Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. In some cases the infection becomes chronic and lasts for almost 6 months. Chronic hepatitis may result in liver cirrhosis. Symptoms are:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Yellowing of skin and eyes
• Abdominal pain or discomfort
• Clay coloured bowel movements
• Low grade fever
• Dark Urine
• Joint pain
HOW IS HEPATITIS B DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis of this problem is done by a general physician who would do a physical examination. Post this, they might also do a blood test to confirm infection and a biopsy in case there is liver damage expected.
HOW IS HEPATITIS B TREATED?
There are five types of Hepatitis virus which consists of Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. While acute Hepatitis B can be treated at home, in case of severe symptoms of Hepatitis B, antiviral medications can treat Hepatitis B. Also, the doctor conducts liver function tests to check the blood for Hepatitis B virus.
DID YOU KNOW?
This is also a disease that can be prevented if the vaccination for the same is taken, in particular for infants and smaller kids.
Hepatitis is a condition which results in the inflammation of the liver. If left untreated, hepatitis can lead to serious conditions such as fibrosis i.s. scarring or liver cancer. In most cases, Hepatitis is usually caused due to hepatitis viruses. However, it is also possible that hepatitis be caused due to infection, autoimmune diseases or toxic substances such as alcohol.
As mentioned above, hepatitis is usually caused due to hepatitis viruses. The main classification of these hepatitis viruses are A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis D and E are comparatively less common and hence, hepatitis A, B and C viruses are discussed below:
1. Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A (HAV) is found in the excreta of affected people and its transmission usually occurs due to the intake of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A can also be spread through some sexual practices. Even though they are usually mild, Hepatitis A can be severe and fatal in some cases. People living in areas with poor sanitation are susceptible to Hepatitis A and it can be prevented by utilising the available vaccines.
2. Hepatitis B: Transmission of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) occurs through exposure to infected semen, blood and other bodily fluids. This includes use of HBV-contaminated blood transfusions and injections that are contaminated. It is also possible that an infant inherits HBV from the mother during birth.
3. Hepatitis C: Transmission of HCV usually occurs when a person is exposed to agents of infected blood such as HCV-contaminated transfusions, use of injection drugs and contaminated injections. Transmission through sex is also a possibility. Unlike other cases, there is no vaccine available for HCV.
As mentioned above, Hepatitis B is an infection caused by HBV which targets the liver. The condition can be either chronic or acute in nature. It is a major problem globally and complications in hepatitis B can prove to be fatal.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is capable of surviving outside the human body for a minimum of 7 days. During this period, it is capable of causing infection in people who do not have the protection offered by the vaccine. Detection of the virus occurs between 30-60 days after infection and if it persists, it might lead to a chronic case of hepatitis B. Some of the other means of transmission are already discussed above.
Hepatitis B symptoms
Cases of acute infection generally do not exhibit any symptoms of hepatitis B. However, in some cases, the acute hepatitis B illness causes symptoms that are capable of lasting for several weeks. Some of these hepatitis B symptoms include:
1. Dark Urine
2. Yellowing of eyes and skin, which is usually jaundice
3. Extreme fatigue
6. Abdominal Pain
Chronic cases of hepatitis B are more severe in nature and causes liver infection which often results in the development of cirrhosis of the liver or even liver cancer.
Hepatitis B treatment
There is no specific hepatitis cure for acute cases. Generally, prevention of HBV is termed as hepatitis cure and usually incorporates maintenance of balance in nutrition, including recuperation of fluids which are lost due to diarrhoea and vomiting.
Hepatitis B treatment for chronic cases involves usage of drugs such as oral agents which are antiviral in nature. Examples of oral agents include Tenofovir and Entecavir, since these are potent enough to suppress HBV. Hepatitis B treatment can delay the progress of cirrhosis, improve general health conditions and reduce the occurrence of liver cancer. It should be noted that Hepatitis B treatment cannot be used as a hepatitis cure and is only useful for delaying the progress of the condition.
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