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Hep. A showing in blood years later
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Hep. A showing in blood years later

  I'm a 37-year-old woman, and I had Hepatitis A when I was 12 years old.  For 8 years now I have had serious joint/tendon/muscle inflammation problems, leading up to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis this past March.  Sed rate is 41; also have antinuclear antibodies, but not enough for diagnosis of lupus.  I have noticed that I am either constipated or have runny, yellow-colored stools.  What my question is, is can whatever is left over in your blood from having Hepatitis, can it cause you to have problems like I am having now?  I know there is something left in my blood from the Hepatitis because my doctor told me that it appears that I had had hepatitis at some time in my life.  (She hadn't read my chart completely to see that it was written there.)  Can Hepatitis A flare back up years later?  Or manifest itself in another way?  I'm searching for answers on my current health situation, which is not good.  Any direction you can give me, or any ideas to give to my doctor, will be greatly appreciated.
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Dear Mel:
I am intrigued by your story.  In some ways I can be of a lot of help.  I can tell you categorically that there should be absolutely no consequences of your hepatitis A, 15 years after you got it.  Hepatitis A has absolutely no long-term complications of which we know.  In a small number of people, hepatitis A can completely destroy the liver at the time they are infected.  They can die or require liver transplant.  In about 10% of people, the hepatitis A can come back a few weeks to months after they first get it.  However, the hepatitis A will not come back years later nor does it stick around for years.
If their is evidence of something wrong the liver now, it is not related to hepatitis A, 15 year ago.  Either your diagnosis then was wrong or something different is going on now.  You might want to ask your physician what she meant when she said she could tell you had hepatitis at some time in your life.  
I hope this information is helpful to you. I would be interested in any additional information or questions you have. You can contact us through MEDHELP or directly at Henry Ford at (313) 916-8865.  We have a very active group of liver specialists.  
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation.  Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.  





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