What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis?
There are three phases of Hepatitis – Preicteric, Icteric and Posticteric. Symptoms of the first phase – the preicteric phase includes: nausea / vomiting, decreased appetite / weight loss, fever, fatigue, headache and joint pain, rt upper quadrant abdominal pain, enlarged spleen/liver/lymph nodes and rash and itching of the skin (urticaria). In the second phase – known as the Icteric phase, the symptoms include the symptoms of preicteric phase but there is also jaundice (yellowing of the skin), pruritus (intense / persistent itch), clay or light-colored stools and dark urine. The third / or last phase is the posticteric phase which involves the cessation of the above noted symptoms, liver enlargement and continued fatigue. Complications include the need for liver transplant, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis coma and possibly death. It is important to manage hepatitis by following your doctor’s prescribed medications, diet and follow-up regularly. Be sure to notify your doctor of any signs of bleeding, confusion, edema, lethargy and weight gain.