Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
The causes are numerous. Viral infections such as hepatitis A, B or C may be the cause. Hepatitis A usually resolves by itself, but hepatitis B and C may cause chronic infections leading to progressive liver disease, cirrhosis and liver failure. There are treatments available for hepatitis B and C. Alcohol in large amounts, certain medications or toxins can also cause hepatitis. Inherited conditions may also cause liver disease. One example is a condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron which then accumulates in the liver and damages it. Excessive amounts of copper in the liver can also cause liver disease. Fatty liver is a common cause of hepatitis.
Your primary care doctor can test for liver disease with a simple blood test. If an abnormality is found, a more detailed investigation usually follows.
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