A liver infection is an infection that indicates the invasion of foreign bodies and organisms into the organ. It can affect the proper functioning of the liver. A liver infection usually occurs to those individuals contracted with foreign objects or organisms. The liver is considered to be one of the most essential organs present in most vertebrates and other animals. This particular organ possesses a lot of important bodily functions. Its many functions involve the detoxification of blood, the construction of protein molecules through the process known as protein synthesis and the production of certain chemicals and enzymes that aid in the complete digestion of food. The most popular and important of these chemicals is bile, which degrades lipids. The liver is likewise associated with metabolism and the overall production of energy in the human body.
Liver infection symptoms are similar for various diseases of the liver. Some of the vital symptoms of an infection include the following;
Types of Liver Infection:
The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is found in the faeces of someone infected with the virus. It only takes a tiny amount of faeces getting inside another person’s mouth to cause hepatitis A infection. Hepatitis A can affect all age groups. Once a person is exposed to the virus it takes between 2 and 6 weeks to produce symptoms. It is possible to experience mild or no symptoms whatsoever, but even if this is the case the person’s faeces will still be infectious to others. Many people who become infected with HAV will have symptoms that include: a short, mild, flu-like illness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; loss of appetite; weight loss; jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, darker yellow urine and pale faeces); itchy skin; abdominal pain. HAV is tested for using a blood test. A positive test result means the patient has either had a past infection or is currently infected. There is no specific treatment for HAV and most people fight off the virus naturally, returning to full health within a couple of months. Immunisation may also be recommended to prevent hepatitis A developing if a person suspects they have been exposed to the virus.
Hepatitis B is more likely to cause chronic long-term illness and permanent damage to the liver if not treated. It is most frequently passed on through the exchange of bodily fluids with an infected person. HBV can be spread by unprotected sex with someone who is infectious, by sharing contaminated needles or other drug-injecting equipment, by using non-sterilised equipment for tattooing, acupuncture or body piercing, from an infected mother to her baby, most commonly during delivery, through a blood transfusion in a country where blood is not screened for blood-borne viruses such as HBV. One may experienced mild symptoms. When symptoms do appear they are similar to those of hepatitis A and may include: a short, mild, flu-like illness; nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; loss of appetite; weight loss; jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, darker yellow urine and pale faeces); itchy skin. Most adults infected with the hepatitis B virus fully recover and develop life-long immunity. Between 2% and 10% of individuals infected as adults will become chronic carriers, which mean they will be infectious to others and can develop chronic liver damage. Infected children, especially newborn babies, are much more likely to become chronic carriers. If a person lives with hepatitis B infection for a number of years then they may develop chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Antiviral medication is given as treatment to those with chronic symptoms to help prevent further liver damage. These medications may be injected or given in pill form. Examples are Interferon Alpha, Lamivudine and Baraclude. Treatment usually lasts 6 months, during which time the patient will be carefully monitored. Three immunisation injections are given over a period of 3-6 months. A blood test is taken once the course of injections is completed to check they have worked. Immunity should last for at least 5 years.
Hepatitis C like other forms of hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis C virus is transferred primarily through blood, and is more persistent than hepatitis A or B.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be spread by sharing drug-injecting equipment (needles, heating spoons, etc), through exposure to blood during unprotected sex with an infected person, Sexual transmission is an uncommon way of becoming infected with hepatitis C and rarely, from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. By sharing equipment used to snort cocaine. Usually this is a rolled banknote, which can become contaminated with blood from a person’s nose.
Many people do not have symptoms when they become infected with hepatitis C. Symptoms may emerge later, taking anywhere between 15 and 150 days to develop. An infected person without symptoms can still act as a carrier and pass the virus on to others. Symptoms may include a short, mild, flu-like illness; nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; loss of appetite;weight loss; jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, darker yellow urine and pale faeces) and itchy skin. If a person lives with hepatitis C infection for a number of years then they may develop chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. If symptoms become severe then a person with hepatitis C may be admitted to hospital for monitoring and treatment. Treatment combines the antiviral drugs interferon and ribavirin. A patient will also require regular check-ups to monitor their progress. It is important to remember that if HCV treatment is effective and the infection is cleared, this does not mean the patient has future immunity to hepatitis C.
Rarer Types of Liver Infection:
Hepatitis D, caused by the hepatitis D virus, is only present in people already infected with hepatitis B (it needs the presence of the hepatitis B virus to be able to survive in your body).
Hepatitis E, caused by the hepatitis E virus, is very rare and is generally a mild and acute infection. It is caught by putting something in your mouth that has been contaminated with the faeces of someone with hepatitis E. Person-to-person transmission is rare.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a very rare cause of chronic (long-term) hepatitis. The white blood cells attack the liver, causing chronic inflammation and damage. This can lead to more serious problems, such as liver failure. The reason for this reaction is unknown. Symptoms include tiredness, pains in your abdomen, joint aches, jaundice (yellow tinge to your skin and whites of your eyes) and cirrhosis. Treatment for autoimmune hepatitis involves medicines that help to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Liver fluke is a parasitic infection that has two distinct phases: the acute phase and the chronic phase. An acute liver fluke infection occurs when the parasites travel through your body and into your liver, where they mature. Once that's happened, you'll experience a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, an enlarged liver, red skin hives and a high concentration of eosinophils in your bloodstream. These symptoms can last for months, even with treatment. The disease reaches the chronic phase when the adult fluke infects your bile ducts. At this point, many patients are asymptomatic, though you may experience warning signs similar to those seen with acute infection, depending on the specific type of fluke. You put yourself at risk for contracting liver fluke by eating undercooked or raw fish or animals or plants that live in fluke-infested waters.
Causes of Liver Infection:
There are a variety of probable causative agents for a liver infection. Each of these agents has its own set of mechanisms for invading the host thus each one is typically associated with a unique array of symptoms. However, some types of liver infection present similar manifestations or symptoms.
Tests and Diagnosis of Liver Infection:
Liver disease is diagnosed using a number of tests, including:
Liver Infection Treatment:
Benefits of Liver Infection Treatment:
Liver Infection Treatment in India:
Cost of Liver Infection Treatment in India:
India is attracting an influx of medical tourists from different parts of the world for critical treatment like liver infection. Over a Million people every year take medical tour to India for the low cost medical procedures it offers, which are 50 to 70 percent lower in comparison to healthcare costs in their home countries. People are attracted towards the best quality of healthcare services, accredited medical facilities, and internationally trained and qualified health care professionals and travel to India for their health care needs.
Some of the common countries from which patients travel to India for surgery are:
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