Every year on July 28, the world comes together to raise awareness of an infectious disease that affects so many. It’s world hepatitis day. It is a time was patient organizations, governments, medical professionals, and the general public to educate others about this viral disease. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for approximately 1.34 million deaths per year. The topic can get confusing, as there are different viral types that are contracted a lot of different ways, so we have compiled a list of our most informative articles on the subject. You will find information on hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and liver cirrhosis. We have also included how the virus is linked to rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
New insight into hepatitis B infection may yield future treatment
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. A vital organ of the body involved in filtering the blood of toxins, producing necessary metabolites and biochemicals your body needs on a daily basis. It is currently estimated that about 257 million people are currently living with hepatitis B, and approximately 887,000 deaths from the viral infection recorded in 2015.
While a vaccine is available, there is currently no treatment to cure the disease. However, a team of researchers has recently uncovered new insight into how the virus works that may pave the way for new treatment development. Continue reading…
Hepatitis C screening recommended for baby boomers, as they face higher viral infection risk
Hepatitis C screening is recommended for baby boomers as they face higher viral infection risk. Those who were born between 1945 and 1965—baby boomers—have five times greater risk of having been exposed to hepatitis C infection. For this reason, the CDC Task Force has recommended that those born during that time period be screened for hepatitis C.
Unfortunately, the screening blood test for hepatitis C is often not conducted on baby boomers, even if they go for routine medical checkups.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System developed a way to improve hepatitis C screening making it a regular part of patient check up. The method involves electronic medical record alerts. Continue reading…
Managing hepatitis C with joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and arthralgia
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been found to cause rheumatoid arthritis (RA), even before HCV is detected. Hepatitis C can contribute to liver failure, but is also known to cause rheumatoid arthritis – inflammation of the joints. Due to the link between HCV and rheumatoid conditions, it’s important that newly diagnosed RA patients get tested for HCV, as rheumatoid symptoms can occur before HCV is even detected.
Rheumatoid diseases cause pain in the joints, muscles, and connective tissue. Joint swelling and blood vessel inflammation can occur as well. A recent study dove deeper into the connection between HCV and rheumatoid arthritis and uncovered what may link the two. Continue reading…
Hepatitis C infection in liver cirrhosis patients can be cured with investigational oral therapy
Hepatitis C infection in liver cirrhosis patients can be cured with investigational oral therapy. An advanced form of liver disease, cirrhosis can be caused by hepatitis C infection, alcoholism, autoimmune disease, and other strains of hepatitis, among other causes. Hepatitis C attacks the liver, leading to the formation of scar tissue.
In its early stages, damage caused by hepatitis C to the liver is referred to as fibrosis. As liver damage progresses, the damage becomes irreversible and is known as cirrhosis.
Roughly five to 20 percent of hepatitis C patients will go on to develop cirrhosis of the liver within a 20- to 30-year time span.
Currently, the only treatment for cirrhosis of the liver is a liver transplant. Continue reading…
Fibromyalgia incidences higher in patients with hepatitis B virus infection
Fibromyalgia incidences are higher in patients with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Hepatitis B infection is a potentially life-threatening illness, which primarily affects the liver and can be acute or chronic. Previous research has revealed higher fibromyalgia rates among those with hepatitis B infection.
For the study, the researchers looked at 118 hepatitis B patients who were divided into three groups: HBV carriers, chronic active HBV patients, and patients who had been treated with antiretroviral therapy for at least three months. Sixty age- and gender-matched healthy individuals were also assessed as a control group. Continue reading…