Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus and is usually transmitted through contaminated food or water. Typically, hepatitis A has milder symptoms than hepatitis B or C. Illness from hepatitis A is usually brief, and infection with the virus does not lead to chronic liver disease or liver cancer.
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus and is usually transmitted through the blood of another person with hepatitis B or from mother to child during birth. There are usually no symptoms until there are serious liver complications. When symptoms do appear, they may include high fever, jaundice and abdominal pain. Untreated chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is also passed on through contaminated blood and is caused by the hepatitis C virus. Infection with the hepatitis C virus is the number-one reason for liver transplant in the U.S. Unlike hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.
Alcoholic hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by the long-term heavy intake of alcohol. Symptoms include enlargement of the liver, development of fluids in the abdomen, and elevation of liver enzymes. Alcoholic hepatitis can progress to cirrhosis if heavy alcohol use continues.
Autoimmune hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver resulting from the body's own immune system attacking the liver. This disease is chronic and usually has very minor symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it usually includes fatigue, abdominal discomfort, itching, jaundice, enlarged liver, and nausea. If left untreated, automimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people with fatty liver who have no history of alcohol use. Symptoms may include fatigue, pain in the upper right abdomen, and weight loss. In the most severe cases, non-alocholic fatty liver disease can progress to liver failure.