Symptoms of Hepatitis

Hepatitis produces an initial “acute phase,” often with few if any symptoms. If there are symptoms, they tend to mimic “flu-like” symptoms such as:

  • mild fever
  • muscle or joint aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • slight abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

The acute phase and its symptoms is rarely serious or fatal, although occasionally a so-called fulminant or rapidly progressing form leads to death.

As the condition worsens, the person also may experience these additional symptoms:

  • jaundice (yellowed skin, mucous membranes and eye-whites)
  • dark urine
  • light colored stools that may contain pus
  • itching
  • enlarged spleen (symptom of alcoholic hepatitis only)
  • hives
  • headache (symptom of toxic/drug-induced hepatitis only)
  • dizziness (symptom of toxic/drug-induced hepatitis only)
  • drowsiness (symptom of toxic/drug-induced hepatitis only)
  • circulation problems (symptom of toxic/drug-induced hepatitis only)

The course of the hepatitis and the different outcomes after the acute phase that distinguish the various types.



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