What is Chronic hepatitis?
Hepatitis is inflammation (swelling) of the liver. A chronic illness is one that lasts a long time or may not go away at all. Chronic hepatitis lasts for 6 months or longer. Chronic hepatitis usually develops from acute hepatitis. An acute illness is one that comes on quickly and goes away quickly.
Usually, chronic hepatitis is caused by the hepatitis B or C virus or certain drugs
Most people have no symptoms, but some people may feel a little sick, tired, or not hungry
Sometimes, chronic hepatitis can cause serious problems over time, such as cirrhosis
Chronic hepatitis can last for years
Doctors can treat chronic hepatitis with medicine, but you may need a liver transplant eventually
What causes chronic hepatitis?
Chronic hepatitis is usually caused by one of the hepatitis viruses, especially hepatitis B and C.
Chronic hepatitis can also be caused by:
Some kinds of medicine, especially if you take them for a long time
Certain diseases, such as alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and others
Autoimmune reactions (when the body attacks the liver)
Doctors don't know exactly what causes chronic hepatitis in some people.
What are the symptoms of chronic hepatitis?
About 2 out of 3 people with chronic hepatitis develop it gradually and have no symptoms until they develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
You have acute hepatitis first. A few weeks later, you could have symptoms such as: