No specific treatment exists for hepatitis A. Your body will clear the hepatitis A virus on its own. In most cases of hepatitis A, the liver heals completely in a month or two with no lasting damage.
Hepatitis A treatment usually focuses on coping with signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. For instance:
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- Expect to have less energy. Many people with hepatitis A infection feel tired and have less energy for their daily tasks. Rest when you need to. You may feel tired and sick for a few months.
- Find ways to cope with nausea. Nausea can make it difficult to eat. Find ways to make food more appealing. Eat small snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals. If you're having trouble eating enough calories, avoid low-calorie foods and choose high-calorie foods. For instance, drink fruit juice or milk, rather than water.
- Give your liver a rest. Your liver may have difficulty processing medications and alcohol if you have hepatitis A. Review your medications, including over-the-counter drugs, with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend stopping or changing some of your medications. Stop drinking alcohol while you have signs or symptoms of hepatitis A infection.
- Sjogren MH, et al. Hepatitis A. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis A FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/aFAQ.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- What I need to know about hepatitis A. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepa_ez/index.aspx. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis nutrition therapy. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Milk thistle. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/milkthistle/ataglance.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.