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How to Recognize Hepatitis Symptoms in Children

June 10th, 2022

Hepatitis is a general term for any inflammation that occurs on the liver. Inflammation is an itch or irritation on the body, like a sore spot on the skin. Hepatitis can be long-term or short-term, depending on the cause of the hepatitis type affecting a patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

While viruses account for a large percentage of hepatitis cases, there are other things that cause hepatitis, like:


  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Genetic disorders
  • Overactive immune system

Types of Hepatitis

The classification of hepatitis is based on its primary and secondary causes. Some certain types affect only a certain kind of people, like Hepatitis A, for example, which affects just children.

Other types of hepatitis include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis D
  • Hepatitis E
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis: Caused by drug or alcohol intake
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis: Caused by the immune system fighting the liver
  • Neonatal Hepatitis: Mostly found in pregnant women

Symptoms of Hepatitis in Children

Confirmation of a hepatitis case is usually done through blood tests. As is the norm with viral infections, hepatitis in children has no noticeable symptoms at the early stage, making it difficult to spot.


In its later stages, symptoms can become visible. If you notice two or more of the following symptoms in your child, visit the nearest primary care clinic in your neighborhood immediately.


1.   Fever

Depending on the type of hepatitis, the fever can be low-grade or significantly intense. A proper diagnosis is required to be sure of a hepatitis case, as fever is the most common symptom of all viral infections.


2.   Fatigue

The liver’s job is to break down food for proper metabolism. The moment the liver is damaged or inflamed, there will be an inadequate transfer of nutrients to parts of the body that need it. This inadequacy in the nutrient transfer can cause weakness in the body.


3.   Muscle pain

Muscle pain is also a symptom of hepatitis because it’s caused by poor metabolism. The muscles in the body continually reinforce themselves with food to enrich and strengthen the body. But, if the liver can’t digest food properly to reinforce the muscles, they’ll weaken and begin to ache.


4.   Nausea/Vomiting

Indigestion can cause nausea. How? The body must expel waste in one way or another and if digestion-to-excretion doesn’t work, it’ll find other means to release waste. And that’s what causes nausea and vomiting. Once nausea is becoming frequent, it is advisable to visit the nearest health center at once.


5.   Diarrhea

The liver plays a huge role in food detoxification. Thus, when the liver is inflamed, the detoxification process will no longer be as effective as it should be. Once this occurs continuously, it can signal a case of hepatitis.


6.   Abdominal pain or swelling

The liver is located in the upper right abdomen of the body. If you notice swelling in that area or if your child shows signs of pain and discomfort when that part is touched, that may be a case of hepatitis. It indicates that the inflammation has begun to damage the liver.


7.   Jaundice

See also  Hepatitis Awareness Month

If the whitish part of the eyes turns yellow or you notice your child’s skin turning yellow, that’s jaundice at play. Jaundice requires urgent medical attention because it indicates that the liver inflammation is nearing its final stage.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

As stated earlier, hepatitis can be difficult to spot in children. Hepatitis patients at the early stage show no symptoms and can easily pass as normal and healthy. Hence periodic internal and external checkups on your child are important.


When your child falls ill out of the blue, stops playing as much as usual, or begins to experience pain and swelling in the body, it’s easy to notice. Once you do, it’s advisable to consult a doctor for a thorough physical examination. For further inquiries or to consult a doctor, reach out to us.


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