Whats The Prognosis For Hepatitis B
Your doctor will know youâve recovered when you no longer have symptoms and blood tests show:
- Your liver is working normally.
- You have hepatitis B surface antibody.
But some people don’t get rid of the infection. If you have it for more than 6 months, youâre whatâs called a carrier, even if you donât have symptoms. This means you can give the disease to someone else through:
- Unprotected sex
- Contact with your blood or an open sore
- Sharing needles or syringes
Doctors donât know why, but the disease does go away in a small number of carriers. For others, it becomes whatâs known as chronic. That means you have an ongoing liver infection. It can lead to cirrhosis, or hardening of the organ. It scars over and stops working. Some people also get liver cancer.
If youâre a carrier or are infected with hepatitis B, donât donate blood, plasma, body organs, tissue, or sperm. Tell anyone you could infect — whether itâs a sex partner, your doctor, or your dentist — that you have it.
CDC: âHepatitis B Questions and Answers for Health Professionals,â âHepatitis B Questions and Answers for the Public.â
Mayo Clinic: âHepatitis B.â
UpToDate: âHepatitis B virus: Screening and diagnosis.â
HealthyPeople.gov: âHepatitis B in Pregnant Women: Screening.â
Annals of Internal Medicine: âScreening for Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Nonpregnant Adolescents and Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.â
Hepatitis B Symptoms And Treatment
Hepatitis B is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. It is spread through blood and bodily fluids. It is most commonly passed on via unprotected sex , from a mother to her child during birth, or through contaminated needles.
In adults, it often causes no obvious symptoms and can pass in a few months without treatment. Children are more likely to develop a long-lasting infection. Without appropriate treatment and care, children and adults with a chronic infection can become seriously ill and be at risk of liver damage or death.
Vaccines for hepatitis B are offered to infants and are available for people at high risk of the condition.
What If Im Losing Weight
If you are underweight, losing weight without trying, or have a small appetite, you may not be eating enough calories to meet your energy needs.
To help prevent weight loss, try eating small amounts of food more often and choose foods that are higher in calories. Here are some examples of nutritious foods to include at meals and snacks:
- Nuts, seeds and their butters
- 2% or 3.25% whole milk, high fat yogurt and cheese
- Yogurt smoothies and meal replacement drinks
- Fish, poultry, tofu, legumes, meat and egg
- Olive or canola oil, and non-hydrogenated margarine
Limit candy, chips, donuts, pop, sweetened specialty coffee and tea, energy drinks and sports drinks. These foods give you energy but do not give you important nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals.
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Other Body Fluids And Tissues
Synovial fluid , amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and peritoneal fluid can contain the hepatitis B virus, but the risk of transmission to workers is not known.
Feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomit have not been implicated in the spread of hepatitis B. Unless they are visibly contaminated with blood, the risk of contracting hepatitis B from these fluids in the workplace is very low.
Hepatitis B is not transmitted by casual contact. For example, hospital employees who have no contact with blood, blood products, or blood-contaminated fluids are at no greater risk than the general public. However, the virus can spread through intimate contact with carriers in a household setting, possibly because of frequent physical contact with small cuts or skin rashes. The virus can also spread through biting and possibly by the sharing of toothbrushes or razors. It is not spread through sneezing, coughing, hand holding, hugging, kissing, breastfeeding, sharing eating utensils, water or food.
Hepatitis B During Pregnancy
If a woman with HBV becomes pregnant, they may transmit the virus to their baby. Women should inform the doctor who delivers their baby that they have HBV.
The infant should receive an HBV vaccine and HBIG with 1224 hours of birth. This significantly reduces the risk that they will develop HBV.
The HBV vaccine is safe to receive while pregnant.
People with a high risk of HBV include:
- the infants of mothers with HBV
- the sexual partners of people with HBV
- people who engage in sexual intercourse without contraception and those who have multiple sexual partners
- men who have sex with men
- people who inject illicit drugs
- those who share a household with a person who has a chronic HBV infection
- healthcare and public safety workers who are at risk of occupational exposure to blood or contaminated bodily fluids
- people receiving hemodialysis, which is a type of kidney treatment
- people taking medications that suppress the immune system, such as chemotherapy for cancer
People can prevent HBV infection by:
- wearing appropriate protective equipment when working in healthcare settings or dealing with medical emergencies
- not sharing needles
- following safe sexual practices
- cleaning any blood spills or dried blood with gloved hands using a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to 10 parts water
A vaccine against HBV has been available since 1982.
People who should receive this vaccine include:
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What Do I Need To Know About Having Hepatitis B
If you have chronic hepatitis B, getting the right medical care can help you stay healthy. Taking good care of your liver is important. Talk with your doctor before you take any prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or nutritional supplements to make sure they wont hurt your liver. You should also stay away from alcohol, because drinking can damage your liver.
How You Can Get Hepatitis B
You can get hepatitis B from:
- 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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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.
Chronic Hepatitis B Complications
Chronic hepatitis B can lead to
- cirrhosis, a condition in which scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and prevents your liver from working normally. Scar tissue also partly blocks the flow of blood through the liver. As cirrhosis gets worse, the liver begins to fail.
- liver failure, in which your liver is badly damaged and stops working. Liver failure is also called end-stage liver disease. People with liver failure may require a liver transplant.
- liver cancer. Your doctor may suggest blood tests and an ultrasound or another type of imaging test to check for liver cancer. Finding cancer at an early stage improves the chance of curing the cancer.
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Hepatitis B Carrier What Does It Mean
There is an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide who are infected with hepatitis B. The virus is spread through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person, such as through sexual intercourse, childbirth, or tattooing.
Hepatitis B can be a very serious disease if not caught early and treated early on. There are two types of hepatitis B: viral and chronic. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and even death . Fortunately, there is good news: there is a vaccine that can protect you against becoming infected with the hepatitis B virus. However, some people about one in six adults do not respond to this vaccination and are still at risk of being infected with the virus because they are already hepatitis B carriers. These people are called hepatitis B carrier or hepatitis-B positive.
Carrier status means your genes have been passed down from your parents so that they also share these traits. They may not show any symptoms of being a carrier but they do put them at risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B if they have unprotected sex or share drinks or food with someone who is already infected.If youre wondering what it means to be a Hepatitis-B Carrier , keep reading to find out more!
What Treatments Are Available For Chronic Hepatitis B
First line treatments include antiviral therapies such as tenofovir , entecavir and Vemlidy which are taken once daily. These antivirals are not a cure for chronic hepatitis B, but they work to suppress or control the virus while you are taking them. When the virus is suppressed, liver disease progression is slowed or even stopped, and the liver is often able to heal with time. It is important to see a knowledgeable doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment since treatment is a commitment, and is taken for at least a year, usually for many years or even for life – or until there is a cure found for this disease.
U.S. residents seeking help with medication costs can find resources here.
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Whats The Difference Between Acute And Chronic Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic:
- Acute hepatitis B lasts for a short period of time. If you have acute hepatitis B, you may be asymptomatic or have symptoms and develop icteric hepatitis. It can transition into chronic hepatitis B if the virus doesnt naturally go away after 6 months.
- Chronic hepatitis B lasts for at least 6 months. If you have this type of hepatitis, you may carry the hepatitis B virus for the rest of your life. Its possible to have chronic hepatitis B that started as acute, but many people dont have acute hepatitis B first.
Most people with acute hepatitis B make a full recovery. Some may never even show any symptoms. But those with chronic hepatitis B often need treatment to help manage the infection. Chronic hepatitis B also increases your risk of developing cirrhosis and certain types of liver cancer.
Your risk of developing chronic hepatitis B depends on when you first received your diagnosis of the virus. Children who receive a diagnosis of hepatitis B, especially those under the age of 5 years old, have a higher risk of the infection becoming chronic. Adults are less likely to develop chronic hepatitis B. Around 90 percent of adults who develop it will fully recover.
Keep in mind that hepatitis B can be present for years before you start to show any symptoms.
Who Should Get The Hepatitis B Vaccine
All newborn babies should get vaccinated. You should also get the shot if you:
- Come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of friends or family members
- Use needles to take recreational drugs
- Have sex with more than one person
- Are a health care worker
- Work in a day-care center, school, or jail
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Immunisation For Hepatitis B
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis B infection. A course of vaccination is recommended for all babies and people in high-risk groups.
Immunisation can be with a vaccine against hepatitis B alone or with a combination vaccine. To be immunised, contact your doctor or local council.
Protection against hepatitis B is available free of charge under the National Immunisation Program Schedule. In Victoria, immunisation against hepatitis B is free for:
- Babies at birth immunisation against hepatitis B alone as soon as possible after birth.
- Babies at 2, 4 and 6 months combination immunisation in the form of a diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine .
- Premature babies at 12 months premature babies born under 32 weeks gestation or under 2,000g birth weight receive a single booster dose.
- Children up to and including 9 years of age.
- People aged less than 20 years having a catch-up immunisation.
- Refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and above.
In Victoria, free hepatitis B vaccine is provided for people who are at increased risk of infection, including:
Immunisation is also recommended, but not necessarily free, for people who are at increased risk of infection, including:
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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Chronic Hepatitis B Symptoms
Most patients with chronic hepatitis B are asymptomatic unless their disease progresses. Others might have nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue.
Some patients experience worsening of the infection and develop signs and symptoms similar to acute hepatitis.
If patients with chronic hepatitis B progress to cirrhosis they will develop signs and symptoms of liver failure, including:
- Peripheral edema
Living With Hepatitis B
Risk of chronic infection caused by hepatitis B is related to your age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection . Approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected compared with 2%-6% of adult, reports the CDC.
Chronic hepatitis B infection can lead to serious health issues. If you have it, you should be monitored regularly by a doctor. This means you should check in with your doctor at least once or twice a year. Some people who have chronic hepatitis B infection require medicine, but others do not. Your doctor can discuss treatment options with you.
If you have chronic hepatitis B infection, it will likely stay in your blood and liver for a lifetime, according to The Hepatitis B Foundation. This means that you could pass the virus to others, even if you dont feel sick.
The most important thing to remember is that hepatitis B is a chronic medical condition that can be successfully managed if you take good care of your health and your liver, reports the Hepatitis B Foundation. You should expect to live a long, full life.
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Is Red Wine Better For Your Liver Than Hard Liquor
A 2015 study of nearly 56,000 participants discovered that drinking wine was associated with a lower risk of cirrhosis than drinking beer or spirits. Ellagic acid, an antioxidant found in red wine, was linked to liver health, according to a second study.
The Most Dangerous Type Of Alcohol
Despite the fact that vodka is not as widely consumed as other types of alcohol, it is still one of the most dangerous. This vodka is 100 percent proof, made from grains and water. The extra water dilutes the alcohol, making even a small amount extremely dangerous. One shot of vodka can result in death or a coma in just one sitting. In addition to being extremely dangerous, beer is a type of alcohol. Even though it is not as strong as vodka or Everclear, a 12-ounce beer can contain as much as 4% alcohol by volume. Most states have a legal blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 for drivers. A single beer, in fact, can be the cause of a hangover the next day. What is the most harmful alcoholic beverage? Thats a dubious choice at best. Alcohol can be harmful to the health of any person, including those who consume vodka, Everclear, and beer. If youre looking for an alcohol to consume in moderation, you can choose from wines or spirits.
Children Are At Greater Risk Of Chronic Hepatitis
Most people with chronic hepatitis B infection were infected as babies or as young children .Children who have the disease usually develop a mild illness, but sometimes theyll have no symptoms. They are more likely to continue to carry the virus . Many years later, they may develop liver damage and cancer. For this reason, all infected children require long-term follow-up.When adults are infected, they usually become sick with acute hepatitis , but are at much less risk of developing chronic hepatitis.
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Important Information About Vaccine And Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin Shot Administration
Where available, the hepatitis B birth-dose and HBIG should be administered within 24 hours of birth in order to prevent the transmission of hepatitis B from mother to child. It is very important that the shots be given in opposite limbs, to ensure the highest effectiveness. Please see chart above for more information.
What If I Am Too Tired To Prepare Meals
It can be hard to eat if you are too tired to make meals or are not feeling well. Aim to keep healthy snacks and easy-to-make foods available, such as:
- Whole grain bread, naan, bagels or crackers with nut or seed butter
- Whole grain crackers and cheese
- Vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip such as tzatziki
- Vegetables and a hardboiled egg
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruit with yogurt or soft tofu
- Apple or pear slices with nut butter
- Fresh or frozen berries with cottage cheese
- Canned fish with whole grain crackers or toast
- Hot cereal with nuts and seeds or trail mix
- Reduced sodium canned bean or lentil soup with whole grain crackers
When you have the energy to cook, make more than you need. Put the leftovers in the freezer to have at another meal.
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