Causes of increased hepatitis risk in monsoon, tips for a healthy liver
There are a large number of people who are detected with hepatitis A and E during the rainy season. Here are its causes along with treatment and prevention tips
Gastrointestinal problems, including liver diseases, surge during the monsoon season owing to factors such as contaminated water and food hence, there are a large number of people who are detected with hepatitis A and E during the rainy season. People should take precautionary measures to keep liver problems at bay and lead a healthy life and avoid eating unclean raw food and vegetables, give up on street food as it can be made with contaminated water, get vaccinated for hepatitis and take medication prescribed by the doctor only.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Harshad Joshi, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Apollo Spectra in Mumbai, shared, “Monsoon is synonymous with a host of gastrointestinal problems including hepatitis infection. From children to adults to senior citizens, anyone can suffer from liver problems. “Contamination during rainy seasons leads to stomach infections. The common stomach infections are dysentery and diarrhea causing stomach pain, loose motions, and nausea. Typhoid is a serious bacterial infection causing High fever, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Hepatitis A and Jaundice can also give one a tough time. Hepatitis A means inflammation (swelling) of the liver. Poor sanitation, and water and food contamination raise the chances of dysfunction. One will suffer from jaundice leading to yellow eyes, yellow urine, white stools and stomach pain.”
Dr Vikas Pandey, Gastroenterologist at Zynova Shalby Hospital, highlighted, “Liver infections or hepatitis cases are on the rise during monsoon owing to A and E viruses. One gets hepatitis A or E because of contaminated food or water or from close contact with an infected person. Eating food available on the streets or opting for pre-cut fruits that may be washed with contaminated water, drinking juices, and having pani puris, gola, sherbet made from contaminated water or ice, unclean raw food, and vegetables can make one prone to hepatitis. In 2021, 110 people suffering from liver and gastrointestinal diseases were treated during monsoon. In 2022, the number of patients increased to 326 patients. This year, when the rainy season has just started, 220 patients suffering from liver problems and gastrointestinal diseases have been found. Water intake is greatly reduced during monsoons. It increases liver and stomach-related disorders. So it is very important to drink enough water irrespective of the season.”
Dr Vikram Raut, Director of Liver Transplantation and HPB Surgery at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, revealed, “Hepatitis A and E can take a toll on one’s overall well-being. It can steal one’s peace of mind as if left untreated, they can damage the liver. Hepatitis A and E presents as jaundice when the skin and the eyes turn yellow. One's condition can worsen when he/she doesn’t seek timely treatment leading to acute liver failure and ultimately liver transplantation.”
Talking about the treatment and preventive measures, Dr Harshad Joshi suggested, “The treatment will be based on symptoms and differ from one-person-to-another. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor only. Avoid eating raw food and vegetables or street food and boil the water before drinking. Juices and other drinks are a strict no-no as they may contain contaminated ice, do not eat pre-cut fruits available at roadside stalls, wash hands from time to time.”