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Four Common Hepatitis Symptoms


Updated May 16, 2014

Most diseases have their classic symptoms and hepatitis is no exception. Here is a list of symptoms and their descriptions that are frequently seen with hepatitis. Remember, though, that some people with the disease will not have any of these problems.

1. Jaundice

Woman napping with her head resting on desk
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This is the classic symptom of hepatitis, which is an accumulation of a chemical called bilirubin in the body's tissues. The liver usually processes this chemical as a waste product, but when the liver is damaged it's unable to do its normal job and the chemical accumulates in the blood and starts to leak out into body tissue. When enough of this chemical accumulates it's possible to see a yellow color in the skin, urine and especially around the whites of the eyes.

2. Loss of Appetite

Steve Woods
Loss of appetite, also called anorexia, is often the first symptom of acute hepatitis. Sometimes this symptom lasts for a very short time before being replaced by nausea and vomiting.

3. Fatigue

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Fatigue is a debilitating tiredness and is a big source of frustration for people with liver disease. The liver is a vital organ in metabolizing and storing energy. When the liver is damaged, feelings of extreme weakness is common.

4. Muscle and Joint Aches

Adam Ciesielski
Pain in the muscles and joints can last from days to weeks and are more common in acute hepatitis than in chronic hepatitis.
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