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Diagnosis of hepatitis of different types: methods, tests, reliability

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Diagnosis of hepatitis: Hepatitis is a series of inflammatory diseases of the liver, which are often mistakenly called jaundice by the people – one of the symptoms of the disease. Most often, viruses are the culprits of the disease, but other causes can also lead to the development of hepatitis. How does the disease manifest itself, what tests should be taken to diagnose hepatitis, and how accurate are modern diagnostic methods? Let’s talk about it in the article.

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Whatever causes hepatitis, its target is always liver cells: they cease to perform their functions and die. If the disease is detected at the initial stage, serious complications can be avoided. Before talking about the principles of diagnosing hepatitis, we will tell you what the most dangerous of its varieties are.

Viral hepatitis

The most common group of hepatitis. With this diagnosis, destruction in the liver cells occurs due to the penetration of specific viruses into the body. There are several forms of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D, E and G.

A, B, D and E appear relatively the same: diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness, pain in the stomach and right hypochondrium, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, an increase in liver size. Hepatitis C and G are more insidious – they may not manifest themselves in any way: often for many years the only symptom is enduring fatigue.

Let us dwell in more detail on the common types of viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis A

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, about 1.4 million cases of this disease are registered annually in the world. The actual number of patients is much higher, since for one case of severe infection there are at least 5–10 cases of asymptomatic infection. In addition, in places where the virus is most widespread, residents rarely visit doctors.

Infection with the hepatitis A virus occurs through the use of contaminated food and water, as well as through close physical contact with the patient. This type of hepatitis is also called the disease of dirty hands, because it often infects children in sandboxes. The incubation period lasts 2-4 weeks. Symptoms of the disease are dominated by malaise, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and jaundice. Almost all patients are completely cured and have lifelong immunity.

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Viral hepatitis B

According to WHO statistics, in 2019 there were about 300 million patients with chronic hepatitis in the world. Hepatitis B is a life-threatening infectious liver disease that claims about 800,000 lives per year. Infection occurs through contact with blood and sexual contact. As a rule, hepatitis B develops in young children, and often the disease becomes chronic in them.

From the moment of infection with hepatitis B until the onset of the first symptoms, it can take from one to six months, on average – 80 days. The outcome of the disease can be either a complete cure or a complication in the form of a chronic disease, cirrhosis of the liver and oncology.

Viral hepatitis C

One of the most dangerous varieties of the disease. According to WHO data for 2022, about 58 million people in the world are sick with chronic hepatitis C. Approximately one third of those infected in the first six months after infection achieve a spontaneous cure, the remaining 55–85% develop a chronic disease. According to the latest data, we can talk about 2 million people. The virus is transmitted mainly through the blood – through intravenous drug use, through traumatic cosmetic and medical procedures, less often through sexual contact.

The incubation period of the disease varies from two weeks to six months – the disease is often detected when the liver and other organs and tissues are already damaged. Left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Non-infectious hepatitis and their diagnosis

In addition to viruses, hepatitis can be caused by other factors, ranging from medication to alcohol. Let’s consider some of them.

Toxic and drug hepatitis

Sometimes exposure to toxins of plant and artificial origin can lead to liver damage – toxic hepatitis. The liver is an organ for detoxification: it is responsible for the neutralization of substances formed in the body and toxins coming from outside. Various toxic substances, poisons, which are contained in plants and fungi, can cause the death of liver cells.

The task of laboratory diagnosis of toxic hepatitis is aimed at its differentiation from other liver lesions. For this, the blood content of bilirubin and its fractions, AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, GGTP, albumin and prothrombin is examined.

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In the same way, a patient with suspected drug-induced hepatitis is examined, which can be caused by taking a variety of drugs, primarily antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antitumor and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral
contraceptives.

Alcoholic hepatitis

In people who abuse alcohol, there is a destruction of the main cells of the liver – hepatocytes. In fact, hepatitis is the second stage of alcoholic liver disease. First, potentially reversible asymptomatic steatosis occurs, then alcoholic hepatitis, and the final stage of the disease in 20–40% of cases is cirrhosis of the liver. In cases of severe alcoholic hepatitis, the risk of mortality is high – up to 50%.

For the diagnosis of hepatitis, a liver biopsy is most informative, although there is a practice of using non-invasive diagnostics. Thus, alcoholic hepatitis is characterized by an increase in ALT, AST, bilirubin levels, GGTP, and sometimes alkaline phosphatase. At the same time, there is a decrease in albumin and prothrombin. The inflammatory process in the liver is accompanied by an increase in ESR up to 40–50 mm/h, leukocytosis, and anemia. However, not a single indicator is a reliable marker of alcoholic hepatitis.

autoimmune hepatitis

This is a rare form of hepatitis. Scientists still cannot explain why it occurs. With this type of hepatitis, immunity fails and begins to attack liver cells, as if they were foreign organisms. This form of hepatitis often accompanies other autoimmune diseases, but can also develop independently.

The main indicator of the disease is autoantibodies. ASMA, ANA, AAA, anti-LKM-1, anti-LC-1, anti-SLA, anti-SLA/LP have diagnostic value. The preferred method for their determination is RNIF, an indirect immunofluorescence reaction.

In this way, the presence of antinuclear antibodies – ANA, antibodies to smooth muscles, or SMA, and antibodies to liver and kidney microsomes – anti-LKM1 are determined. The method is also suitable for the detection of rare anti-LC1 and anti-LKM3 antibodies, if anti-LKM1 is absent. In the case of a positive result of the research, a liver biopsy is performed, which allows to get an idea of ​​the activity of the inflammatory process.

Also, if autoimmune hepatitis is suspected, it is worth checking the indicators of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST – an increase in their level is characteristic of the disease.

Methods for laboratory diagnosis of viral hepatitis

Let us dwell on the methods of laboratory diagnosis of the most common – viral – hepatitis. The universal biological material for their detection is venous blood. It is examined by ELISA and PCR methods. At the same time, instrumental examination methods, including CT, MRI, ultrasound, are ineffective for diagnosing hepatitis. They can provide information about the state and structure of the liver, but not about which specific virus hit the body and how long ago it happened. As a rule, the therapist prescribes a number of laboratory tests.

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Hepatitis A

According to the clinical picture, hepatitis A does not differ from other types. Accurate diagnosis is confirmed by the following studies:

Clinical blood test with leukocyte formula and ESR. In the uncomplicated course of the disease, a decrease in the number of leukocytes and platelets, an increase in ESR, in advanced cases, the number of leukocytes, on the contrary, increases, ESR decreases.

Biochemical blood tests: study of the level of total bilirubin, free and bound bilirubin, determination of ALT, AST, gamma-glutamyl transferase GGTP, alkaline phosphatase.

Analysis for the presence of IgM antibodies to the hepatitis A virus by ELISA. These antibodies can be detected at the very beginning of the disease, when the first symptoms appear.

Determination of hepatitis A virus RNA in the blood by PCR.

Hepatitis B

For the diagnosis of hepatitis B, the same clinical and biochemical blood tests with a coagulogram are recommended as in the determination of hepatitis A, with the addition of the following studies:

in the biochemical blood test, in addition to the above, the determination of the level of cholesterol and protein fractions by electrophoresis should be included;

analysis for the presence of IgM antibodies to the hepatitis B virus by ELISA. It is considered the most reliable specific marker of the disease;

analysis for the determination of antigens and antibodies to hepatitis B. The earliest marker of this virus is HBsAg antibodies. However, it is necessary to take into account the stage of the disease – after 4-6 months, these antibodies disappear. During the incubation period of the disease, simultaneously with HBsAg in the blood serum, the HBe antigen, a marker of active reproduction of the virus, circulates.

Hepatitis C

Diagnosis of infection with the hepatitis C virus is carried out in two stages:

Determination of total IgG and IgM antibodies to hepatitis C virus in the blood.
In the case of a positive result, to confirm a chronic infection, testing is prescribed for the presence of hepatitis C virus RNA in the patient’s blood. This analysis is performed by PCR.
As an additional study to determine the degree of liver damage, a biopsy may be prescribed.

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Health & Fitness

What happens if you don’t brush your teeth

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What happens if you don't brush your teeth

What happens if you don’t brush your teeth? Caries will be the least of the consequences

Dr. Nigel Carter: Not brushing your teeth can lead to disaster. The oral cavity, with its warm and wet environment, becomes an ideal place for the development of a huge number of bacteria. And if you score or forget to regularly care for your oral cavity, then you won’t be able to get rid of caries alone. The insidiousness of an uncleaned mouth is that a person may have unexpected health problems, which sometimes are not even connected with the teeth in the end.

Some people prefer to brush their teeth only once a day. According to a study by the Oral Health Foundation (UK), every eighth Briton misses an evening or morning brush.

Dr. Nigel Carter warned that not brushing your teeth could lead to disaster. Especially if you don’t brush your teeth before bed. The fact is that while a person is sleeping, saliva in his oral cavity almost does not circulate. Because of this, bacteria are not washed off, but successfully accumulate and multiply. And the rest of the food only helps them.

“Thanks to toothpaste and a toothbrush, we remove plaque from our teeth. It is a thin film that is not visible to the naked eye. However, it is she who provokes inflammation of the gums and the formation of caries, ” said Carter.

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Poor oral health is associated with many different diseases, including:

heart diseases;

strokes;

dementia;

pregnancy complications;

affects sexual health.

If you forget about oral hygiene, then dangerous bacteria, no, no, yes, will enter the bloodstream. This probability increases if there is any damage in the mouth, such as wounds or inflamed mucous membranes.

How to brush your teeth properly?

At a minimum, you need to follow the rule of brushing your teeth twice a day – in the morning and in the evening after meals. After dinner, you can either brush your teeth too, or at least rinse your mouth. You should also adhere to the following recommendations directly during cleaning:

The edges of the teeth should be brushed lengthwise in circular motions, and the back side in vertical strokes.

Interdental spaces should be cleaned with dental floss or interdental brushes.

The tongue also needs to be cleaned with special accessories or at least with a brush.

You need to brush your teeth slowly, slowly, everything together with rinsing should take at least 10 minutes.

The brush should be held as if it were a ballpoint pen.

Half of the villi should fall on the gums, and the other half on the teeth, and at an angle of 45 degrees.

You can’t press on the brush.

Also, do not forget about dental floss and irrigator. Even the most modern brush will not cope with the remnants of food that are stuck between the teeth.

Why go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning?

Even if you brush your teeth very well and follow all the advice of doctors, then you won’t be able to completely escape from tartar, only delay it greatly and reduce growth. But this is already a great result. And to remove the stone, you have to make an appointment with the dentist for cleaning.

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Dentist-therapist John advised everyone to go for cleaning every six months for prevention, but this is if all the recommendations of specialists are followed, there are no structures in the mouth and there are no predispositions to stone formation.

Ideally, it is better to visit the dentist’s office more often, every 2-3 months, for those who have a predisposition to certain dental ailments. In general, it is better to go to a doctor who, after cleaning, will tell you how often you will have to go to her in the future.

We have tried to answer the question of What happens if you don’t brush your teeth. Share you thoughs in our comments section.

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Health & Fitness

How to overcome sugar cravings 8 Methods

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Why do we often crave something sweet after a hearty meal & How to overcome sugar cravings? Why, as soon as we make the decision to give up sugar, the craving for chocolate only intensifies? The good news is that, according to new research, cravings can be controlled. The secret lies in the choice of products and in changing your eating behavior.

Table of Contents

Way to overcome sugar cravings

Avoid strict diets

A drastic reduction in calories will inevitably spur the desire to eat high-calorie foods. A well-balanced diet is a healthy approach to eating and should include sweets as well.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Yes, we all love coffee, but unfortunately, caffeine swings cause dehydration and blood sugar fluctuations (and, for many, heightened anxiety). You can limit yourself to two cups a day or switch to decaffeinated coffee. Many brands now use the Swiss water purification process, rather than chemical methods – and the coffee turns out really tasty.

Eat sweet vegetables

Pumpkin, corn, carrots, beets, potatoes are sweet and also healthy – they have a lot of vitamins and important fiber. Also experiment with herbs and spices. Coriander, mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom naturally sweeten food and help curb your appetite.

Reduce your sugar intake gradually

The less sugar you eat, the less you crave. Over time, your taste buds will change – and your favorite cakes will seem too sweet. For example, when buying ice cream in a store, do not immediately take a bucket and the sweetest. Look for baby or diabetic options, or even better with natural sweeteners. Gradually, over time, you will begin to focus more on the quality of the flavor rather than the quantity. Often, premium chocolate or treats with natural sugars are richer in flavor and keep you feeling full longer.

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By the way! If you notice that you constantly want chocolate, this may indicate a magnesium deficiency in the body.

Drink more water

Soft drinks, sodas, energy drinks, and packaged fruit juices are usually high in sugar. Instead, try drinking sour or bitter water with fresh lemon, lime, or grapefruit juice.

Sometimes sugar cravings are just a sign of dehydration. Drink a glass of water before you take the cake. Wait a few minutes to see what happens. You may just find that such a desire passes.

Work with stress

Sleep more, rest and relax during the period when you begin to give up sugar. Simple carbohydrates are quick energy for an exhausted body and mind. If you are in a state of chronic stress or insomnia, your body will crave sugar. Good sleep will help you get out of this vicious circle. Create your own soothing ritual before bed to recover and get quality rest.

Take a hot shower

If you have an unbearable craving for sweets, try taking a hot shower. Hot enough to make you uncomfortable, but not hot enough to burn you. After 5-10 minutes underwater, your body will probably be a little “discouraged”, as if you were sitting in a sauna. At this point, the craving will most likely come to naught.

Walk outdoors more

A quick walk is a good way to take your mind off food. Only you need to walk not near the ice cream kiosks. If you’re running, that’s even better. First, you distance yourself from the food you crave. Second, jogging releases endorphins, which can help suppress cravings. No way to go outside? Do some grueling sets of burpees, push-ups, squats, or other bodyweight exercises.

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These are the small ways as a answer for the question of How to overcome sugar cravings.

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Fashion & Beauty

How to get rid of wrinkles on forehead naturally

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How to get rid of wrinkles on forehead naturally

Baby, don’t frown – otherwise there will be wrinkles ! Familiar phrase? And most importantly – absolutely true. And if wrinkles are not expressed on young skin, then with age they become more and more noticeable and deeper.

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What are the causes of wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows?

If you are only 20 years old, do not think that you are completely immune to wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows. They can appear even on young skin, because the main factor in their formation is the features of facial expressions.

Fighting wrinkles is very difficult – and therefore it is necessary to make every effort to prevent their very appearance. Find out the main causes of wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows!

Reason #1. Constant stress

Science has long proven the link between psychological balance and skin health. Nervous and depressed, you cause irreparable harm to your face.

What to do? Relax and try to look at some things easier.

niacinamide girl face mask

Reason number 2. Wrong skin care

Summer make-up without sunscreen ? Aggressive cleaners? Lack of moisture? Sooner or later, improper care will make itself felt.

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What does “proper” care mean?

Take note:

  • Provide your skin with the necessary level of daily hydration. Moisturizing creams do an excellent job . Pay attention to the composition: you need ceramides, hyaluronic acid , aloe or other deeply moisturizing ingredients.
  • Do not use products with aggressive cleaning ingredients. Choose soft, delicate formulas (for example, based on glycolic or lactic acids). Carry out the cleansing procedure several times a week – this will be enough to remove the dead skin layers.

Reason number 3. Excessive facial expressions

The habit of expressing emotions through facial expressions leads to the formation of wrinkles in the forehead and bridge of the nose.

Reason number 4. Aging

Unfortunately, this is inevitable. Already by about 30 years, the level of production of elastin and collagen fibers by the body decreases. And the less collagen, the more wrinkles appear on the skin.

What are wrinkles?

Wrinkles are distinguished in the forehead area:

Horizontal, manifested in the form of transverse lines stretching along the forehead. Often observed in people who wrinkle their nose (for example, raising their eyebrows).
Vertical, formed above the bridge of the nose in the form of lines.

How to get rid of horizontal and vertical wrinkles?

  • 5 minutes a day: forehead exercises
    Regularly performing a set of exercises for the forehead will help keep the skin in good shape, preventing the appearance of wrinkles. Take note of a few effective tricks:
  • Frowning-surprised : take a sitting position, rest your elbows on a hard surface – for example, a table. Lock your index fingers in the middle of the eyebrow. Alternate emotions – first make a surprised expression on your face, and then frown. Repeat 10 times. The exercise is aimed at eliminating horizontal wrinkles.
  • To the bridge of the nose : smoothly bring the eyebrows to the bridge of the nose, then lift and spread apart in different directions. Do 5-10 sets.
  • To the temples : bring the eyebrows to the bridge of the nose, while gently stretching them with your fingers to the temples. Do 5-10 sets.
  • Gymnastics for the forehead strengthens the muscular frame, prolonging the youthfulness of the skin. The main rule is the regularity of the exercises.
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forhead exercise

  • Anti-aging forehead massage improves blood circulation, maintains skin tone and elasticity. It is performed with precise, light movements.
  • When conducting a massage, it is necessary to observe the ritual of preparation. First – clean the skin of dust, dirt, cosmetic residues. Use a soft scrub or peeling roll.

Gua Sha massage

Let’s get acquainted with another anti-aging massage technique invented in China more than 5 thousand years ago. It was performed with a scraper made of jade or carnelian.

Preparation for the procedure requires a deep cleansing of the face and the application of a thick layer of oily cream. One hand is placed along the hairline, gently pulling the skin up. A scraper is taken into the other, first performing horizontal movements with it (from the middle of the forehead to the temples), and then vertical ones (from the eyebrows to the roots of the hair).

Movements should be smooth, with strong pressure. Guasha causes quite painful sensations, but its effectiveness exceeds possible expectations.

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