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Weakness, nausea, headache, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, loss of appetite, drowsiness, dark urine, joint stiffness and pains, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, lightcolored stools, and often jaundice (a yellowing of the skin, which will first be noticed in the eyes and mucous membranes). Skin rashes and itching may also occur; the latter is caused by excess bile salts under the skin.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, and may be caused by a virus, bacterium, or toxic substance. But, in most instances, the cause is viral. There are actually several main types of hepatitis:
Hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis): Transmitted by contaminated water, milk, or food, it has an incubation period of 15-45 days. The contagion is highest just before illness begins, so food workers can transmit the disease. Hepatitis A is contagious from 2 weeks to 1 week before the illness starts. It is easily spread by person-to-person contact and through contact with food, clothing, linens, etc. It can be transmitted from animals. Eating shellfish is a good way to get it, even if the waters they live in pass national standards. Recovery generally occurs within 4 weeks. Chronic cases are less likely to occur.
Hepatitis B (serum hepatitis): Found throughout the world and spread as HIV is—through contact with infected blood (contaminated needles, syringes, blood transfusions) and sexual contact. Six cases have been traced to contaminated acupuncture needles. About 5% of all Americans and 85% of gay men have it. Hepatitis B is very serious. It has an incubation period of 28-160 days (2-6 months), and recovery may require 6 months. All during that time, it can be passed from one person to another. In increasing numbers, cases are reverting to chronic active hepatitis, which can result in liver cirrhosis and death. Hepatitis B is the ninth major killer in the United States.
Hepatitis C: Contracted in the same manner as HIV and hepatitis B, hepatitis C may take 6 months to produce symptoms, yet all that time it can be spread from one person to another. Between 20-40% of all hepatitis cases are of this type. It accounts for 90-95% of all hepatitis transmitted by blood donations.
Hepatitis E, hepatitis non-A, and hepatitis non-B also exist, but are of lesser significance in North America. Hepatitis E is found worldwide and is in epidemic proportions in Africa and Asia, and is becoming a serious problem in Mexico. It is generally contracted from drinking sewage-contaminated water. Such water should be boiled before using.
All of the above are primarily viral forms of hepatitis. But there is also one which is caused by toxic chemicals. It is called toxic hepatitis. The amount to which the liver was exposed to the poisonous chemicals, fumes, drug, etc., determines the amount of damage to that organ. Overall, there are 40,000-70,000 reported, new cases of hepatitis each year in America. But the experts suspect that there are probably ten times that many which go unreported. It most often occurs in young adults, and is highest in teenage girls. Hepatitis A is decreasing, and hepatitis B is rapidly increasing. It is fourth among the 30 leading communicable diseases.
• Recent studies have shown that parsley has an unusual effect against viruses that attack the liver. Therefore it is recommended for patients with hepatitis A, B and C to make a cure time of four weeks with fresh parsley juice, fifteen tablespoons per day, taken preferably on an empty stomach, before meals.
• In case of hepatitis C, you should consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the most effective fruits and vegetables, having the quality to heal human liver are bitter gourd, radish, tomato, and carrots.
• Give hot fomentations over the liver area for 15 minutes, followed by a cold sponging, concluded by a shower. Do this 4 times each day. • Most cases of hepatitis are self-limiting and will heal with rest and supportive care.
• Avoid sugar, fat, and alcohol.
• Vitamins B12 and C are important.
• You should have bed rest until the acute stage is past; also he should have initial liquid fasting, followed by a light diet. The patient often has a poor appetite and does not feel like eating, even though he should.
• Drink plenty of water, avoid constipation. He should bathe frequently, and wash his hands with soap after every bowel movement. The toilet seat should also be washed after each usage.
• You should not prepare food for others, and your own utensils should be sterilized after each of his meals, and linen and clothes should be washed separately.
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