Information for Patients
Also called: Viral hepatitis
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. The type of hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it; for example, hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Drug or alcohol use can also cause hepatitis. In other cases, your body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the liver.
Some people who have hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may have
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements
- Stomach pain
- Jaundice, yellowing of skin and eyes
Some forms of hepatitis are mild, and others can be serious. Some can lead to scarring, called cirrhosis, or to liver cancer.
Sometimes hepatitis goes away by itself. If it does not, it can be treated with drugs. Sometimes hepatitis lasts a lifetime. Vaccines can help prevent some viral forms.
- Autoimmune hepatitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Drug-induced hepatitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hepatitis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Viral Hepatitis: A through E and Beyond - NIH (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. More than 60 million people in the U.S. have the parasite. Most of them don't get sick. But the parasite causes serious problems for some people. These include people with weak immune systems and babies whose mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy. Problems can include damage to the brain, eyes, and other organs.
You can get toxoplasmosis from
- Waste from an infected cat
- Eating contaminated meat that is raw or not well cooked
- Using utensils or cutting boards after they've had contact with contaminated raw meat
- Drinking infected water
- Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion
Most people with toxoplasmosis don't need treatment. There are drugs to treat it for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Congenital toxoplasmosis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Toxoplasma test (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Toxoplasmosis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Toxoplasmosis: An Important Message for Cat Owners (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Toxoplasmosis: An Important Message for Women (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)