First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver and interferes with its normal function. Hepatitis can be caused by infection (usually by a virus), excessive alcohol use, medicine, or a problem with the immune system.
The three most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis is contagious. All three types of viral hepatitis (A, B, and C) can be spread through contact with body fluids. Hepatitis A can also spread when people consume food or water contaminated by stool (feces) containing the virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis can last for weeks to months. They include:
Some types of hepatitis can cause serious, long-term complications, such as severe and permanent liver damage.
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Internal Medicine, Hepatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.