Hepatitis is an inflammation and irritation of the liver caused by viruses or controlled substances, such as drugs and alcohol. Hepatitis caused by a virus is named after the virus: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.


Hepatitis can also be caused by your body mistaking healthy cells for harmful ones and attacking them.


Some cases of hepatitis show no symptoms while others may show


  • Jaundice—yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea


Hepatitis can be serious or mild. More serious cases can cause cirrhosis—scarring in the liver—or lead to liver cancer. Hepatitis can be acute—healed with time or medications—or chronic, lasting a lifetime.


Vaccines are used to prevent viral hepatitis.

The information AGH supplies on this website should not be used as a substitute to your regular physician’s medical advice. Your research from this website should not be used as a medical diagnosis. Consult your regular physician for diagnoses and treatments. The information found on this website is for educational purposes only. A formal consultation with a surgeon or doctor is needed before pursuing surgical procedures or medical treatments. Individual results may vary.