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Hepatitis Myths

Hepatitis Myths
Learn more about hepatitis and debunk the most common myths about this disease.

Hepatitis is a disease that affects more than 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is a condition that, if not treated on time, can have serious consequences for its users. This is why it is important to correctly recognize its symptoms and, even after suffering from it, to know that in most cases it is possible to lead a perfectly normal life. 

This condition consists of inflammation of the hepatic organ caused by injuries or infections, chronic or acute, that damage it. Likewise, hepatitis can present itself in several types: A, B, C, and D, and, depending on the case, will require a series of specific treatments. 

Due to the importance of this issue for world’s health, it is necessary to differentiate the reality from the myths surrounding this condition. Here are the 5 most common myths about hepatitis disease.

Doctors talking

Despite not presenting all the symptoms, it is important to go to a specialist to confirm the presence of the  hepatitis disease.

1. Patients with hepatitis are always jaundiced

Although this is one of the characteristic symptoms of liver disease, a patient may not develop jaundice in mild cases of hepatitis disease. 

Likewise, the symptoms of hepatitis vary according to its type and the patient’s own conditions, but the most common, besides jaundice, are vomiting, pain in the abdominal area, and fatigue.

2. Vaccination protects us against all hepatitis

Just as there are several types of hepatitis, there are also several ways to combat it.

The vaccines that have been developed only serve as prevention against hepatitis A and B disease. 

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but this type and the rest can also be prevented with a good diet and avoiding exposure to infected fluids.

3. Hepatitis is only caused by the fluid exchange

A person can contract hepatitis in a number of ways, including through the exchange of fluids by being exposed to contaminated substances or by exchanging fluids with people who have hepatitis disease. Other forms of hepatitis transmission include ingestion of contaminated food and, in the case of hepatitis B, the disease can be passed from mother to fetus during the gestation period. 

Hepatitis can also occur due to continuous liver damage, caused by a diet high in alcohol and fat, or due to other diseases that also damage the organ.

4. Having had hepatitis prevents me from donating blood

It depends. Since there are several types of hepatitis and some can be cured without major complications, a person who suffered from hepatitis A in childhood can donate blood perfectly well. However, if you have had hepatitis B, C, and other more severe cases, you are not eligible to donate blood.

Mother and child in consultation with a pediatrician

It is possible to donate blood if you have suffered from acute hepatitis as a child and are currently healthy

5. Hepatitis is not curable

Fortunately, several types of hepatitis are perfectly treatable and are successfully cured by following the treatment prescribed by a physician and without requiring transplantation. However, some forms of hepatitis such as chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, and autoimmune hepatitis are particularly dangerous because, when they develop over the long term, they cause further damage to the liver and put the patient at risk of suffering from other liver diseases.

These are just some of the myths about hepatitis. We invite you to read other articles on our website to deepen your knowledge about this and other liver diseases so that you can take care of yourself and your community. 

Verónica Guillén, redacción
Pasante de Contenidos Fundahígado América

Eugenia Jiménez Alvarez, revisión
Asistente a la coordinación Fundahigado América
Licenciada en Ciencias Biomédicas

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