What is the outlook for hepatitis?

Hepatitis A and E usually only cause short-term (acute) infections that your body can overcome. The others (B, C and D) can also cause acute infections, but might also cause chronic (long-term) infections. The chronic forms are more dangerous. Hepatitis non-E is usually acute, but can become chronic.

Most people recover fully from hepatitis even though it might take several months for the liver to heal. To help improve your health and to help speed up your recovery:

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Practice good nutrition.
  • If you feel sick, rest.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your medicines, even over-the-counter drugs or vitamins and supplements, to know which ones you should take and which to avoid until you are recovered.

With hepatitis, your healthcare provider will also be looking for long-term damage to the liver in the forms of cirrhosis or liver failure. You may be asked to take other types of tests, such as liver function tests, imaging tests or possibly a liver biopsy.

If you have questions, new symptoms, or worsening of any existing symptoms, you should call the office of your healthcare provider.

In the U.S., A, B and C are the most common viral forms of hepatitis. It doesn’t matter how you were infected—what matters is taking care of yourself once you have been diagnosed and taking care not to spread the infection to anyone else.

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