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How To Check If You Have Hepatitis

Acute Hepatitis B Infection

Chronic Hepatitis B Steven-Huy Han, MD | UCLA Digestive Diseases

An acute hepatitis B infection may last up to six months and infected persons are able to pass the virus to others during this time. A simple blood test can let a person know if the hepatitis B virus is in their blood or if they have successfully gotten rid of the virus. The doctor should periodically test your blood over the six-month period to monitor the health of your liver and check progress towards recovery. In a person who has recovered from an acute hepatitis B infection, a taken six-months after initial diagnosis will show that there is no more hepatitis B virus in your blood.

Being diagnosed with acute hepatitis B can be difficult. As you move through the initial six-month period, there are tips and strategies to help.

Until your health care provider confirms that the blood test shows that there is no more hepatitis B virus in your blood, it is important to protect others from a possible infection.

It is also important to have your sexual partner and family members get tested for hepatitis B. If they have not been infected and have not received the hepatitis B vaccine then they should also start the hepatitis B vaccine series.

Be sure to follow-up with your health care provider for any additional blood tests that are needed to confirm your recovery from an acute infection.

How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed

Since it can be difficult to tell, based on symptoms, whether you have contracted hepatitis C, you can be tested for it. A simple blood test can confirm whether you have the condition.

After your doctor gets the results of your blood test, they may recommend that you undergo a biopsy of your liver to determine if you have liver damage from chronic hepatitis C.

You can book an appointment with a primary care doctor in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool.

Also Check: What Are The Early Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

Why The Test Is Performed

Your provider may order this test if you have signs of hepatitis. It is used to:

  • Detect current or previous hepatitis infection
  • Determine how contagious a person with hepatitis is
  • Monitor a person who is being treated for hepatitis

The test may be performed for other conditions, such as:

  • Chronic persistent hepatitis
  • Erythema multiforme and nodosum

Read Also: Treatment Of Hepatitis C Virus Infection

What Is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and damage. Inflammation is swelling that occurs when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can damage organs.

Viruses invade normal cells in your body. Many viruses cause infections that can be spread from person to person. The hepatitis A virus typically spreads through contact with food or water that has been contaminated by an infected persons stool.

Hepatitis A is an acute or short-term infection, which means people usually get better without treatment after a few weeks. In rare cases, hepatitis A can be severe and lead to liver failure and the need for an emergency liver transplant to survive. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term complications, such as cirrhosis, because the infection only lasts a short time.

You can take steps to protect yourself from hepatitis A, including getting the hepatitis A vaccine. If you have hepatitis A, you can take steps to prevent spreading hepatitis A to others.

/6suffering From Hypothyroidism Follow These Dietary Tips

Do you know your Hepatitis B and C status? â Skinandall

When our thyroid gland fails to function properly, or there are imbalanced levels of T3, T4 or the TSH hormones, we put ourselves at the risk of developing a thyroid disorder. Thyroid disorder, particularly hypothyroidism, where the body fails to produce enough thyroid hormones is a common yet quite a serious health issue which can impact everyday functioning and metabolism.

While early diagnosis of the condition is quite crucial, managing and treating the disease, in an holistic manner is just as important. Therefore, apart from the medications, concentrating on what you eat, when you do have thyroid, is often taken to be an important key to manage ones thyroid condition. Since our thyroid gland and the necessary hormones play a very important role in regulating fatigue levels, weight changes, mood disorders and keeping the skin healthy too, its imperative you have foods which boost energy levels, elevate hormone levels and sustain functioning.

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Preparing Clients For Screening

Once clients are comfortable talking about viral , they might be more willing to undergo screening. However, clients might be anxious about the test itself a reassurance that testing is a simple procedure can help allay these concerns. Many substance use treatment facilities do not offer screening, and clients might need to be referred elsewhere. The following strategies can enhance the discussion of the hepatitis screening process and hepatitis prevention:

Can You Have Hiv For 20 Years And Not Know

While its common for people with HIV to experience symptoms similar to the flu after a few weeks of the initial infection, some people may experience no symptoms at all during the early stages of HIV.

If a person with HIV goes undiagnosed and the virus develops into stage 2, HIV will continue to develop and may last for 10-15 years without the appropriate HIV testing and treatment . Its important to note that this stage can also bring with it little to no symptoms and people may not even feel sick.

The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. This can be done by visiting your local HIV testing centre, your local doctor, or from home with an at-home lab test. Early detection is crucial to getting prompt treatment and going on to lead both a happy and healthy life.

Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Antibody Blood Test

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.

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Testing For Hepatitis C

Viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

Two tests need to be done to discover if you have hepatitis C:

  • Antibody test: Which establishes whether you have ever been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.
  • PCR test: Which establishes whether the virus is still active and needs treating.

The two tests can often be done from one sample of blood which means you may only need to provide the sample once. Both tests can then be done on your sample at the laboratory. However, some services will perform one test and then call you back for a further blood sample to perform the second test.

Antibody test

A hepatitis C antibody test is the first test undertaken. This is to determine whether you have ever been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. It works by testing for the presence of antibodies to the virus generated by your immune system. If you receive a negative hepatitis C antibody test but have been experiencing symptoms or have been recently exposed to hepatitis C, then you are likely to be advised to have a second test.

It is important to remember that there is a ‘window period’. This is the short period of time when your immune system may not have had time to produce antibodies. It usually takes between six and twelve weeks for these antibodies to develop. However, in a few people it can take up to six months. So if you have the test within this window period and the result is negative, it does not necessarily mean that you don’t have the virus.

PCR test

Read Also: Hepatitis B How To Treat

Prior To Vaccination: Pre

  • Some patients should be tested for existing immunity to hepatitis A, before vaccination these patients should be tested only for Hep A IgG
  • Patients who should be tested prior to vaccination are those who have a reasonable likelihood of previous hepatitis A infection, such as:
  • People born in geographic areas with high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis A
  • Native Americans

What Are The Types Of Hepatitis B

There are two types of hepatitis B infection: acute and chronic.

Acute

An acute infection happens at the beginning, when you first get infected with hepatitis B. Many people are able to clear it from their bodies and recover. In fact, this is true of about 4 in 5 adults who are infected.

Chronic

If you are not able to clear the infection within six months or longer, you have chronic hepatitis B. It is chronic hepatitis B that leads to inflammation and the serious, and possibly fatal, illnesses of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Treatment can slow disease progress, reduce the chance of liver cancer and increase your chances of surviving.

Also Check: Can Hepatitis C Go Away On Its Own

Recommended Reading: How Is Hepatitis Transmitted Sexually

Chronic Phase Of Hepatitis C

After six months 70% to 85% of those infected will have failed to clear the virus spontaneously. After this period the hepatitis C virus enters what is known as the chronic phase. This is when hepatitis C becomes a chronic or long-term infection. The diagnosis is confirmed when over a six month period hepatitis C RNA viral presence is detectable on at least two occasions.

A diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C means the battle between the virus and the immune system that occurs during the acute stage has finally been won by the virus. It is now highly unlikely that the virus can be cleared without treatment.

How the disease then progresses varies significantly from person to person. After many years some people will have minimal liver damage with no scarring while others can progress to cirrhosis within less than ten years. On average it takes about twenty years for significant liver scarring to develop. It is still not known whether chronic hepatitis C infection inevitably leads to cirrhosis. At present it is thought that this is a very likely outcome, although for some people it may take at least 50 years or more. They may well die of other unrelated diseases or conditions before cirrhosis develops. The rate of progression of liver damage cannot be accurately determined by liver enzyme levels, viral load or by genotype.

Liver damage and fibrosis during the chronic stage

Free Radicals and Fibrosis

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

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If you develop any of the symptoms of chronic hepatitis, liver damage, or liver cancer, see your healthcare provider. It takes only a blood test to detect the presence of a hepatitis virus in your body .

A blood test also can determine which hepatitis virus youre infected with, which will determine what your treatment should be .

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Recommended Reading: Antiviral Medications For Hepatitis C

Is There A Way To Prevent Hepatitis A

Yes. There is a vaccine available. It is recommended that all children be vaccinated at age one year. Any children ages 2-18 who did not receive the vaccine at age one should also receive the vaccine. It is also recommended for people who are at an increased risk of exposure to the virus, such as:

  • People traveling to developing countries with a high rate of hepatitis A
  • Illegal drug users
  • Men who have sex with men

The vaccine is also recommended for those who are at a greater risk for complications from the disease, including people with chronic liver disease and those who have damage to their liver from some other cause.

If it is known that you were exposed to the hepatitis A virus, you may be given the vaccine to prevent the disease.

Hepatitis A can also be prevented with good hygiene. This includes washing hands well after using the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before eating or starting any food preparation.

Is Hepatitis Treatable

For most people with viral hepatitis, effective treatments do exist. The earlier you see Dr. Rivas for an evaluation, the sooner you can receive an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment. The type of treatment Dr. Rivas recommends depends on the type of hepatitis you have.

Some forms of hepatitis respond well to rest, hydration, a healthy diet, and time. In other cases, you may need to take antiviral medications for months or years and maintain regular check-ups with Dr. Rivas. In severe cases or if you develop cirrhosis as the result of your hepatitis, you may require a liver transplant.

Dont wait to contact the Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, if you have any signs of hepatitis. You can call our office at 954-228-5882 or book an online consultation now.

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Who Should Be Tested

Testing for hepatitis A is not routinely recommended.

CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject drugs

People at increased risk for severe disease from hepatitis A infection

  • People with chronic liver disease, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • People with HIV

Other people recommended for vaccination

  • Pregnant women at risk for hepatitis A or risk for severe outcome from hepatitis A infection

Any person who requests vaccination

There is no vaccine available for hepatitis C.

Prevent Hepatitis B Infections In Newborns

What is Hepatitis B? Signs, Symptoms, #Hepatitis Transmission and How to get #Tested

If you are pregnant and have hepatitis B, talk with your doctor about lowering the risk that the infection will spread to your baby. Your doctor will check your virus levels during pregnancy. If virus levels are high, your doctor may recommend treatment during pregnancy to lower virus levels and reduce the chance that hepatitis B will spread to your baby. Your doctor may refer you to a liver specialist to find out if you need hepatitis B treatment and to check for liver damage.

When it is time to give birth, tell the doctor and staff who deliver your baby that you have hepatitis B. A health care professional should give your baby the hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG right after birth. The vaccine and HBIG will greatly reduce the chance of your baby getting the infection.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Screen For Hepatitis C

What Is A Hepatitis C Screening

Testing for hepatitis C involves a blood test called an HCV antibody test . This test determines if youve ever had a hepatitis C infection by checking your blood for HCV-specific antibodies.

If you test positive for HCV antibodies, youll need to undergo follow-up testing. Having antibodies does not mean you currently have an active infection. It may simply mean that you have had a prior exposure that your immune system cleared.

To check whether you have an active infection, a doctor will order a nucleic acid test . A positive result means the virus is currently active in your bloodstream. If you get a negative result, the virus was once in your body, but its not anymore.

  • have ever had a needle-stick injury or potentially been exposed to HCV-positive blood
  • have had a tattoo or piercing done outside of a professional sterile environment

According to the , HCV may be passed through sexual activity, though this is not common. The agency notes that your risk may be increased if you:

  • have a sexually transmitted infection
  • have sex with multiple partners

Blood And Vessel Problems

People with hepatitis C often get a condition called cryoglobulinemia. This happens when certain proteins in your blood stick together in cold weather. They can build up in vessels and block blood flow, which causes swelling and damage. The condition can affect your skin, organs, nerves, and joints.

Hepatitis C also can cause problems with blood itself. You may not make enough white blood cells, which fight infections, or platelets, which help your blood clot.

The infection can also make you bruise easily or get red or purple spots under your skin. Those are signs of a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

Read Also: What Do You Get Hepatitis From

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What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Viral Hepatitis

After learning from your doctor that you have hepatitis, your first step will be to learn more about the virus. Read government resources, like the websites listed below, to find current, scientific information. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is important to prevent the virus from becoming serious. Dont drink or misuse drugs because they are hard on your liver. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy foods, and exercise. Work to protect others by not donating blood or participating in risky behaviors, including sharing needles when using drugs or having unprotected sex.

How Much Does A Hepatitis B Titer Test Cost

Nursing Question: Hepatitis A

The cost of a hepatitis B test varies based on where you get the test. Prices range from roughly $24 to $110.

Your insurance may cover some or all of the cost. Under the Affordable Care Act, all new health plans must cover preventative services including hepatitis B vaccination and testing without a deductible or copay.

Read Also: Hepatitis B Liver Cancer Treatment

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