Hepatitis D is an infection that results to the inflammation of the liver. The swelling can damage the liver function and result to lasting issues with the liver including scarring and cancer.
Unlike with the other forms, hepatitis D could not be acquired on its own. It can only affect those who are already infected by hepatitis B.
The condition can be categorized as acute or chronic.
- Acute – this arises abruptly and triggers severe symptoms. It might settle on its own.
- Chronic – this last for 6 months or longer. The virus might be present in the body for several months before any symptoms arise. If left to progress, the possibility for complications increases.
What are the indications?
Hepatitis D will not always trigger any symptoms. If symptoms arise, they often include the following:
- Joint pain
- Yellowish tinge to the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Appetite loss
The signs of hepatitis D and B are strikingly the same, thus it is hard to determine which disease is responsible for the symptoms. In some instances, hepatitis D can worsen the symptoms of hepatitis B.
Management of hepatitis D
There are no available treatment options for acute or chronic hepatitis D. Take note that the latest antiviral medications are not effective in managing this form of hepatitis.
Generally, the individual takes large doses of interferon for up to 12 months. This is a type of protein that can stop the virus from spreading and leading to remission from the disease. Nevertheless, even after treatment, those with the disease might still show up a positive result for the virus. This simply means that it is vital to strictly observe measures to prevent its spread.