“Hepatitis starts to show symptoms anywhere between two weeks to six months after you get infected. Depending on the type of hepatitis virus you have, the symptoms differ slightly as to when they appear. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-coloured stool, jaundice and fever,” says Dr. S K Sahoo, General Physician, Apollo 24|7 app, explaining the symptoms of hepatitis.
Dr. Sahoo in an interview with us also talks about the lifestyle habits that can make you more prone to hepatitis
One of the most common ways of transmitting hepatitis virus is through coming in contact with an infected person’s body fluids including semen. Therefore, one should be very cautious while indulging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, as it may increase the risk of you contracting the virus.
If you indulge in intravenous recreational drug usage, then you may be at a higher risk of developing hepatitis infection because the contaminated needle will become the perfect carrier for the hepatitis virus to travel from infected person to the healthy individual.
Not washing hands before and after eating, eating from roadside vendors, etc are risk factors for hepatitis as it increases the likelihood of you catching the virus.
Hepatitis virus can survive for a prolonged duration in contaminated waters and can enter a person’s body if consumed. Low- and middle-income countries where access to clean drinking water is limited are more prone to hepatitis infections.
Having an inactive lifestyle also becomes a risk factor for hepatitis as the body’s immune system loses its ability to fight the virus.
- Safe and hygienic living environment is the first and foremost precaution one should take to stay away from a hepatitis infection.
- Apart from these lifestyle changes mentioned above, getting vaccinated for the strains of viruses also helps prevent infections.
Alcohol reduces your liver’s ability to fight off the hepatitis virus. Therefore, it is best to steer clear of heavy alcohol usage if you want to stay safe from hepatitis infection.
“Because the symptoms of hepatitis infections do not show up early it becomes imperative to get lab tests done as soon as the first symptoms start to show to prevent severe damage to the liver,” concludes Dr. Sahoo.