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World Liver Day: Here are some common myths about Hepatitis B & C

World Liver Day: Here are some common myths about Hepatitis B & C

World Liver Day: Here are some common myths about Hepatitis B & C
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By CNBCTV18.com Contributor Apr 19, 2021 3:48:13 PM IST (Published)

World Liver Day which falls on April 19th every year, emphasises the need to spread awareness around the importance of maintaining a healthy liver

World Liver Day which falls on April 19th every year, emphasises the need to spread awareness around the importance of maintaining a healthy liver and awareness around liver-related diseases.

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What is Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
In urban cities, one in every hundred people is diagnosed with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This increases to four per hundred as we move to non-urban areas. Hepatitis B is an acute liver condition caused by the Hepatitis B virus, also known as HBV. This condition can affect your liver so severely that it could increase the risk of liver cancer or liver failure.
Hepatitis C is a liver condition caused by the hepatitis C virus known as HCV. It is a bloodborne virus that can last for days or can last your lifetime and can be life-threatening as well.
Some myths around Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
1. People who are Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C positive cannot get married
When people with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are married, they should follow some precautions. Hepatitis B vaccine can help you reduce the risk of contracting the virus if your partner is affected. There is also a myth that says couples with hepatitis B or hepatitis C have higher divorce rates. There has been no proof to back this myth, and hence it is false. 
2. People who are Hepatitis C positive contracted the virus during unprotected sex
There is no denying, a person has the chances of contracting Hepatitis C due to unprotected sex or sexual intercourse with multiple partners. But that is not the only cause. Blood transfusion from an affected person to an unaffected person can result in Hepatitis C. Other common cause of spreading the virus includes Infected needles, tools used for drugs.
3. Hepatitis is hereditary
Hepatitis is not hereditary or a genetic health condition. But Hepatitis B can be passed from an affected to her baby. Appropriate checkups and diagnosis can prevent this. Also, vaccinate the newborn on priority to protect the baby from future hepatitis issues.
4. Vaccine is available for all types of Hepatitis
The vaccine is only available for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. However, it is not available for Hepatitis C.
Here are some tips to keep your liver healthy
  1. Maintain a balanced diet – The liver plays a crucial role in digestion. Hence ensure to follow a healthy and balanced diet for keeping the liver healthy. Include lots of green leafy vegetables, cereals, pulses, fruits, and protein-rich foods like fish, sprouts, egg whites to your meal to make it healthy and balanced.
  2. Exercise regularly – Regular exercise will help the body and mind to stay healthy. Obesity is one of the main reasons for poor liver health. It is important to monitor weight and maintain a healthy BMI for a healthy liver.
  3. Avoid alcohol consumption – Alcohol consumption affects the liver adversely. If you cannot stay away from alcohol, then make sure to keep the levels in check. Consult a doctor to understand the right amount of alcohol that is right for your body. So that instead of quitting, have it in a moderated way.
  4. Get vaccinated –Vaccination can prevent worsening health conditions. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but unfortunately, there is no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
  5. Ensure safe sex –There has been enough emphasis on how important it is to ensure safe and protected sex. Well, safe sex and a healthy liver does have a direct connection. Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners can raise your risk of contracting hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
  6. —The author, Dr. Ravindra BS is Director—Gastroenterology / Hepatobiliary Sciences, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore. Views are personal
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