Hepatitis in Lubbock, TX

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On a global scale, 290 million people are living their lives unaware that they have a condition called viral hepatitis. Hepatitis, at its most basic description, is essentially liver inflammation. The most common types include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. These three types of hepatitis are named by the strain of the virus that causes liver inflammation. Each type of viral hepatitis can practically be deemed a unique disease because each variation responds to different treatment approaches. Our seasoned GI specialists often treat individuals with hepatitis in Lubbock, TX. If you or a family member suspects, or has been diagnosed with hepatitis, please call a Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates near you today.

Hepatitis A (HAV) is extremely contagious and typically impacts individuals that ingest food or beverages that have been around fecal excrement or another individual that has been infected by the disease. Though easily transmittable, it is not exceptionally harmful in comparison with the other types. HAV can be prevented with a vaccine and can be treated by a medical provider.

If you have hepatitis A, you may notice signs or symptoms that include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Yellow skin, yellow eyes
  • Dark urine (Jaundice)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Exhaustion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Diarrhea

The routine treatment for hepatitis A is to rest, stay well-hydrated, and avoid alcohol. The majority of the time, hepatitis A will resolve on its own. To avoid hepatitis A, patients can receive a hepatitis A vaccine from your provider or our Lubbock, TX gastroenterology office.

The virus hepatitis B (HBV) is a more serious variation of hepatitis infection. If left untreated, it can cause liver failure and even liver cancer. If adults get HBV, their bodies should be able to fight it off within a few months. When the virus has diminished, immunity occurs. When individuals get hepatitis B at birth, however, it is unlikely to go away. Hep B is most commonly passed via saliva, blood, sexual fluids, using a needle after someone with the virus, or from a Hep B-positive pregnant woman to her child during birth.

Common signs and symptoms of hepatitis B are as follows:

  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Appetite loss
  • Light-colored stool
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Aching joints
  • Vomiting

If you have possibly been exposed to HBV, we encourage you to see your healthcare practitioner or contact your nearest Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates location as soon as you can. The earlier you get care, the better it is for your health and wellness. Your provider will likely recommend a vaccine for hepatitis B and other antiviral medication.

Usually passed through bodily fluids, hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that can injure a person's liver. This form of the virus can manifest itself in two separate types, acute hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis C.

  • Acute hepatitis C is less concerning and usually lasts over a six-month timeframe. After six months, most people’s immune systems will overcome the virus.
  • Chronic hepatitis C occurs when a patient's immune system is unable to ward off the virus in the first six months, and the virus infects the body for a longer period of time. This, unfortunately, can cause chronic medical issues, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Some of the more common hepatitis C signs and symptoms are:

  • Clay-colored stool
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Bruise easily
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itchy skin
  • Slurred speech
  • Bleed easily
  • Confusion
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine)
  • Joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite

Hepatitis C has a cure rate of over 90%. Common treatment options for hepatitis C include:

  • Liver transplant (chronic HCV)
  • Antiviral drugs
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The greatest prevention against getting hepatitis A or B is to be vaccinated for the virus. It is recommended that young children are vaccinated for hepatitis A when they are between 12 months and 23 months of age, but people can have the vaccine at any age after that. Vaccines for hepatitis B are typically provided to newborns; however, individuals can receive the vaccine at any point in life. There are currently no vaccines available for HCV.

Other healthy habits to form to avoid contracting hepatitis are listed below:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching any bodily fluids or using the restroom
  • Before traveling, determine whether the place you are visiting has elevated levels of hepatitis infection
  • Make sure any needles you use are sterilized, such as when getting piercings or if utilizing illicit drugs
  • When having sex, use protection
  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes, razors, etc.
  • Avoid consuming uncooked meat and unclean food or water, and purchasing food from street vendors

Though a hepatitis infection could result in concerning medical problems, like liver failure or liver cancer, it is treatable with help from a gastrointestinal specialist. If you notice any distressing GI symptoms, like any of those mentioned above, please contact a Lubbock Digestive Disease Associates location. As a skilled physician-led team of gastroenterologists, we offer exceptional, patient-centered care. To receive additional information on the treatment approaches available for all types of hepatitis in Lubbock, TX, talk to our friendly staff today.

Very professional visit. Explained and went over everything very well with the consult and procedure. Answered questions and actually listened when asking questions. Very please!!

J.H. Google

For someone that was nervous and a little apprehensive, Dr. Hughston was extremely patient, relaxing, and answered all my questions thoroughly.

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Dr. Rakvit is an awesome doctor and great at what she does. Made me super comfortable in such a way that I was able to speak freely about what I needed to sort out. She is super kind, patient, caring. Highly recommend!!!!!!

S.J. Google

My personal experience was great. Dr Sorrell explains every part to you so you understand. When procedure is over she comes and explains all to you. Dr Sorrell is a wonderful doctor and very patient.

J.S. Google

Extremely helpful, appointment was fast and on time. Would definitely recommend.

J.D. Google


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