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Last Updated: Nov 01, 2021
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Hepatitis B - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

About Stages Transmission Symptoms Causes Prevention Diagnose Treatment Complications Cure Diet Home Remedies

What is Hepatitis B?

HBV virus causes liver inflammation which is known as Hepatitis B. HBV is just one of the five kinds of viral hepatitis. The other types of hepatitis are E, D, C and A. The HBV infection might be chronic or acute in nature. If the infection is chronic, the symptoms would show up quicker in adults. Children manifest acute hepatitis B symptoms rarely. The chances of any HBV infection in children are far likelier to be chronic. Chronic hepatitis B has a slow development period. Symptoms might not get noticed until the time any complications arise. It can be highly contagious in nature. It can spread via contact with saliva, infected blood and different body fluids. Symptoms might not show up for a few days post virus exposure. However, even without any symptoms, the infection can progress.

Hepatitis B affects the liver. However, for many individuals, the virus does not show any symptoms, and many people would be unaware of the fact that they have the virus. There are two stages of the virus – The acute stage and the chronic stage. In the acute stage, the virus has been diagnosed before, and the doctor focuses on avoiding its spread and the damage to the liver. In many cases, you might not need any treatment as the virus has a tendency to dissolve on its own. Often the doctor might suggest changes to your dietary pattern and intake of fluids.

For safer results, once you have been diagnosed with the virus you might have to take the Hepatitis B immunoglobulin shot along with the vaccine shot. In chronic cases, your doctor’s primary focus would be to curtail the spread of the virus and to prevent further damages to your liver. Antiviral medications might be given to achieve this. However hepatitis B medicines may not be suitable for everyone, and there could be some side effects when undergoing the treatment.

What are the stages of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver that mainly involves four stages depending upon the extent and severity of the disease. Stage 1 is characterized by fibrosis that is mild without the presence of scarring, while a moderate level of fibrosis is evident in stage 2 with the presence of scarring. Stage 3 shows bridging fibrosis as well as scarring that has touched different regions of the liver and the last stage i.e Stage 4 witnesses the severity of the disease by showing cirrhosis.

How is Hepatitis B transmitted?

Possible ways of transmission are:

  • An infected mother transmitting it to the baby at the time of birth
  • A needle prick injury
  • Close proximity with someone having HBV
  • Engaging in oral, anal and vaginal sex
  • The use of an infected razor or toothbrush

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis B?

Early signs and symptoms of Hepatitis B are not visible in every case. Around 30 to 50 % of people get an early indication and other have to encounter sudden chronic damages. It is advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible in case of configuring any of the symptoms. The early symptoms are listed as:

  • The person suffers from Frequent fever and tired
  • Yellowishness of the skin, eyes, having dark coloured urine and suffering from Jaundice.
  • Having continuous Fatigue and tiredness feeling for weeks or months
  • Web of swollen blood vessels in the skin
  • Having light coloured stools
  • Feeling abdominal or belly pain
  • Feeling of Vomiting
  • Feeling of Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite

Does Hepatitis B make you lose weight?

Hepatitis B is an infection that adversely affects one of the vital organs of the body i.e liver. As the liver plays an important role in the body's metabolism, any abnormality in it may lead to the symptoms such as loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, and susceptibility to infections, ultimately leading to weight loss. As a result of developed malnutrition, a loss in muscle mass occurs that is followed by weight loss.

What causes Hepatitis B?

  • Men having sex with men
  • People having multiple sexual partners
  • Individuals above 60 years of age and having diabetes
  • People having kidney disease
  • Individuals having chronic liver disease
  • Individuals who have travelled to countries having a higher incidence of the infection
  • Through the transmission of body fluids, blood transfusion or fluid transmission via opens sores etc. of an already infected person.
  • Sex: having unprotected sex, engaging in oral sex, transmission of infected saliva, semen or other extracts. Having multiple partners of sex.

  • Individuals having chronic liver disease
  • Accidental needle sticks usage due to improper management by health care workers,
  • Sharing needles or syringes with infected blood , the use of an infected razor or toothbrush
  • By childbirth wherein the mother is an hepatitis B infected
  • Persons who travel to countries with high risk of infection

What are the Preventive Measures of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B infection can be prevented via the following ways:

  • By in taking vaccination as early as possible. The vaccination is a series of three injections. One is given soon after the birth, the second vaccination is given after a month and the third vaccination is given after 8 weeks of the second vaccination. Vaccination should be taken by the new born children, healthcare workers, adults, active sex workers, travellers etc.
  • By wearing protective equipment while working in an health care setting,
  • By ensuring safety during blood transfusion, needles and syringe usage
  • By following proper sexual procedures and ensuring safe sex
  • Cleaning any sort of blood stains through protected gloves and disinfecting the area

What happens if HEP B is left untreated?

Hepatitis B may be acute or chronic. In acute conditions, treatment is not needed usually and recovery occurs itself enhanced by rest and adequate water intake, while the chronic condition is treated by a proper application of antiviral drugs. Any of these conditions if left untreated, can lead to gradual liver damage, resulting in serious complications such as cirrhosis or liver failure that can only be treated by the liver transplant method.

How do you prevent Hepatitis B from spreading?

Simple ways for preventing hepatitis B from Spreading are:

  • Washing hands properly with liquid soap, if encountered with blood
  • Using protection after sexual activity
  • Avoiding contact from the infected body’s blood or any other fluid
  • Covering all the wounds properly
  • Staying away from sharp-edged items like earrings or body rings, nail clippers and shaving razors.
  • Dumping the used tampons and sanitary napkins in plastic bags.
  • Avoiding any kind of recreational drugs which involve multiple individuals inhaling, injecting or snorting them from the same spot.
  • At the time of getting a tattoo or piercing or having acupuncture, ensure that new, sterile needles are being used.

How is Hepatitis B diagnosed?

Requested or routine screening tests can usually help doctors in diagnosing HBV. Patients might require screening for HBV if:

  • They come in close proximity with someone having hepatitis B
  • They have recently visited a country with high hepatitis B rates
  • They have been to prison
  • They indulge in drug usage
  • They have kidney dialysis performed on them
  • They are pregnant
  • They are men having sex with other men
  • They have an HIV infection
  • The doctor may perform a few blood tests for screening hepatitis B

Is Hep B an STD?

Hepatitis B is a contagious disease and it can be transmitted from one person to another by means of body fluids such as blood. Some of the activities resulting from this infection include vaginal or anal sex, living in close proximity to the person having a chronic infection, sharing of needles, infected mother giving birth to her child, human bites, etc. Hence it is categorized as a sexually transmitted disease.

What is the best treatment for Hepatitis B?

The hepatitis B treatment depends on how far the virus has spread in your body and how much damage your liver has undergone. The treatment also depends majorly on how free your body is from other chronic medical ailments.

The best treatment that can ultimately curb the virus from becoming active in your body is to take the hepatitis B vaccine. Also, you really have to be careful, and you should avoid getting unprotected sex. Also there more chances of you getting the infection from sharing the needles with your drug partner.

The virus strain can be either acute or chronic. For the acute cases, you might not need any medications. You have to change your dietary patterns, and you have intake a lot of fluids. However, you have to go for regular visits to your doctor to check for the activeness of the virus. In chronic cases, you may have to depend on medications, and these can be for an extended period.

The medications act differently for every individual, and there is no specific time limit for getting cured. In advanced cases when your liver is beyond repair, a liver transplant might be the only solution, and even that cannot be possible for many individuals.

What are the complications of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B comes with plenty of complications. Some of them are as follows:

  • Cirrhosis: This condition is the last stage of liver damage. 20 % of hepatitis B patient has a risk of having Cirrhosis. This condition generally occurs after some years of diagnosing the infection. Cirrhosis, itself can’t be diagnosed at the initial stage as the visible symptoms will show up at an extreme level.
  • Liver cancer: People who are diagnosed with cirrhosis followed by hepatitis B have a 0.5 % chance of growing liver cancer within a year.
  • Fulminant hepatic failure: This condition causes acute liver failure due to serious weakness in the synthetic function. There is 0.1 % of chance to have Fulminant hepatic failure after short-term hepatitis B.

How long is a person contagious with Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a communicable disease and can be transmitted easily through infected body fluids such as blood. A time period of 3 months from the day of exposure is considered to be quite risky or unsafe as the infected person becomes the reservoir of the infection and can transmit it to anyone who comes in contact with his infected blood. Being contagious, that person may or may not have symptoms related to Hepatitis B.

Is Hepatitis B curable?

Once you are vaccinated, you will not have a chance of getting the hepatitis B virus. For others who have undergone the treatment options, you would not have the symptoms again, but still, the damage to your liver in some cases can be permanent. It depends on how far the virus has affected your liver and how your body has responded to the treatment.

What food is good for Hepatitis B?

You have to make some changes in your food habits and lifestyle. Consume fresh fruits like strawberries, oranges etc. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Consume coconut water to maintain electrolyte balances.

What should not eat in Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis adversely affects the liver, hence it is quite important to have a healthy diet as well as a healthy lifestyle. A nutritious well-balanced diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, barley, brown rice, and quinoa, protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, beans, and chicken, fat-free dairy products, and healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

What is the Best Natural remedies for Hepatitis B?

The natural treatments are supportive in nature and have not yet proven to fully eradicate the virus from the body. Thus, these are to be considered as supportive treatment. Some of them are as follows:

  • It is essential to maintain healthy green vegetable rich diet. The patient should eat a nutritional diet and the diet should be rich in green leafy vegetable. Vegetable consumption like spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots is good for health.
  • Avoid the consumption of foods and drinks which cause inflammation. some of them are sugar, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, conventional dairy products and farm-raised meats.

  • It is essential to maintain healthy green vegetable rich diet. The patient should eat a nutritional diet and the diet should be rich in green leafy vegetable. Vegetable consumption like spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots is good for the health.
  • Consume fresh fruits like strawberries, oranges etc.
  • Avoid the consumption of foods and drinks which cause inflammation. some of them are sugar, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, conventional dairy products and farm-raised meats.
  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Consume coconut water to maintain electrolyte balances.

Key Highlights:

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: High

Relative Risk: High

Side Effects: High

Recovery Time: Medium

Price Range: RS. 1000 - RS. 4000

Summary: Hepatitis B is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver which is contagious. It adversely affects the liver, hence it is quite important to have a healthy diet as well as a healthy lifestyle. A nutritious well-balanced diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, barley, brown rice, and quinoa, protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, beans, and chicken, fat-free dairy products, and healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

Popular Questions & Answers

My age 26 and I am type diabetic patient last 11 years and everyday take 4 times insulin and thyronorm 50. And before 4 years 2018 suffering viral hepatitis after that total cure. Now last 2 weeks before blood test report hba1c 9 hemoglobin 14 urea 29, creatinine 0.81 lft bilirubin 3.02 (direct 0.35)(indirect 2.67) sgpt, sgot, alkaline phosphate, are all normal range so what should I do and which medicine I will take. please help me. Hyperbilirubin is normal jaundice or another symptoms please help me to much tensed for this report. Thax.

M.D. Consultant Pathologist, CCEBDM Diabetes, PGDS Sexology USA, CCMTD Thyroid, ACDMC Heart Disease, CCMH Hypertension, ECG, CCCS ( CARDIOLOGY & STROKE), CCIGC ( GERIATRIC CARE )
General Physician, Sri Ganganagar
lybrate-user you are type 1 diabetic ,uncontrolled. Your hba1c is too high. Your hba1c should be near 6.5. Bilirubin is indirect type which me congenital jaundice. For more contact with me on line by paid audio consultation.

I am suffering from lichen planus pigmentation for the past four years. Darkening is becoming worse than before. Consulted doctors and they are giving topical medicines like a ret hc, kojivit, melalite and exazel. And they suggesting me for chemical peeling. Kindly provide a solution.

MBBS, Diploma in Dermatology
Dermatologist, Pune
Hi since lichen 0lanus is a chronic and autoimmune skin condition. It takes time to get cured. Recurrance is also common if you have any trigger like itching scratching or injury. You need to contact good dermatologist. And requaired check up to w...

I am 21 year old girl and I am working in a hospital lab as tranee. Yesterday one of my senior was taking sample from one of the patient and then suddenly he asked me for putting cotton above the blood so when I put above his veins then my senior accidentally wipe injection in my thumb instead of cotton and then my skin tear and bleed.

MD - Dermatology, FRGUHS Dermatosurgery, MBBS
Dermatologist,
Ideally shud have tested the pt for hepatitis b, c n hiv. Every hospital shud hv a department for needle stick injury. Meet them at the earliest. They will do the needful.
1 person found this helpful

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