The definition of hepatitis is a disease of the liver that causes inflammation. The liver is the largest gland in the human body. It weighs about three pounds. It is reddish brown in color and is divided into four lobes of different sizes and length. It is also the largest internal organ in the body. It is below the diaphragm on the right in the thoracic region of the abdomen. Blood reaches the liver through the hepatic artery and the portal vein. The portal vein carries blood containing digested food from the small intestine, while the hepatic artery carries oxygen rich blood from the aorta. Hepatic cells are the basic metabolic cells of the liver.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Different types of this virus are caused by different things, but they all produce inflammation of the liver. Symptoms include an enlarged liver, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dark urine. Hepatitis can be caused by certain viruses, alcohol abuse, certain medications and even trauma. The virus can heal by itself or it can progress to scarring the liver if left untreated. Acute hepatitis lasts under six months, while chronic hepatitis lasts a lot longer. Even though many cases of this virus are not a serious threat of health, the disease can become chronic and sometimes lead to liver failure or death. Liver damage can be caused by any one of the forms of hepatitis depending on its severity in the body.
Viral hepatitis is caused by common contagious diseases that are caused by viruses that attack the liver. Some of these that are recognized are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. There are several new variations of this virus that have recently been discovered. Newly created viral hepatitis is hepatitis D, E and G.
Non-viral forms of hepatitis are caused by toxic agents like drugs, chemicals and alcohol. Toxic hepatitis is caused by viruses or liver damage due to toxic substances. Toxic hepatitis is a deterioration of the liver cells caused by chemicals, alcohol, drugs and industrial compounds. Alcohol abuse is a common cause of toxic liver damage. Non-viral forms of hepatitis cannot spread from person to person.