Updated: Wed, 27 Jul 2022 05:26 PM IST
World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28th every year in order to raise awareness about Hepatitis. The disease is a highly contagious liver infection that can also affect the kidney. There are five types of the virus, i.e, A, B, C, D, and E.
Meanwhile, Dr Sanjeev Gulati who is the Principal Director of Nephrology and Kidney Transplant at Fortis Hospital at Delhi NCR puts some light on the different types of kidney damage associated with the disease.
Let's have a look:
1. Acute Kidney Injury: It mainly occurs in acute viral hepatitis due to all types of hepatitis viruses. The disease is treated mainly by supportive therapy in form of hydration and treatment of underlying liver disease and the kidney damage usually recovers completely. The more severe the liver damage, the greater the risk of kidney damage. Hence the patients should be managed by an expert team of Liver and Kidney specialists.
2. Glomerulonephritis: It means inflammation of the kidney filters or glomeruli. Patients of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are usually affected by this disease. The infection causes immune-mediated damage and inflammation of kidney filters. This results in leakage of blood and protein in urine and the rise of urea and creatinine. If diagnosed in time chronic kidney damage can be prevented.
3. Hepatorenal Syndrome: This usually happens with severe liver damage which in turn causes kidney damage. The disease can be managed with medicines in its early stage but a liver transplant is required in most of the cases. Meanwhile, in case the disease reaches the last stage, a combined liver and kidney transplant is required.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure:
It's always a better idea to take precautions instead of getting into some serious problem. There is a very effective vaccine available against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B viruses. It is important to complete the vaccination against these viruses during childhood along with other vaccines.
Dr Gulati, while talking about the disease, said, "We frequently see patients with kidney disease who are either not vaccinated or have low antibodies. It is important to note that patients with Chronic Kidney Disease require higher doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine. There is no vaccine yet against Hepatitis C."
"The most effective methods for preventing Hepatitis in Dialysis patients is to avoid blood transfusions and ensure strict Universal precautions and hand hygiene amongst the Dialysis staff. The patients should be careful in selecting a good Dialysis Unit where such practices are followed even if it means paying a little extra, as in the long term it is cheaper than taking medicines for these infections and risk of infections and repeated hospitalizations," added Dr Gulati.