What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a condition typically characterized by inflammation of the liver. There are several probable causes of Hepatitis, but the most common one is a viral infection. Some of the other causes of Hepatitis are drugs, medication, and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune Hepatitis is a non-contagious, chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack functioning liver tissues, sometimes leading to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. Well, let us delve in deeper and tell you everything you need to know about Hepatitis;
Types of Hepatitis
Viral liver infections classified as Hepatitis are Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. These viral infections attach themselves to the liver. The different kinds of Hepatitis are caused by different viruses.
- Hepatitis A is brought by the Hepatitis A virus. The most common transmission channel for this virus is the consumption of food or water contaminated by the faecal matter of someone infected with Hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B comes when someone gets in contact with body fluids like vaginal secretions, blood, or semen, which have the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). You are more likely to be infected with this virus if you share needles, razors, or have sex with an infected person. HBV is among the most prevalent and dangerous types of the hepatitis virus. Chronic cases of HBV are known to cause liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
- Hepatitis C is caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). It is transmitted from direct contact with the body fluids of someone infected with the virus. It, together with HBV, is among the most common and most dangerous viral hepatitis infections. They are also responsible for the development of other diseases like lymphoma, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.
- Hepatitis D which is also referred to as delta hepatitis is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). This virus causes severe liver disease. HDV is transmitted through direct contact with HDV infected blood. Despite its seriousness, it is rather uncommon and only multiplies when in conjunction with Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis E is caused by the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV). It is waterborne and is mostly experienced in areas with poor sanitation. It is typically transmitted by ingestion of water and food contaminated with faecal matter. While it is uncommon in the United States, it is more commonplace in Asia, Central America, and the Middle East.
Hepatitis B, C, and D tend to be ongoing and chronic, while Hepatitis A causes only an acute, short-term infection. Hepatitis E causes an acute illness. Even so, it can be extremely dangerous in pregnant women. It usually puts them at risk of miscarriage, acute liver failure, and death.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
The more chronic infectious forms of Hepatitis usually do not have symptoms, and many people never know that they are infected. Sometimes, those symptoms for chronic Hepatitis may take decades to show, long after damage to the liver function has occurred. With acute infections, symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure to the virus.
The symptoms to look out for are:
- Dark Urine
- Pale Stool
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain and
- Unexplained weight loss.
These symptoms may be too subtle to identify, especially with chronic viral hepatitis infections. A doctor may perform blood tests, a liver biopsy, Imaging tests like ultrasound, transient elastography, or MRI and CT scan to ascertain if you have a viral hepatitis infection.
The liver is a vital organ located in the right upper region of the abdomen. The liver does many critical body functions which impact metabolism all through the body. It processes nutrients, fights infections, and filters blood. Inflammation of the liver affects these dire functions. Viral Hepatitis that causes possible liver damage is, therefore, a critical health concern. Some vaccines have been developed to counter viral Hepatitis. Even so, the increasing risk of drug resistance as well as the high cost of therapies necessitates the development of more cost-effective therapeutics.
How does CBD help ease Hepatitis?
There has been a growing interest in medical cannabis. Research has evaluated and validated the therapeutic potential of cannabis against diseases and viruses. Cannabidiol (CBD), which is a chemical in the cannabis Sativa plant has been proven, in several clinical trials and laboratories, to be instrumental in treating and managing symptoms of several illnesses. CBD is quickly becoming a popular alternative medicine. It can be extracted from plants in the cannabis family, like hemp and marijuana. However, most of the CBD that is sold over the counter is extracted from the Hemp Plant since the Hemp Plant has a very low THC content (the chemical that makes people high using marijuana).
Cannabidiol (CBD) is quite promising as it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has numerous pharmacological properties linked to it. CBD’s potential to help with various diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette syndrome, etc. has been studied and proven. The compound is applauded mostly for its anti-inflammatory properties and its beneficial effects for patients with cancer and other neurological conditions. Research by the University of South Carolina shows that CBD could be a potential treatment for Hepatitis. The research has shown that CBD merges with the Endocannabinoid Receptors in the body, bringing relief from hepatitis symptoms. This research also shows that activation of these receptors reduces hepatic inflammation, thus stopping liver scarring. Most studies on the benefits of CBD mainly focus on its neuroprotective and its anti-inflammatory effects. Little research has been done to analyse its antiviral ability.
Here are some symptoms of Hepatitis that CBD offers relief from:
Hepatitis is known to cause exhaustion, and many patients tend to stay up all night when dealing with the symptoms of Hepatitis. CBD helps by helping patients fall asleep at night, allowing them to be more rested and less fatigued. It also improves the sleep-wake cycle.
Inflammation of the Liver
One of the tell-tale signs of Hepatitis is its effects on the liver. It causes scarring of the liver, which results in liver damage. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces scarring, therefore, protecting against worse diseases like liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.
Patients with Hepatitis tend to suffer from dramatic mood changes. CBD helps by stabilising the nervous system and therefore boosting patients’ moods.
Abdominal and Joint pain
Patients with Hepatitis are likely to feel sore because liver functions are affected, and the body does not get its nutrients. CBD helps by creating a pain-killing effect.
Viral Hepatitis still poses a pressing health problem across the world. Untreated, these viruses could lead to severe liver damage and other serious cases of liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. The life-threatening nature of Hepatitis necessitates therapies and treatments to counter these viral infections. CBD is also looking promising as a treatment for the Hepatitis.