Understanding The Different Types Of Hepatitis

By Alley Benton
Updated December 11, 2016
Read our Disclaimer

Understanding The Different Types Of HepatitisHepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition that occurs within the liver. Commonly, this issue is caused by a viral infection, but there are a range of other potential causes for hepatitis, which can include exposure to certain toxins and autoimmune conditions. The liver is located towards the top of the right hand side of your stomach, and it performs a number of essential functions throughout the entire body.

According to the CDC, there are currently around 4.4 million Americans living with chronic cases of hepatitis. There are even a huge number of people throughout the country who don't know that they have this condition. Infections that are classified as hepatitis can include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis C and D are often severe, while hepatitis A is a milder version of the disease. Understanding hepatitis means recognizing the different types of hepatitis that exist.

Hepatitis A:

One of the different types of hepatitis, and the least severe of them, is hepatitis A. This type comes from an infection with the hepatitis A virus or HAV. Most commonly, this type of hepatitis is transmitted simply by consuming water or food that was contaminated by the feces of a person infected with the virus.

Hepatitis B:

This form of hepatitis obviously comes from an infection with the hepatitis B virus or HBV. Often, it is transmitted through contact with infectious bodily fluids like saliva, blood, or semen. Drug use with injectable, sex with an infected partner, or even sharing razors with an infected person can all raise your chance of getting hepatitis B. The CDC currently estimates that around 1.25 million people in the U.S. have this condition.

Hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C is one of the serious forms among the different types of hepatitis. Obviously, it is caused by an infection with hepatitis C virus or HCV. It is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as sexual contact and drug use. This is one of the most common blood-borne infections in the US, with about 2.7 million Americans living with this infection.

Hepatitis D:

Known as delta hepatitis to some, this is a serious condition within the liver that is caused by the hepatitis D virus or HDV. Infection is caused by contact with infected blood or puncture wounds. It is one of the more rare forms of hepatitis and it often occurs in conjunction with an infection of with HBV.

Hepatitis E:

Finally, hepatitis E is a waterborne form of the hepatitis disease and is obviously caused by the hepatitis E virus or HEV. This type of hepatitis is often found in areas that generally lack good sanitation, and it can be caused frequently by ingesting fecal matter. This disease is very uncommon within the United States, however, it can occur all over the world. Various cases of this disease have been reported throughout Asia, the Middle East, Central America, and Africa.

Usually, both hepatitis A and E are contracted by eating contaminated food or consuming contaminated water, whereas hepatitis B, C, and even D are all contracted through contaminated bodily fluids or blood. All of the different types of hepatitis can either be defined as chronic or acute.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.