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Hepatitis Specialist

Digestive Disease Specialists

Gastroenterology Practice located in Moline, IL & Bettendorf, IA

Hepatitis isn’t just one disease, but a collection of conditions that cause severe inflammation of the liver. If you have symptoms of hepatitis or a hepatitis diagnosis, you need medical help. The gastroenterologists at Digestive Disease Specialists with offices in Moline, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, help support your condition regardless of the type of hepatitis you have. Call today or use the online tool to book an appointment and receive expert hepatitis care.

Hepatitis Q&A

What is hepatitis?

Your liver is a vital organ that filters toxins, aids digestion, and excretes bilirubin, cholesterol, and hormones. It also synthesizes blood proteins, stores glycogen (sugar for energy), and stockpiles several nutrients. 

Hepatitis affects your liver. Some cases are caused by a virus, but others have causes like alcohol use or immune system dysfunction. Hepatitis isn’t always symptomatic, and many people don’t know they have it. 

What are the types of viral hepatitis?

Hepatitis B and C are the most common forms of the five viral hepatitis strains. Hepatitis A is a short-term condition, but other forms can develop into long-term, chronic health problems.

Hepatitis A

You contract hepatitis A by coming into contact with food or water contaminated by the virus (usually from feces). 

Hepatitis B

Blood, vaginal secretions, and semen transfer hepatitis B. If you come into contact with these fluids via sexual contact or blood transfusions, for example, you can contract the condition. 

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C also transmits through direct contact with infected fluids — usually through shared needles or sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is very uncommon in the United States but is transferred through infected blood. It is an extremely serious liver disease.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is rare in the United States but more common in underdeveloped areas of the Middle East, Asia, Central America, or Africa. It can be contracted in places with poor sanitation and results from ingesting fecal matter contaminating a water supply. 

What other conditions can lead to hepatitis?

Alcoholic hepatitis develops after excessive alcohol use. The inflammation of alcoholic hepatitis causes liver damage and failure. Drug overdose or exposure to poisons can also cause an acute hepatitis reaction. 

Some people develop hepatitis, or liver inflammation, due to a faulty immune system. Your body views liver cells as a foreign invader and attacks the organ, compromising your liver function. 

What treatments are available for hepatitis?

Hepatitis A is a short-term condition and resolves on its own. But, you can become seriously ill and require medical support — even hospitalization.

Digestive Disease Specialists offer antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis B and C. If you have a rarer form of hepatitis, your provider offers medications and management.

Autoimmune cases of hepatitis are treated with corticosteroids and immune-suppressing drugs.

Get the treatment you need for hepatitis. Contact Digestive Disease Specialists today by phone or online to set up an appointment.