Are you expecting and undergoing unexplained weight loss? Are you suffering from abdominal pain and passing dark urine during pregnancy? If you nodded along worriedly, you might be suffering from hepatitis E. Hepatitis E during pregnancy can be harmful to both mothers as well as the unborn baby. Read our post to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for the ailment.
What Is Hepatitis E?
Hepatitis is a viral infection, which leads to inflammation and swelling of the liver. Experts classify hepatitis as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis E is one of the severe kinds of hepatitis and occurs in Middle East Asia, Africa, and Central America.
[ Read: Common Viral Infections During Pregnancy ]
Causes Of Hepatitis E During Pregnancy:
Hepatitis E is a waterborne ailment resulting due to Hepatitis E virus (HEV). It majorly occurs in the areas with poor sanitation. Find below causes of Hepatitis E in pregnancy.
- Consumption of contaminated food or drink
- Ingestion of fecal matte
- Poor sanitation
- Alcohol consumption
- Overuse of medications
- Drugs and chemicals
- Exposure to toxins
- Fatty liver
- Autoimmune disease (1)
[ Read: Managing Hepatitis B In Pregnancy ]
Symptoms Of Hepatitis E During Pregnancy:
You may not experience any symptoms of hepatitis in the initial stage of the ailment and symptoms may not occur till liver damage takes place. However, once the symptoms become apparent, they are severe. Here are some prominent symptoms of the infection.
- Dark urine
- Excessive fatigue
- Pale-colored stool
- Fever or Flu
- Pain in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Liver inefficiency
- Yellowing of eyes and skin (2)
[ Read: Ways To Cope With Fatigue During Pregnancy ]
Diagnosing Hepatitis E During Pregnancy:
Once the symptoms of hepatitis start to surface, it is important to see a good doctor. The doctor diagnoses the ailment with the help of many tests, such as blood tests, physical examination, liver biopsy, ultrasound, and liver function tests.
Treatment Of Hepatitis E In Pregnancy:
There is no specific cure or medical therapy to cure hepatitis E while pregnant. Since Hepatitis E is a virus, so antibiotics have no effect. The virus is self-limiting, and the virus dies after a certain time. However, certain care measures help alleviate the symptoms of Hepatitis E during pregnancy.
1. Have Ample Rest:
Pregnant women down with Hepatitis E should get adequate rest. Avoid performing work that requires a lot of energy and stress. Have sufficient sleep. Having sufficient rest speeds up your recovery from the Hepatitis E during pregnancy.
2. Drink Plenty Of Fluids:
Drink plenty of fluids and water to mitigate the symptoms of Hepatitis E. Have nutritious fruit juices to hydrate your body and to ensure nutritious intake. Avoid consuming alcohol, as it only hampers your liver and health more (3).
Prognosis Of Hepatitis E During Pregnancy:
Hepatitis E infection during pregnancy can be more severe that in any other time in life. The infection can lead to fulminant hepatitis failure and maternal death. Hepatitis E during the third trimester of the pregnancy can be highly harmful resulting in maternal mortality. The high impact of virus HEV can make a pregnant female more vulnerable to its intense symptoms and effects ultimately affecting the pregnancy adversely (4).
[ Read: Symptoms of Jaundice In Pregnancy ]
Preventing Hepatitis E During Pregnancy:
Certain prevention measure can help in preventing Hepatitis E during pregnancy. Here is a list of prevention measures.
- Practice good hygiene
- Avoid drinking local water, seafood, and raw vegetables
- Avoid sharing razors, and toothbrushes (5)
Did you suffer from Hepatitis E while expecting? How well was hepatitis E in pregnancy management? Share your experience with other moms here. Leave a comment below. Fellow moms would love to hear from you.
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