Understanding And Preventing Viral Hepatitis

viral-hepatitisA lot more attention and funding by the various levels of government are needed to ensure that Nigeria prevents and treats cases of viral hepatitis.

According to the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria, approximately 13 per cent or one in 10 Nigerians have chronic hepatitis.

Channels Television’s health correspondent, Yomi Otaigbe, reports that medical experts are advocating better awareness and improved services in the area of vaccination, blood and injection safety.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition around the world but other infections, toxic substances such as alcohol, certain drugs and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

There are five main hepatitis viruses referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

There are different ways of contracting the viruses. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or wat while hepatitis B, C and D are usually as a result of contact with infected body fluids.

Early diagnosis of hepatitis, however, is crucial before symptoms such as pain in the belly, dark urine or jaundice begin to manifest.

The diagnosis of hepatitis is as important as its treatment. Hepatologists say the patients need support when it comes to treating the condition.

Prevention is always better than cure. While personal and food hygiene are key factors, in the case of hepatitis B, there is a vaccine.

Viral hepatitis is said to be 50 to 100 per cent more infectious than HIV.

You can know your status by getting tested.

If you are negative get the complete three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. but if positive, get prompt treatment.

What You Should Know About Hypotension

hypotension, blood pressure, hypertension Hypotension, which is low blood pressure, can have similar complications as high blood pressure if its symptoms become severe.

It is not as common as hypertension which affects about 22 per cent of adults aged 18 and above globally.

Hypotension may be a signal to an underlying medical condition but it can be identified with a measuring apparatus for checking the pressure of the blood in the human circulatory system.

Most of the time, attention is on high blood pressure but there is equally a silent low blood pressure or hypotension to watch out for.

Symptoms

Explaining the difference between Hypertension and Hypotension, a cardiologist with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Olusegun Joseph, said that “the normal blood pressure is between 90-120 over 60-80. Anything lower than 90 over 60, is termed hypotension, he said.

“They are not uncommon. Usually it is secondary to some diseases. There are people that are naturally, their blood pressure is 80/60, 80/55 and they are doing well. Such people, if they are not symptomatic there is nothing to really worry about. The problem comes when there are symptoms”.

Hypotension would seem to be a blood pressure reading to strive for but for some people, it can cause mild symptoms and in severe cases low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

As much as this life-threatening condition exists, very few people know about it, as indicated by a survey of opinions carried out by Channels Television’s health correspondent, Yomi Otaigbe.

But Dr. Joseph says “you need to know your numbers especially as you are growing. Alright, what are the numbers? Your blood pressure. The other thing is to know if your blood sugar is ok.

“This is because diabetes can cause, you know, hmm, hypotension. It can also predispose to hypertension anyway”.

For another cardiologist with the teaching hospital, Dr. Casmir Amadi, “when somebody has low blood pressure that has clinical relevance, the ability of the organs to receive blood becomes impaired. The commonest organ that will suffer will be the brain, the brain will not receive enough blood supply. So, usually they feel very dizzy and may have blurry vision”.

Explaining symptoms of the condition further he said: “If they lie down on the bed and trying to get out of bed, they will feel dizzy and if the low blood pressure is so bad, it may affect the perfusion of the heart muscle as well”.

Whether it is hypertension or low blood pressure, it is important to get regular blood pressure checks so as to pick up any abnormality early enough and get prompt treatment where necessary.