May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and it’s a good time to learn more about this viral disease. The most common forms of hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, although more variations of this virus exist. All forms of hepatitis attack cells in the liver with viral infections, but they work in different ways.
- Hepatitis A: Highly contagious and impermanent, hepatitis A infects the liver after victims come into contact with objects that have been contaminated by fecal matter. The infection can be transmitted by accidentally ingesting tainted food or drinks, and it can spread very easily. People who suffer from this disease can experience symptoms for anywhere between a few weeks and several months.
- Hepatitis B: This version of hepatitis is a liver disease that can last a lifetime. In order for this version to spread, a person must come into contact with contaminated bodily fluids, such as blood or semen. Because of this, it is possible to become infected after sexual intercourse or sharing needles. Mothers who have hepatitis B risk passing the disease on to their children at birth if the child does not quickly receive a vaccine.
- Hepatitis C: This type of hepatitis can cause serious liver problems and chronic infections, leading to hospital visits and major health issues. Hepatitis C is typically passed through contact with contaminated blood, although it can sometimes be transmitted through sexual activity. The most frequent method of transmission today is through sharing dirty needles. People who are born between 1945 and 1965 may be at a higher risk of developing this disease.
Celiac Awareness Month
May is also Celiac Awareness Month and a great opportunity to learn more about this challenging medical condition. Here are some important facts to educate you about celiac disease.
- Who: 1 in 133 people has Celiac disease. This accounts for roughly 3 million people or nearly 1% of the United States population. Unfortunately, 83% of people who have Celiac disease go undiagnosed and untreated.
- What: Celiac disease puts people at a higher risk of developing other health issues, such as osteoporosis, anemia, thyroid conditions, and specific forms of cancer.
- When: Celiac disease can develop at any age.
- Where: Small tissues in the small intestine called villi are attacked in the presence of gluten. The body destroys these sensitive structures which then affects the patient’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food they eat.
- Why: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder and the only autoimmune disease with an identified trigger. When a patient consumes gluten particles, it can cause a severe reaction in their digestive tract and physically hurt them.
- How: Currently, there are no known cures for Celiac disease. The only way to treat the condition is by completely eliminating any traces of gluten from the patient’s diet.
Gastro Care LI is the go-to source for friendly, compassionate gastrointestinal care. Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to providing excellent service to all of our patients, and we speak Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Urdu. To schedule an appointment with us, call today at (516) 265-7049.