What Makes Hepatitis B A Serious Illness
Many people with hepatitis B do not know they are infected since they do not look or feel sick, yet they can still spread the virus to others. Acute infection can lead to chronic infection, which can cause cirrhosis , liver cancer, liver failure, and death. During childbirth, a mother may pass hepatitis B to her baby. Newborns infected with hepatitis B have a 90 percent chance of developing chronic hepatitis B. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people die each year in the U.S. from liver disease caused by hepatitis B.
Whats The Outlook For Hep C Thats Developed Into Cirrhosis Or Liver Cancer
Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, especially if left untreated. Without treatment, cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.
Treating cirrhosis and liver cancer typically requires a liver transplant. A transplant can cure both cancer and liver function impairment. But a transplant is only available for a small number of people.
You Can Have It And Not Know It
What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus . HBV is far more infectious than HIV and can be prevented by a vaccine. People who have not been vaccinated may be at risk of getting infected.
About 95 percent of adults will recover within 6 months of becoming infected and as a result will develop lifelong protection against it. The remaining 5 percent are unable to clear the virus and will become chronically infected. Chronic hepatitis B infection is treatable.
It is estimated that less than 1 percent of Canada’s population is infected with either acute or chronic HBV. People who are infected before the age of 7 are at a higher risk of developing chronic infection. In 2011, the overall reported rate of acute hepatitis B infection in Canada was 0.6 reported cases per 100,000 people living in Canada.
Why is hepatitis B a health concern?
Many people infected with HBV do not know they have the virus because symptoms can take two to six months to appear and only about 50 percent of people develop symptoms. During this time, they can spread the infection to others. You may not know you have this infection until damage has already been done to your liver. Potential complications from chronic HBV infection include cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure, liver cancer and premature death.
Why do I need my liver?
How is hepatitis B spread?
HBV is spread through contact with infected blood and body fluids including semen and vaginal fluid.
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How Is Hepatitis B Prevented
Testing & Vaccination
- The hepatitis B vaccine offers excellent protection against HBV. The vaccine is safe and highly effective. Vaccination consists of 3 doses of vaccine over the course of 6 months. Protection lasts for 20 years to life.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should receive hepatitis B vaccine starting at birth. .
- The CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccine for persons traveling to countries where HBV is common .
- If you have one or more risk factors for hepatitis B infection, you should get a simple HBV blood test. The blood test will determine whether you are:
- immune to hepatitis B or
- susceptible to hepatitis B and need vaccination or
- infected with hepatitis B and need further evaluation by a physician
- California law requires testing of all pregnant women for hepatitis B infection
- If the mother is HBV-infected, she will pass the infection to the baby during the birth process, unless the baby gets immunized within hours of birth
- Giving the infant HBIG and HBV vaccine right away will reliably prevent infection of the infant
- Other family members should best tested for hepatitis B too, and given vaccine if they are not already infected or immune
After Exposure to Hepatitis B
What Is The Outlook For People With Hepatitis B
The outlook for people with HBV is better now than ever before. You are certainly able to live a full life and help yourself stay healthy. You should make sure to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider who is qualified to treat hepatitis B, possibly a liver doctor.
Make sure you are vaccinated against hepatitis A. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking other medications or over-the-counter products, including supplements and natural products. These could interfere with your medication or damage your liver. For instance, taking acetaminophen in large doses may harm your liver.
Follow the usual guidelines for living a healthy life:
- Eat nutritious foods, choosing from a variety of vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins. It is said that cruciferous vegetables are especially good at protecting the liver.
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont smoke and dont drink. Both tobacco and alcohol are bad for your liver.
- Do things that help you cope with stress, like journaling, talking with others, meditating and doing yoga.
- Avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
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Eating Diet And Nutrition For Hepatitis B
If you have hepatitis B, you should eat a balanced, healthy diet. Obesity can increase the chance of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , and NAFLD can increase liver damage in people who have hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.
You should also avoid alcohol because it can cause more liver damage.
How You Can Get Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that is spread through blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
You can get hepatitis B from:
- having vaginal, anal or oral sex without using a condom or dam
- injecting drugs using shared needles
- being injured by a used needle
- having a tattoo or piercing with unsterilised equipment
- having a blood transfusion in a country that does not check blood for hepatitis B. Blood transfusions in the UK are checked for hepatitis B.
If you’re pregnant and have hepatitis B, you can also pass it onto your baby during pregnancy or birth.
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What Other Problems Can Hepatitis B Cause
In rare cases, acute hepatitis B can cause liver failure.
If you have ever had hepatitis B, the virus may become active again, or reactivated, later in life. This could start to damage the liver and cause symptoms.
Mortality And Survival Plots
General population mortality data were provided for age groups in 5-year intervals. Liver cancer mortality was adjusted for the proportion with an HCC diagnosis, the percentage of HCC associated with hepatitis B, and the population prevalence of HbsAg. The same process was performed for CLD death. Mortality was also analyzed with respect to HbeAg status and adjusted by relative risk and age-specific HbeAg prevalence. The overall carrier mortality rate was obtained by summing the rates of non-liver, HCC, CLD, and non-HCC liver cancer. The values for noncarriers were calculated using the same methods. Survival plots and life expectancies were obtained by using an abridged life table, whereby a hypothetical cohort was subjected to age-specific mortality rates, with survivors proceeding to the subsequent age interval.29 Relative mortality risks were calculated and standardized to the 2006 Taiwan population distribution.
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Hepatitis B In The United States
In the United States, about 862,000 people have chronic hepatitis B.6 Asian Americans and African Americans have higher rates of chronic hepatitis B than other U.S. racial and ethnic groups.10 Researchers estimate that about half of the people living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.11 Chronic hepatitis B is also more common among people born in other countries than among those born in the United States.7
The hepatitis B vaccine has been available since the 1980s and, in 1991, doctors began recommending that children in the United States receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The annual rate of acute hepatitis B infections went down 88.5 percent between 1982 and 2015.12 In 2017, the annual number of hepatitis B infections rose in some states.13 Experts think the rise was related to increases in injection drug use. Injection drug use increases the risk of hepatitis B infection.
Ask About Antiviral Therapy
Antiviral therapy may be an option for some people with HBV. Although it is not a cure, antiviral treatment can help reduce your risk of liver disease and other complications, as well as decrease the chances of spreading your infection to others. Several oral antiviral medications are available, all of which fight the virus and weaken its effects on your liver. Consult with your doctor about these drugs and whether they are right for you.
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What Are Treatment Options For Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A has no particular treatment however, infected people are treated based on their symptoms. The body will get rid of the virus eventually, although it may take a few months for complete recovery.
A person must maintain a proper diet, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest to recover. Their surroundings should be well ventilated, and the patient should wear loose clothing and avoid hot showers to reduce the intensity of itching if any. The doctor may prescribe antihistamine drugs to control itching.
The doctor will advise you to avoid alcohol, certain medications, such as acetaminophen, and vitamins that require the liver for metabolism. These may increase liver inflammation and damage. It is highly recommended to consult the doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
Hospital admission may be required in patients with severe diseases, such as those with acute liver failure or symptoms, such as severe pain, excessive vomiting, confusion, tremors, severe dehydration, and jaundice.
How Did You Get It
1. The hepatitis B virus spreads when blood or body fluids from an infected person enter your bloodstream.
2. Ways to spread hepatitis B:
3. Divide the fourth needle
4. Protected sex
5. Share razors or toothbrushes
6. From mother to newborn during the birth process
In the United States, hepatitis B is spread mainly through sexually transmitted infections and contaminated needles. Hepatitis B is spread through birth in other parts of the world, such as Asia or sub-Saharan Africa.
Hepatitis B is not a genetic disease, although most chronic infections are transmitted from mother to baby at birth. In addition, it cannot be sent:
1. By food or water
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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
Pay Attention To Your Emotions
Living with hepatitis can be depressing, and its common for people with HBV to feel worried or anxious. However, you can prevent your emotions from spiraling downwards by connecting with others who understand. Studies have shown that the right support can have a tremendous positive impact on the patients ability to cope. Hepatitis support groups are widely available search for one online or ask your doctor about any local groups.
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How Many People Have Hepatitis B
In the United States, an estimated 862,000 people were chronically infected with HBV in 2016. New cases of HBV infection in the United States had been decreasing until 2012. Since that time, reported cases of acute hepatitis B have been fluctuating around 3,000 cases per year. In 2019, 3,192 cases of acute hepatitis B were reported however, because of low case detection and reporting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there were 20,700 acute hepatitis B infections. New HBV infections are likely linked to the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.
Globally, HBV is the most common blood-borne infection with an estimated 296 million people infected according to the World Health Organization .
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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How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis B
Doctors typically dont treat hepatitis B unless it becomes chronic. Doctors may treat chronic hepatitis B with antiviral medicines that attack the virus.
Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B needs treatment. If blood tests show that hepatitis B could be damaging a persons liver, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines to lower the chances of liver damage and complications.
Medicines that you take by mouth include
A medicine that doctors can give as a shot is peginterferon alfa-2a .
The length of treatment varies. Hepatitis B medicines may cause side effects. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of treatment. Tell your doctor before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
How Can I Avoid Getting Hepatitis B
There is a safe and effective vaccine that can protect you from getting hepatitis B. The vaccine is usually given in three doses over a six month period. The vaccine will give you long-lasting protection. A combined vaccine for hepatitis A and hepatitis B is also available.
Other ways to protect yourself or your loved ones include:
- Adopt safe sex practices.
- Avoid sharing personal hygiene items
- If you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus , an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin may help protect you.
- If you are pregnant, make sure you are screened for hepatitis B. If the test result shows that you have the virus, make sure your baby receives the free hepatitis B vaccine. If you have hepatitis B, breastfeeding is safe if the baby has received both protective antibody called immune globulin, and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within the first 12 hours of life. Talk to your doctor about having your newborn immunized .
- If you decide to have a tattoo, piercing, manicure or pedicure, ensure that the facility uses single-use needles and inks and/or follows proper sterilization procedures.
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What Laboratory Tests Are Available For Hepatitis B
Tests are available to detect the types of antigens used to identify the hepatitis B virus. The tests determine if the virus is present in the body tissue or blood. The amount of each type of antigen present indicates how advanced the disease is and how infective the individual has become.
Other tests are available to detect the body’s reaction to the viral infection or the body’s reaction to vaccination against the virus. These tests work by measuring the number of antibodies present in the blood.
Can Hepatitis B Go Away Completely
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus . The hepatitis B virus was the first hepatitis virus to be identified. It is a disease that affects 300 million people in the world and is estimated to be responsible for between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths per year. The prevalence of infection with the hepatitis B virus varies greatly in different parts of the world. The highest rates of infection are found in Southeast Asia, China, and southern Africa.
Most people who acquire the hepatitis B virus recover without consequences. This form of infection, which lasts less than 6 months, is known as acute hepatitis B. On the contrary, when the infection lasts for more than 6 months, it is known as chronic hepatitis B. Approximately 5% of adults who acquire the infection develop the chronic form. The likelihood of developing chronic hepatitis B depends on the age and immune status of the patient, being higher when acquired in childhood than when acquired as an adult.
In the last time a series of new alternatives for the treatment of the disease have been developed. On the other hand, there is a highly effective and safe vaccine to prevent infection.
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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.