Hepatitis A to G : The Facts You Need to Know about All the Forms of This Dangerous Disease
OVER SIX MILLION AMERICANS HAVE IT.
MORE THAN 400,000 GET IT EACH YEAR.
NEARLY FORTY-FIVE PEOPLE DIE FROM IT EACH DAY.
FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT...
HEPATITIS A TO G
Hepatitis is a growing epidemic caused by many deadly viruses labeled A to G, each requiring different diagnoses and treatments. Easily contracted in many ways, from drinking water to casual contact to sexual intercourse, this debilitating disease poses a risk to everyone. Now for the first time in a definitive guide, here is the only book that gives you the solid facts on all forms of this illness. Written by viral expert Dr. Alan Berkman and science author Nicholas Bakalar, this comprehensive, easy-to-read volume clearly explains how each hepatitis virus is contracted and avoided, and, if you have it, how to treat it with the latest medical breakthroughs.
In HEPATITIS A TO G, learn about:
- The chronic, sometimes deadly viruses B, C, and D-and what treatments work best
- Certain strains that quickly strike children and teenagers-and whether they should be inoculated
- The infectious dangers that can be found in your home
- Essential facts on preventing infection
- Life-saving information for all travelers-domestic and international.
IN A WORLD OF DEADLY VIRUSES,
IGNORANCE CAN BE FATAL.
EVERYONE SHOULD BE ASKING:
- How do you avoid contracting hepatitis altogether?
- Which strains can be cured and which are chronic?
- Can you get hepatitis from eating strawberries or shellfish?
- How dangerous are eating utensils and public bathrooms?
- Which vaccinations should children be given?
- What do you do if you or someone you know has the disease?
Answering these and many more questions with information from the most recent viral research, this book offers the complete facts on this escalating epidemic...HEPATITIS A TO G
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Grand Central Publishing
May 01, 2001
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Excerpt from Hepatitis A to G by Nicholas Bakalar
Hepatitis A to G
On your right side, just above your intestines in front of your kidneys and under your rib cage beneath your lungs, lies the most complex organ in your body: your liver. In most adults, it weighs around three pounds, making it by a considerable margin your largest internal organ. Blood is constantly flowing through this organ--in fact, all the blood in your body flows through it to process useful nutrients and get rid of toxins.
Any irritation of the liver, anything that makes it in-flamed, is called hepatitis. But the term is most commonly used to describe a group of infectious diseases caused by a handful of different viruses that attack the liver. These viruses, and their effect on the liver, are the subject of this book. There are vaccines for some of these viruses, but not for all. Some of the diseases they cause are chronic, some come and go like a very bad case of the flu, and some are deadly. Six different kinds of hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, and G, have now been discovered.
Each of these is caused by a different virus. Five of the types cause disease; one, hepatitis G, lives in the blood without causing any apparent illness.
Hepatitis is very common. One hundred and twenty-five thousand new cases of hepatitis A occur every year. In the U.S., five thousand people a year die from hepatitis B. Hepatitis C is the main reason for liver transplantation in the United States--more people get new livers because of hepatitis C infection than because of alcoholism--and more than 240 million people are infected worldwide. Hepatitis E is extremely rare in the United States, but is widespread in other parts of the world where inadequate sanitation allows it to flourish.
Hepatitis A is a nasty disease that can be prevented by a simple and nearly painless vaccination. Hepatitis B, too, can be prevented by a vaccine. But if you contract hepatitis B, you can get a chronic form of it that will be with you for the rest of your life. Hepatitis C is a chronic and sometimes deadly disease with no vaccine, no cure, and a treatment that is effective in only a limited number of cases. A coinfection of hepatitis D with hepatitis B can make the disease much worse. Travelers to endemic areas must be aware of the risks of hepatitis E. In other words, hepatitis is of immediate concern to your health and that of your family. This book is intended to equip you with the knowledge you need to diminish your risk.
The Liver: What It Does, How It Works
The liver does much more than purify the blood and process nutrients. Its healthy functioning is essential to other bodily systems--the blood, bile, lymph, and immune systems--and it also performs more than five hundred chemical functions that make your body work properly, including the following:
- Manufacturing proteins
- Storing certain vitamins, iron and other minerals, and sugars
- Regulating the transport of fat stores and controlling the production and excretion of cholesterol
- Regulating blood clotting
- Producing bile essential to the proper digestion of fats
- Purifying the blood by neutralizing and destroying poisonous substances
- Metabolizing alcohol and other drugs
- Maintaining hormone balance
- Forming blood before birth
- Protecting the body from infection by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
- Regenerating its own damaged tissue
In short, if your liver is functioning poorly, so is almost everything else in your body. If the liver fails, other organs begin to fail as well. The kidneys, colon, bile duct, lungs, and mucous membranes become poisoned. Rashes, eczema, aches and pains, and organ failures may occur.
And finally, the risk of liver cancer increases. So any organism that attacks the liver can cause serious problems everywhere. And that is what, among other things, the hepatitis virus does.
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the Liver
The diagnosis of hepatitis--or at least the recognition of its symptoms--is almost as old as the history of medicine.