitis E to regenerate. This treatment also moderates the inflammatory process. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on stem cell treatment for liver diseases.
Reserve Your Appointment Now
While your chances of becoming infected with the hepatitis E virus are slim, it is important to know how to properly protect yourself. If you’ve been in an area with a higher risk of HEV infection and are experiencing symptoms, find a specialist in Hickory by calling (423) 482-8711 or contact AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center online.
AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center
Address1604 Lamons Lane
Johnson City, TN 37604
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm