Hepatitis B - Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment
What is Hepatitis B?
It is a severe liver infection that can lead to liver damage, cancer, and death. The virus spreads through contact with an infected person's blood or bodily fluids. You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, sharing needles or other drug-injection equipment, or from mother to child during childbirth.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a severe viral infection of the liver that can cause inflammation and scarring. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain, and jaundice. If you think you may have hepatitis B, you must see a doctor immediately, as treatment can be effective if started early.
Causes of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is found in the blood and body fluids of an infected person. It can spread through contact with fluids, such as:
- Blood, through needle sharing or accidental needle sticks
- Contact with body fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluids, or saliva
- Sexual contact with someone who has HBV
- From a mother to a child through childbirth
Hepatitis B can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as:
- Sharing personal items like toothbrushes or razors with someone who has HBV
- Getting a tattoo or body piercing with contaminated equipment
Types of Hepatitis B
There are three main types of hepatitis B: acute, chronic, and carriers.
- Acute hepatitis B is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after exposure to the virus. It is the most common type of hepatitis B in children.
- Chronic hepatitis B is a long-term illness that can lead to serious health problems, including liver failure and liver cancer.
- Carriers of hepatitis B have the virus in their blood but do not show any symptoms.
Types of Hepatitis B diagnostics
To diagnose hepatitis B, doctors will conduct a complete physical exam and test your blood to see if your liver is inflamed. If your sampled tests have high levels of liver enzymes, you'll be tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody (HBsAg) and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs). Hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody (HBsAg) usually take 10 weeks to show up on a blood test. Antibodies drop significantly and become extinct within 4-6 months when you completely recover. If the antibodies are still present in your body six months later, you are diagnosed with a chronic case of hepatitis B.
HBsAg antibodies are what make you immune to hepatitis B. If your disease becomes a chronic illness, your physician might suggest a liver biopsy. This will tell them how severe the disease is. The doctor might also recommend you get an ultrasound to see how much liver damage there is.
Treatment for Hepatitis B
Several medications can help treat hepatitis B. These include antiviral drugs, which can help reduce the amount of virus in your body, and immunomodulators, which can help boost your immune system to better fight the virus. If your liver is damaged, you may also need medication to help protect it from further damage. Timely medical intervention is key to controlling the disease. Delay in seeking treatment can worsen the condition.
HBIG (Hepatitis B Immuno Globulin) is one of the best ways to treat hepatitis B. Adults who have been exposed to hepatitis should get HBIG and vaccination as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours but not later than 14 days after the exposure.
There is no better treatment than HBIG available for immediate protection against hepatitis B. The considerable amounts of antibodies extracted from human blood help those exposed to hepatitis B fight against the disease.
Keeping track of the appointments and meeting your doctor for regular checkups is also equally important. Most people with hepatitis B can live long and healthy lives with treatment.
Coping with Hepatitis B
If you have hepatitis B, you can do a few things to manage the virus and keep your liver healthy. First, you need to avoid alcohol and drugs. These can damage your liver and make the virus harder to control. You need to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. It will help keep your liver healthy and slow down the progression of the disease.
Prevention of Hepatitis B
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe, effective, and the only way to avoid this disease.
The vaccine is given as a series of shots. The first shot is usually given at birth; the rest at 1–2 months old, 6–18 months old, and 4–6 years old. If you weren't vaccinated as a child, you can get the vaccines as an adult.
Hepatitis B is a severe viral infection that affects the liver. If left untreated, it can lead to severe liver damage and even death. There are three main types of hepatitis B—acute, chronic, and carrier—each with its own symptoms and treatment options. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.
Timely detection of hepatitis B is key to fighting the disease and preventing it from worsening. Blood tests can accurately detect if you have this disease or not. When it comes to matters of health and well-being, you should trust only the best pathology lab in the country. Metropolis Healthcare Labs, the pathology specialist of India, has branches spread throughout India. Our team of experts, state-of-the-art testing facilities, and quick testing ensure you get your reports quickly. Contact us today for all your blood test needs.