What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is basically a life-threatening liver infection triggered by the virus of Hepatitis B (HBV). In few cases, the infection tend to become chronic, causing cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure, conditions which causes permanent liver scarring. While there is no cure for hepatitis B yet, its vaccine can protect against the disease.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?
The symptoms normally appear around 2 months after an individual has been infected. They may vary from mild- severe. Few symptoms can include:
- Joint pain.
- Dark urine.
- Abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Yellowing of sclera and skin (jaundice).
What are the causes of hepatitis B?
Clearly, the infection is triggered due to HBV (hepatitis B virus). It can be easily spread through semen or blood. HBV when enters the liver, it attacks your liver cells and starts multiplying. Such causes liver inflammation leading Hepatitis B symptoms. Few common ways the virus of hepatitis B is transmitted are:
- Sharing syringes and needles.
- Performing sexual activities with an HBV infected partner.
- Mother to her child during childbirth.
Chronic vs. Acute hepatitis B:
The hepatitis B infection can be chronic (long lasting) or acute (short-lived).
Chronic: tend to last for approximately six to eight months. When the immune system fails to fight against the virus, then the infection can turn lasting, possibly leading some serious illnesses for example liver cancer and cirrhosis. HBV Infected children (1-5) and infected infants with HBV by birth mostly become chronically infected.
Acute: last for 5-6 months. in case the disease tends to be acute, the immune system of your body manages to clear up the virus, thus recovering within some months completely. Adults, those infected with HBV are more likely to develop acute hepatitis B infection.
What are the risk factors of hepatitis B?
You are more likely to get infected if you:
- Perform unprotected sexual activities with many partners/ or with an HBV infected partner.
- Are a man and perform sexual activities with another man.
- Share home with an HBV infected (chronic) individual.
- While using intravenous drug, share needles.
- Do a job which exposes human blood to you.
What are the complications of hepatitis B?
Suffering from chronic HBV infection may cause serious complications for example:
- Liver scarring (cirrhosis).
- Liver cancer.
- Liver failure.
- Hepatitis D infection.
- Kidney problem.
How is hepatitis B diagnosed?
A blood test series known as hepatitis viral panel is conducted in order to diagnose hepatitis B. Furthermore, below mentioned tests are conducted in case of chronic hepatitis B in order to determine any damage to the liver.
- Liver function tests.
- Albumin level.
- Prothrombin time.
Moreover, the doctor will also suggest a test for measuring HBV level in the blood.
How is hepatitis B treated?
In case you have been accidentally exposed to HBV, immediately rush to receive hepatitis B immune globulin injection as it can help you guard against developing the condition. (Within twenty four hours of exposure).
In case the doctor finds out you have acute hepatitis B, he may not recommend any treatment and will allow your body to fight against the infection on its own. However, he will look forward to reduce your symptoms.
If the doctor determines you have chronic hepatitis B infection, he can suggest:
- Antiviral medications.
- Liver transplant.
By : Natural Health News