Digestive System

Accessory Organs

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and commonly results from a viral infection. Hepatitis may either be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis is short-lived, while chronic hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that lasts for at least six months. Symptoms of acute hepatitis usually begin suddenly and include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, fatigue, and jaundice. Jaundice (from the Old French jaune, meaning “yellow”) is a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Many individuals with chronic hepatitis have mild symptoms. Depending on the type of viral hepatitis, it may resolve itself on its own without medical intervention.


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