Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of hepatitis are the same, regardless of the cause, but vary from person to person and may vary over time. Many people have few, mild, and/or vague symptoms that may be mistaken for the flu. Some of the more common signs and symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint aches
Some may experience additional symptoms such as loss of appetite, dark colored urine, or light colored stools. More serious complications can involve accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and mental confusion.
A physical examination may reveal a liver that is tender and enlarged. Chronic hepatitis usually causes no symptoms or may be noticeable as only a loss of energy and tiredness. In some people, chronic hepatitis can gradually damage the liver and, after many years, cause liver failure. The chronic form typically lasts for many years and only rarely goes away without treatment.