What Are The Symptoms Of Having Hepatitis B
A majority of adults develop symptoms from acute hepatitis B virus infection however, young children often do not. Symptoms, when they occur, may include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Abdominal pain near the liver
On average, symptoms appear three months after exposure to the virus, but they can appear anywhere between six weeks and six months. Symptoms usually last for a few weeks, but can last up to six months. Most adults infected with hepatitis B virus recover fully even if their signs and symptoms are severe.
Some of the people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B virus have ongoing symptoms similar to acute hepatitis B virus, but most people with chronic Hepatitis B remain symptom free for 20 or 30 years.
If you think you have signs of symptoms of Hepatitis B, contact your doctor.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Hepatitis B is caused by a viral infection. The virus can survive outside of the body for at least seven days. During this time, it can infect a person if it enters his or her body. It can be detected within 30 to 60 days after infection. It can persist and develop into chronic hepatitis B, especially if someone is infected at a young age.
It can be transmitted or spread in several ways, including :
Anyone can get this virus. But some people are at a greater risk of exposure to the virus. This includes people who:
- Have multiple sexual partners
- Travel to countries with a high hepatitis B rate
Reduce Your Chance Of Infection
You can reduce your chance of hepatitis B infection by
- not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
- wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
- making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools
- not sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
- using a latex or polyurethane condom during sex
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How To Get Tested For Hepatitis B Infection
We have shortlisted the top 3 laboratories networks providing Hepatitis B Testing in the US, mentioned them below.
Hepatitis B test cost ranges between 24$ and $52 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. The cost of the HBV test also depends on the type of test i.e. HBV antibody & Hepatitis antigen test.
No prior appointment is required. Compare the cost, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
Some people who are infected with the hepatitis B virus have mild, flu-like symptoms and some do not become sick at all. Children who are infected are less likely to have an illness or get sick after getting hepatitis B than adults.
In more severe cases, hepatitis B can cause:
- Loss of appetite.
- Pain in the joints.
Normally, these health problems disappear in a few weeks, but even when the person feels much better, they may still be infectious.
Most adults who become infected with the hepatitis B virus recover completely and do not become infected again. A few people become very ill in the time just after infection and need to go to hospital some may even die.
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Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis B
Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis B. Many people who have hepatitis B dont have symptoms and dont know they are infected with hepatitis B. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis B, which can lower your chances of developing serious health problems.
Your doctor may recommend screening for hepatitis B if you9,14
- were born in an area of the world where 2 percent or more of the population has hepatitis B infection, which includes Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America
- didnt receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an infant and have parents who were born in an area where 8 percent or more of the population had hepatitis B infection, which includes sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia
- are HIV-positive
- are a man who has sex with men
- have lived with or had sex with a person who has hepatitis B
- have an increased chance of infection due to other factors
How Is It Transmitted
Hepatitis B is highly infectious, and is spread from one person to another through exposure to infected blood and body fluids . It can be spread through:
- blood transfusions or organ transplantation in countries where blood or blood products have not been properly screened for hepatitis B and other viruses transmitted through blood
- unprotected sex with an infected person
- sharing needles or equipment for injecting drugs
- unsterilized medical/dental equipment and shared/contaminated materials or equipment used for tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture
- sharing toothbrushes or razors
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Hepatitis B Prevention And Vaccination
Hepatitis B infection is vaccine-preventable. An effective and safe vaccine is used to protect children and adults from the disease. In addition, the implementation of safe injection procedures, blood safety strategies and safer sex practices can protect against HBV transmission. There are simple and effective ways to prevent the spread of Hepatitis B:
- Practice safe sex using protective measures
- Avoid direct contact with bodily fluids and blood
- Wash your hands carefully after any potential exposure
- Clean up blood spills with a disinfecting solution
- Avoid sharing sharp personal items such as nail clippers, razors or toothbrushes
- Cover all wounds and cuts carefully
- Avoid street drugs
- Make sure sterile needles are used for tattoos, piercing, and acupuncture
- Moreover, all blood and blood components used for blood transfusions should undergo quality-assured screening to reduce the chance of getting HBV.
Hepatitis B virus vaccine
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How Common Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is fairly common in Africa and the western Pacific region. Throughout the world, there are about 292 million people who are infected with chronic hepatitis B. In the U.S., the figure exceeds 2 million people.
The number of infections had been falling in the U.S., but fewer vaccinations among adults combined with the onset of the opioid crisis and injected drug usage has resulted in the numbers rising again. Infected women can pass the infection on to their babies. Children who are infected before age 5 are more likely to have chronic infection than those infected later in life.
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Acute Hepatitis B Symptoms
There are three phases of acute hepatitis B infection, and symptoms may differ depending on the stage. Early in the disease, called the prodromal phase, symptoms may include:
- Dark urine and light stool color
During the icteric phase:
- Jaundice develops
- Anorexia, nausea and vomiting may worsen
- Irritated skin lesions may develop
- Other symptoms may subside
How Common Is It
In 2006, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported the incidence of HBV as 2.0 cases for every 100,000 or about 650 cases reported annually in Canada. In the year 2013, the incident rate was 0.5 per 100,000 . Incidence of the disease varies from region to region but has been declining due to increasing use of the vaccine and universal immunization programs.
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Treatment For Acute Hepatitis B
If you’re diagnosed with hepatitis B, your GP will usually refer you to a specialist, such as a hepatologist .
Many people don’t have any troublesome symptoms, but if you do feel unwell, it can help to:
- get plenty of rest
- take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, for abdominal pain
- maintain a cool, well-ventilated environment, wear loose clothing, and avoid hot baths or showers if itching is a problem
- take medication such as metoclopramide to stop you feeling sick and chlorphenamine to reduce itching your doctor can give you a prescription for these if necessary
Most people recover completely in a couple of months, but you’ll be advised to have regular blood tests to check that you’re free of the virus and haven’t developed chronic hepatitis B.
Is There A Cure For Chronic Hepatitis B
Currently, there is no complete cure for hepatitis B. But when managed properly, those living with the virus can expect to live a normal life. Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding beverages that contain alochol and tobacco products are crucial components in managing the disease.
You should also visit a doctor familiar with hepatitis B at least annually though twice a year might be best to monitor your liver through blood tests and medical imaging. As with most diseases, detecting it early leads to a better outcome. If youre exposed to the virus, you should get an antibody injection within 12 hours of exposure.
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Prevention Of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccine typically is given as a series of three or four injections, administered over the course of six months. The first dose of the vaccine is sometimes called the birth dose, since it frequently is given within the first 24 hours of birth. The vaccine is 90 to 95 percent effective in preventing hepatitis B.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Hepatitis B
The presence of HBV in the body results in the production of antibodies against the virus. Examples of antibodies that target HBV include HBsAG , anti-HBc , and HBeAg . Different blood tests have been designed to detect the different antibodies and thus are used to diagnose hepatitis B.
In acute HBV infection, treatment typically is supportive, centred primarily on adequate rest and fluid intake. Treatment for chronic HBV infection varies. Agents such as lamivudine and interferon alfa-2b disrupt viral reproduction, enabling the liver to recover some of its function. Some patients develop resistance to lamivudine, requiring the use of a different antiviral drug, such as adefovir or entecavir, alone or in combination with lamivudine. Liver transplantation may be considered in cases of chronic liver failure.
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Natural Treatments To Manage Hepatitis B Symptoms
1. Eat a Healthy and Well Balanced Diet
One of the most important ways for a person with hepatitis B to live a longer, healthier life is to focus on maintaining an adequate nutritional balance with a whole foods and anti-inflammatory diet. Eating foods that contain chlorophyllcan also be beneficial for reducing oxidative stress and liver damage. Some of the most beneficial, detoxifying, liver-cleansing and cancer-fighting foods include :
- Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens and romaine lettuce
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts
- Root vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and butternut squash
- Fresh fruit, especially blueberries, strawberries, goji berries and citrus fruits
- Fresh herbs, like basil, parsley, oregano and ginger
- Organic meat and wild-caught fish
- Grass-fed cattle or chicken liver
- Probiotic dairy, like kefir, cottage cheese and yogurt
- Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds
- Unrefined oils, such as healthy coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods and Drinks
3. Stay Hydrated
4. Reduce Stress
5. Try Milk Thistle
6. Boost your Glutathione Levels
What If I Am Pregnant
It’s recommended that all pregnant women have a blood test for hepatitis B in early pregnancy.
If you have hepatitis B and are pregnant, treatments can reduce the risk of transmission of hepatitis B to the baby.
If you have hepatitis B, it is important to protect others from infection.
Important ways to prevent the spread of hepatitis B include:
- vaccination of all your close contacts
- practise safe sex until your sexual contacts are fully vaccinated and immune
- do not donate blood, organs or body tissue
- do not allow your blood to contact another person
- inform healthcare workers
- if your work involves potential for your blood or other body fluid to spread to other people, discuss your situation with your doctor
The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective in protecting against hepatitis B infection, providing protection in 95 in 100 vaccinated people.
In Australia, hepatitis B vaccination is part of the standard immunisation schedule for all newborn babies and infants. It’s also recommended for adults who are at high risk of exposure, people who are immunosuppressed or have other liver disease. People in these risk groups should be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Talk to your doctor about your level of risk and whether hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for you.
If you werent vaccinated against hepatitis B as a child, or if youre not sure whether you are vaccinated, talk to your doctor about whether you need a catch-up vaccine.
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Can Hepatitis B Be Prevented
The hepatitis B vaccine is one of the best ways to control the disease. It is safe, effective and widely available. More than one billion doses of the vaccine have been administered globally since 1982. The World Health Organization says the vaccine is 98-100% effective in guarding against the virus. Newborns should be vaccinated.
The disease has also been more widely prevented thanks to:
- Widespread global adoption of safe blood-handling practices. WHO says 97% of the blood donated around the world is now screened for HBV and other diseases.
- Safer blood injection practices, using clean needles.
- Safe-sex practices.
You can help prevent hepatitis B infections by:
- Practicing safe sex .
- Never sharing personal care items like toothbrushes or razors.
- Getting tattoos or piercings only at shops that employ safe hygiene practices.
- Not sharing needles to use drugs.
- Asking your healthcare provider for blood tests to determine if you have HBV or if you are immune.
Detection Of Antiviral Resistance
National and international surveillance is performed by the CDC to determine effectiveness of the current FDA-approved antiviral flu drugs. Public health officials use this information to make current recommendations about the use of flu antiviral medications. further recommends in-depth epidemiological investigations to control potential transmission of the resistant virus and prevent future progression. As novel treatments and detection techniques to antiviral resistance are enhanced so can the establishment of strategies to combat the inevitable emergence of antiviral resistance.
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Hepatitis B Causes Symptoms And 6 Natural Treatments
It is estimated that over 300 million people are living with hepatitis B. In 2015, it resulted in 887,000 deaths worldwide. Although many people with hepatitis B dont experience any symptoms, its a chronic infection that can lead to severe liver conditions like cirrhosisand liver cancer. The scary part is that it is 50100 times more infectious than HIV. An even scarier note: coinfection with hepatitis B and HIV is common. Seventy to 90 percent of people with HIV in the U.S. show evidence of past or active HBV infections. HBV is also more infectious than hepatitis C. Both hepatitis B and C are transmitted through infected blood, but hepatitis A is transmitted through infected fecal matter. The virus can live outside of the body for many days and infect you unknowingly. Thats why people at risk of acquiring hepatitis B should be screened. That way those infected can limit the spread of the virus.
There is no cure for hepatitis B, but there are natural ways to support your immune system and reduce your risk of developing a chronic infection. There are also remedies for relieving the symptoms of acute hepatitis B, which for some people can last for months.
If I Am Infected How Can I Prevent Passing On The Virus To Others
If you have a current hepatitis B infection you should:
- Avoid having sex with anyone until they have been fully immunised and checked with a blood test to see that the immunisation has worked.
- Not share any injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, etc.
- Not share razors, toothbrushes, etc, that may be contaminated with blood.
- Cover any cuts or wounds with a dressing.
- Make sure that, if any of your blood spills on to the floor or other surfaces following an accident, it is cleaned away with bleach.
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What Is Involved In A Liver Transplant
A liver transplant is considered necessary when the liver is damaged and cannot function or in some cases of liver cancer. Your liver is very important. It is responsible for many functions related to making sure that your body stays healthy and is able to digest foods.
You may be eligible for a transplant if you have chronic hepatitis B infection or some of the diseases that may result from it, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. You will have to complete testing and be evaluated before being approved for a transplant. It is likely that you will be placed on a waiting list while an appropriate organ is found.
Donated livers come from two types of donors: living and deceased. Because the liver can regenerate, it is possible to use part of a liver for transplant. The remaining sections in both the donor and the receiver will grow into livers of adequate size.
People who get liver transplants must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs make you more susceptible to infection. However, liver transplants have become more successful over time and continue to improve.