What is acute hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that results in liver cell damage and destruction. Acute hepatitis is a type of hepatitis that is quite common in the U.S.
Acute hepatitis usually starts with flu-like symptoms. The following are the most common symptoms of acute hepatitis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Jaundice (yellow color in the skin and/or eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Tenderness in the right, upper abdomen (belly)
- Sore muscles
- Joint pain
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Itchy, red hives on skin
Common causes of acute hepatitis may include:
- Infection with a virus (viral hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E)
- Overdose of drugs (such as acetaminophen)
- Chemical exposure (such as dry cleaning chemicals
How is it diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for acute hepatitis may include specific laboratory tests and liver function tests.