Hepatitis in Kansas City, MO

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Across the globe, nearly 300 million people are living their lives without knowing that they have a condition known as viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, at its most basic description, is inflammation or swelling of the liver. The most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. These three forms of hepatitis are designated in reference to the strain of the virus that causes the inflammation of the liver. Each individual type of hepatitis can virtually be regarded as a unique disease as each type of infection responds to different therapies. If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with, or may already have, a variation of hepatitis, please call Digestive Health Specialists. Our skilled GI specialists routinely treat patients with hepatitis in Kansas City, MO.

Hepatitis A (HAV) is found to be very communicable and frequently affects people who drink or eat something that has been in contact with fecal matter or another person who has the disease. Though highly contagious, it is not very concerning compared to the other forms. Hepatitis A can be avoided with a vaccine, and is treatable by a healthcare provider.

If you have hepatitis A, you could experience signs or symptoms that include:

  • Yellow skin, yellow eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Dark urine (Jaundice)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdominal area

The most prevalent treatment protocol for HAV is to get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and avoid drinking alcohol. The majority of cases of HAV will clear up on their own. To avoid getting HAV, you can schedule a hepatitis A vaccination from your healthcare provider or our Kansas City, MO gastroenterology office.

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a more concerning type of hepatitis infection. If the virus is not treated, it can possibly result in liver failure and even cancer of the liver. If you are an adult and get hep B, your body should be able to fight it off within a few months. Once the virus has diminished, immunity results. Should individuals contract hepatitis B at birth, however, the disease is unlikely to subside. HBV is commonly communicable via blood, sexual fluids, saliva, using a contaminated needle, or passed from an infected pregnant woman to her child during birth.

The common symptoms and signs of hepatitis B are listed below:

  • Aching joints
  • Fever
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Light-colored stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Pain in the abdominal area

If you may have been infected by the hep B virus, we urge you to see your medical provider or contact Digestive Health Specialists as soon as possible. The faster you get treatment, the better for your health. Your doctor will likely advise a vaccine for hepatitis B and other antiviral medication.

Generally transmitted via bodily fluids (including blood), hepatitis C (HCV) is another virus that can injure the liver. Hepatitis C can occur in two separate forms, acute hepatitis C or chronic hepatitis C.

  • Acute hepatitis C is the less severe form of hepatitis C and usually lasts over a six-month timeframe. After six months, most people’s immune systems will overpower the infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis C arises when a person's natural defenses cannot fight off the infection within the first six months and the virus impacts the body for a longer timeframe. This can lead to prolonged health issues, such as hepatic cirrhosis (liver cirrhosis) and liver cancer.

The most common hepatitis C symptoms are as follows:

  • Bruise easily
  • Bleed easily
  • Slurred speech
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, dark urine)
  • Severe fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Undesired weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Joint pain

The cure rate of HCV is more than 90%. The most common treatment protocols for hep C are listed below:

  • Antiviral medications
  • Liver transplant (chronic hepatitis C)
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The greatest way to avoid getting hepatitis A or B is to undergo vaccination for the condition. It is advised to have young children undergo vaccination for hepatitis A somewhere between the ages of 12 months to 23 months, but individuals can also have the vaccine at any point after that. The hepatitis B vaccine is commonly administered to newborns, but people can have the vaccine at any time in life. Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Additional healthy practices to avoid developing hepatitis are:

  • Avoid consuming unclean food and water, eating uncooked meat, and eating food from street vendors
  • Ensure any needles you use have been properly sterilized, such as when getting tattoos or piercings or if using illicit drugs
  • When having sex, use protection
  • If traveling, check if the location you are going has elevated incidences of hepatitis infection
  • Make sure to always wash your hands after touching any bodily fluids or using the restroom
  • Do not share personal hygiene products, such as toothbrushes, razors, etc.

Though hepatitis can potentially result in concerning problems, such as liver cancer and liver failure, it can be treated with help from a gastrointestinal physician. If you are having any concerning GI symptoms or signs, like any of the symptoms discussed above, contact Digestive Health Specialists. As a physician-led team of gastroenterologists, we endeavor to deliver safe, patient-centric care. To receive additional information about the treatments available for all forms of hepatitis in Kansas City, MO, speak with our friendly team today.

I didn't feel the NP was interested in my issues. I have been ill for several months. And I was hoping to get some answers. She kept stretching and twisting in her chair when she was talking to me. Like she was trying to get her back to pop or something. I was there on a Friday on Monday I tried to call for questions I had and could never get to a nurse to speak with. Very discouraged. Kept getting the schedule line.

K.M. Google

Got in at appointed time - didn't have to wait which really impressed me.

J. Google

I had my fist visit last week. He started the lung me all the symptoms I have been experiencing for the last 4 years then asked if that sounded like what was going on? I said sure was and he put together a treatment plan right ther on the first appointment. I’m impressed.

N.E. Google

First time is went to see doctor Jones he was very friendly and took care of my pain. Thank you doctor Jones

I.G. Google

Great doctor. Put me at ease. Excellent staff.

S.B. Google


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