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Hepatitis B - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hepatitis B?

HBV or hepatitis B 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 hepatitis B 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 till the time any complications arise. Hepatitis B 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.

Possible ways of transmission are:

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

HBV infection has a greater risk of developing if:

  • 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 higher incidence of the infection

Requested or routine screening tests can usually help doctors in diagnosing HBV. A 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


Consult your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of hepatitis B. Infection can be prevented by administering a HBV immune globin injection. This antibody solution works against HBV. Acute hepatitis B doesn’t usually require treatment. Most people can overcome acute infections by themselves. Bed rest however helps in a quicker recovery. Antiviral medicines help treating chronic hepatitis B. They help in fighting the virus better. They also might lower the risks of any liver complications in the future.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Spread by sexual or direct blood contact
Yellowing of the eyes Abdominal pain and dark urine.

Popular Health Tips

Immunization - Why It Is Important?

MBBS, Diploma In Tropical Medicine Health, MRCP(UK)
Allergist/Immunologist, Hyderabad
Immunization - Why It Is Important?

The invention of biological vaccines has proven beneficial to mankind. Vaccination has helped save millions of lives in the last century and continue to form an effective barrier against a host of debilitating diseases. We may state that vaccines represent a miracle of modern science, but citizens need to follow a schedule devised by experts. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics indicates global trends in vaccination and analyzes their efficacy in fending off pathogens by strengthening bodily immunity in human beings. The association creates a list of recommended vaccines and changes in immunization schedules.

What is an immunization schedule?
First of all, it is important to understand what immunization is. It is a procedure that protects human beings and animals from specific diseases. The vaccine is a scientifically developed product which helps defend animal bodies from a range of conditions. This protection can be achieved in two ways; either the person naturally contracts and recovers from the disease or is injected with ‘shots’ for an artificially formulated and manufactured vaccine.

Immunization has played major role in controling infectious diseases. Small pox,a killer disease, has been wiped out. Immunization has changed health and practice of medicine for the better.

Here is the immunization schedule specified by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics for the prevention of diseases.

  1. BCG or Bacillus Calmette-Guerin: This vaccine offers protection from fatal diseases such as tuberculosis, and it is administered to newborn babies. In case the child has missed a dose, the vaccine may be administered till the child attains one year of age.
  2. DPT or Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus Toxoid: As the name suggests, this vaccine offers protection from diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. There are five doses of the disease; the three primary treatments are given during the 6th, 10th, and 14th week of a newborn’s life. The first booster dosage is administered later at the age of 16 months and 24 months, while the second booster dose is given at the age of 5 years to 6 years.
  3. Hepatitis B: This immunization offers protection from Hepatitis B. A child is required to take four doses of this vaccination. The first dose needs to be taken at birth, and the subsequent doses follow in the 6th, 10th, and 14th week.
  4. Measles- Lyophilized: This protects newborns from measles. An individual needs to take two doses. The first dose must be taken between the ages of 9 months and 12 months. The second one is given at the age of 16 months to 24 months.
  5. Tetanus toxoid: It is important to take two doses of tetanus toxoid for protection against tetanus. A woman has to take this immunization during her pregnancy.
  6. Japanese Encephalitis: This vaccination provides relief from Japanese Encephalitis or brain fever. This virus is active in almost all parts of Asia. Two doses of this vaccine are administered, wherein the first one needs to be taken between 9 months and 12 months of age. The second dosage must be taken between 16 months and 24 months.

Thus, following the immunization schedule devised by your child’s pediatrician is crucial, and must be followed diligently. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Reduce the Risk of Cancer - Get Tips!

MBBS, MD - Oncology, DNB - Super Speciality, Immuno Oncology
Oncologist, Delhi
Reduce the Risk of Cancer - Get Tips!

We live in an age where every single individual, more or less, is exposed to the risk of cancer. It is probably an unfavorable lifestyle we lead that deprives us of good health. This might alarm many but considerable changes in lifestyle can help you realize cancer as a preventable disease. Cancer does not only make you undergo severe suffering but it also affects your friends and family. The pallor of misery spreads wider than you think.

  • Abstain from tobacco: Consuming raw tobacco or smoking tobacco can be equally detrimental to your health. Tobacco increases your chances of contracting the disease. As is known, passive smoking can also affect your health adversely. Tobacco can be the potential cause behind cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, oral cavity and even the pancreas. It might harm your kidneys and cervix. It is upon you to quit tobacco at the earliest possible. One should also try and persuade friends and relatives to give up smoking.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: Complete abstinence from alcohol might not be possible if you have already been ushered into your work- life. The society might require you to be an occasional drinker. It is important to drink in moderation. Crossing the limit can propel consequences as serious as cancer of the stomach, pancreas, liver and the heart.
  • A balanced and nutritious diet: Deciding on a plant- based diet or a Mediterranean diet can aid your fight against the risk of cancer. A Mediterranean diet will involve green leafy vegetables, lots of fresh fruits, whole grains, mixed nuts, legumes and also the use of extra- virgin olive oil. Fish can be a safe bet but red meat should be avoided. One must also try to avoid processed meat as they tend to make you prone to the risk of cancer.
  • Immunization: Hepatitis B and HPV or Human papilloma virus vaccines are extremely necessary to protect you against the sexually transmitted types of cancer.
  • Sun protection: Caring for your skin doesn't arise from vanity. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent kinds of cancer; the chances of this disease can be restricted by remaining in shade especially during midday, by wearing covered clothes and by using a good sunscreen lotion repeatedly while outside.
  • Exercise diligently: Did you think it was okay to have weaker muscles and bulging layers of fat? If yes, you probably have grown numb to the inadequacies you face in result. Unchecked fat can lead to obesity which further complicates health conditions. Metabolic activity differs from person to person. Regular exercising can help regulate metabolism according to the needs of your body. Physical exercise protects you against the risk of breast and colon cancer. Moderate or vigorous physical activity for 150 to 75 minutes a week respectively can reduce the risk of cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a oncologist.
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What is Hereditary Hemochromatosis?

MD- Paediatrics & Neonatology, MBBS
Pediatrician, Gurgaon
What is Hereditary Hemochromatosis?

Anything in excess is bad for the body. The same goes with iron, which is believed to be essential for various functions.

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC) is a hereditary condition where the way the body absorbs and stores iron are affected, leading to excessive iron deposits in various internal organs and leading to multiple complications. Read on to know more about this condition.

Causes: HHC is caused by the mutation (alteration) of a gene that controls the amount of iron absorbed into the body. A hormone called hepcidin is secreted by the liver and controls iron absorption and storage. In HHC, the role of hepcidin is altered, leading to excess amounts of iron absorption and storage in various major organs, especially the liver. Over time, this excess iron can cause conditions like diabetes, cirrhosis, and heart failure.

Risk Factors: The condition runs in families, and if you have a family member with known HHC, the chances of having HHC are quite high. Though the disease develops right at birth, symptoms manifest only later in life, at about 50-plus years of age. Men who carry two copies of the mutated gene and hail from Northern Europeans are more prone to develop HHC.

Symptoms: There are no specific symptoms pointing to HHC in the early stages, and these include joint pains, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weakness. Over a period of time, these can lead to associated symptoms of conditions like cirrhosis, heart failure, impotence, diabetes, etc.

Diagnosis: Blood tests are done to diagnose the amount of iron in the system. Fasting transferrin saturation and serum ferritin are two important tests, and increased transferrin saturation is very indicative of HHC. In addition, liver function tests are done to check the extent of liver damage. MRI examination also will help identify the areas of iron overload and extent of liver damage (if any). Liver biopsy can help identify iron overload and liver damage. Gene mutation tests are also useful in confirming the condition.


  1. Depending on the excessive amount of iron deposited, phlebotomy which requires removal of iron is advised. About 400 to 500 mL of blood can be removed once a week or in two weeks.

  2. From a prevention point of view, hepatitis A and B vaccines should be given.

  3. In very severe cases, liver transplantation could be considered.

  4. Monitor for other symptoms like diabetes, cirrhosis and liver failure.

In addition, once the diagnosis is confirmed and phlebotomy initiated, iron levels should be monitored periodically to ensure it is not exceeding the desired levels. This can help in the prevention of complications, which are more causes for concern than the actual HHC condition per se. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.

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Hepatitis : Types and Their Causes

MS - Surgery, MAMS, Senior Residency , MBBS, Fellow IAGES
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Hepatitis : Types and Their Causes

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver, which may often progress to dangerous complications. There are many types of Hepatitis and each has its own particular set of causes, symptoms, mode of contraction and treatment procedures. Here are the main types of Hepatitis as well as some of the factors which may cause Hepatitis:


  1. Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A virus infection causes this condition. The Hepatitis A virus comes from food or water contaminated with the feces of someone contaminated with Hepatitis A. This is not a chronic form of Hepatitis.
  2. Hepatitis B: This is a chronic form of Hepatitis. It is spread through body fluid, such as blood, saliva and semen. The possible causes of Hepatitis B include use of drugs through injections, having sex with an infected partner and sharing razors or other intimate articles with someone who is infected.
  3. Hepatitis C: This is also a chronic form of Hepatitis.The most common causes of Hepatitis C are injection drug use or having sex.
  4. Hepatitis D: This is a not a chronic form of Hepatitis and is also very uncommon. It is usually contracted along with Hepatitis B. It is usually caused due to puncture wounds or contact with infected blood.
  5. Hepatitis E: This is the most uncommon form of Hepatitis. It is due to poor sanitation and ingesting fecal matter. It is usually found in developing countries.


  1. Virus: This is the usual way of contracting Hepatitis. The virus attacks the liver and causes inflammation leading to the breakdown of a number of body systems.
  2. Alcohol and other toxins: Alcohol and certain prescribed medications cause the liver to swell and that is why this form of Hepatitis is known as alcoholic Hepatitis.
  3. Autoimmune disease: This is the rarest cause of Hepatitis. The immune system malfunctions and begins destroying its own tissues. It attacks the liver because it perceives the liver to be a foreign object.

Related Tip: "What Are The 5 Types Of Viral Hepatitis And How Can You Prevent It?"

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Hepatitis B & C - How Ayurveda Can Help Treat It?

Ayurveda, Mumbai
Hepatitis B & C - How Ayurveda Can Help Treat It?

Hepatitis B and C are both viral infections of the liver caused by Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) virus respectively. Though the viral infections mostly affect children, adults are equally susceptible, if not more. The condition, if left untreated can have serious consequences on the liver (liver damage, scarring, liver cirrhosis and even cancer).

The symptoms for hepatitis B and C are almost similar and include:

  • Abdominal or belly pain.
  • Jaundice is one of the common and most important symptoms or medical condition associated with hepatitis B and C. The infection often interferes with the ability of the liver to filter out the bile pigment, bilirubin (the breakdown product of hemoglobin).
  • Extreme tiredness and exhaustion.
  • Nausea, loss of appetite.
  • There may be a fever and vomiting in case of hepatitis B.

In both hepatitis B and C, the infection causing virus can spread through

  • Unprotected sex.
  • From the affected person (through their blood, body fluids or open sores).
  • Use of infected needles and syringes.
  • In the case of hepatitis C, the virus can also spread from the pregnant women to her child.

Though conventional medications and treatments are available, many people go for the Ayurvedic treatments instead. Ayurveda adopts a holistic approach in treating the ailment or disease. The treatment is 100% natural and thus, have negligible or no side effects at all. The Ayurvedic treatment may be time-consuming, but it treats the condition from the base (it works towards identifying and eliminating the very underlying factor responsible for the ailment). The approach is similar in the case of hepatitis B and C. In addition to treating hepatitis, the medications also bring about a remarkable improvement in the associated symptoms (like jaundice, fatigue and nausea).

Some of the Ayurvedic medicines used to treat hepatitis B include

  1. Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus Niruri): Bhumi Amla can be used to treat Hepatitis B and the associated symptoms successfully. The medicine lowers the bilirubin level in the blood, thus providing relief from jaundice (one of the characteristic symptoms of Hepatitis B and C). It is also an effective medicine to deal with liver failure or liver problems.
  2. Echinacea (Andrographis): The medicine has anti microbial properties and, thus, checks and prevents the growth of the HBV (Hepatitis B Virus). It also enhances the overall functioning of a person's immune system (immune booster).
  3. Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna): People with Hepatitis B can benefit immensely from this medicine. Like Echinacea, Arjuna is also known to be an immune booster.
  4. Kaasni: The medicine is used to treat hepatitis B and liver problems. Kaasni is also an excellent blood purifier.

The ayurvedic medicine for Hepatitis C include

  1. Kalmegh (Andrographis Paniculata): The medicine comes as a relief for people with hepatitis C and liver problems. The anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties of Kalmegh further enhances its effectiveness.
  2. Guduchi (AMBROSIA), Haritaki (TERMINALIA CHELUBA), CURCUMA LONGA are few other Ayurvedic medicines that are equally effective in treating Hepatitis C.
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Popular Questions & Answers

Doctor vaccinated her like this. I was aware of the fact that pentavalent includes hib. She only gave dpt and hepatitis b vaccine. Can I give her pentavalent 2 nd dose on 2 and half months or I have to continue this vaccine individually?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Pediatrician, Gurgaon
From the next dose onwards you can switch over to hexavalent vaccine consisting of IPV (Inj polio vaccine) and give three doses.
1 person found this helpful

HbsAg test negative on 80th day after exposure. Status is unknown of her. Today is 95th day. Can I take it conclusive or am I free from hepatitis B?

FELLOWSHIP IN HEPATOBILIARY AND LIVER TRANSPLANT SURGERY, Fellowship in Abdominal Multi Organ Transplant Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
After exposure to Hepatitis B Virus, there is an incubation period of 1 to 4 months before it will show in blood test. You have got testing done at around 12 weeks. Instead of getting HBsAg testing again after 4 weeks you can wait for 6-8 weeks to get yourself tested. Hepatitis B can cause acute and chronic hepatitis. Acute hepatitis B is a clinical syndrome indistinguishable from other acute hepatitides and often consists of a flulike syndrome with malaise, fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and right upper quadrant discomfort. Physical signs include jaundice and pain over region of enlarged liver (tender hepatomegaly). The likelihood of developing icteric illness is inversely proportional to age. I hope this was helpful.
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Dear Sir ,30 year old, while going for medical test last Dec 2017 for a job, I found I am having Hepatitis B virus .HBsAG-ELISA - 6326.24 (Reactive. Can you kindly suggest me what I want to do for cure and how long it takes for cure. Whether its severe in the stage Thanks

FELLOWSHIP IN HEPATOBILIARY AND LIVER TRANSPLANT SURGERY, Fellowship in Abdominal Multi Organ Transplant Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Mr. lybrate-user, As you may already know Hepatitis B can cause liver failure and liver cirrhosis. But timely starting the treatment can help prevent that. Also important to note is that NOT all patients who have HBsAg positive require to be on medication. Regarding your question on what stage it is, answering it needs more information. Let me try explain in simple terms here. Hepatitis B infection can be in active or inactive 'state" Hepatitis B also causes "liver disease" which may result in liver failure or cirrhosis. So the "state" or "liver disease" are both different things. "state" can be decided on blood tests. Liver biopsy may be needed but not always required. For "liver condition" we need liver fibroscan or at least liver ultrasound. Medicines are started if one has one of the following: "state" or "liver disease" is advanced. Since you have got the hepatitis B test done, we can first see if you need treatment based on that. I will need to see your reports to let you know if you need to start treatment. You can share it with on the link below:

I am a patient of Hep B+. Long back in 2002 I suffered with jaundice now I am ok but Hep B+ virus is still in body. I am consuming Tenvir 300 mg tablet OD. Please advise what should I do for better health? I wants to continue my exercise but I am in terror their can be create any problem subject to health.

DNB, M.D. MEDICINE, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Surat
You can do all kinds of exercises. In fact it would help your health. As far as Hep B is concerned, you are already on medicine which you may have to continue lifelong.

Hello doctor, My uncle have hepatitis b positive. Which is best type of treatments to that. And all family members are ready to take vaccine please tell me name of the vaccine. And I heard its also spread through body touching and sweat. It is correct doctor? Please they are very afraid about that.

MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Hepatology, Fellowship in liver transplant
Hepatologist, Jaipur
Dear sir, we need to know the stage of hepatitis b. Not all patients with hep b need treatment, some only need close followup. We need to see him and do some tests to know the stage and accordingly treat if needed. Hep b does not spread by touching and sweat, it spread by blood contact, iv drug abuse (sharing needles), from mother to baby and during intercourse if the partner is not protected. Meet me for further information.
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Table of Content

What is Hepatitis B?

Possible ways of transmission are:


Play video
Hepatitis B & C
Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatitis B & C

Hello. I am Dr. Somasekhar Rao, gastroenterologist, and hepatologist at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad. I have been working as a a gastroenterologist for the last 8 years and the most common cause which I felt was that people are not aware was Hepatitis B and C. So, I thought I will talk to about these viruses in short. So, basically, there are two chronic Hepatitis viruses, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. We can talk about them together because they have similar symptoms most of the times and similar modes of transmission. So, these viruses when they infect a given body they don t harm any other organs of the body except the liver and these viruses are hepatotropic viruses and this damage the liver.

The damage caused by these viruses can be detrimental, can cause cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the liver. So, all these things are avoidable when we can treat them adequately at the right time. Most of the time if you do a simple test called HBsAg, we will be able to detect the virus called Hepatitis B and if you do a test Anti-HCV, we will be able to detect a virus called Hepatitis C. So, when we detect these viruses based on the patients other parameters and the liver function test, we will decide if the patient needs treatment and If the patient needs treatment, then there are good drugs available for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, it can cure the disease. so, if we treat the virus then there is no chance of liver damage like Cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.

The mode of transmission of this virus is very important to know. Most of the times it is not only it is always intravenous. It can be transmitted by intravenous injections or needle sharing. It can be transmitted by blood products. It can be transmitted by sexual transmission. And, most of the time we see this IV drug abuser sharing needles. Therefore, these are the chances of transmission. The most important root of transmission is mother-child transmission which is another possibility of these viruses. So, we should be aware of these viruses and modes of transmission so that we can avoid the transmission of these viruses.

So, Hepatitis B is a treatable disease whenever there is a necessity. Whenever the liver function tests are high or the Hepatitis B viral load is high, we need to treat them. There are very good anti-viral tablets available for Hepatitis B and you are preventing the liver from going into Cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Hepatitis C is a curable disease based on the Hepatitis C RNA count and Hepatitis C genotype. There are various drugs available in the markets which are newly available where the cure rates for Hepatitis C are more than 90%. So, I would suggest a simple blood test for Hepatitis B that is HBsAg and for Hepatitis C Anti-HCV can save your liver.

If you are positive, you need to consult your doctor and get treated. You can contact me through Lybrate or I am available at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice