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 dont 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
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:
Avoid Chronic Drug Use
The liver metabolizes medications and drugs in the blood.
Chronic use of illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, can lead to liver inflammation and damage.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also contribute to drug induced liver injury.
According to the , medications that can contribute to liver damage include:
- antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and erythromycin
- acetaminophen, which is an OTC pain and fever reducer
- cancer drugs, such as mercaptopurine, lapatinib, and pazopanib
- antianxiety and antidepressant medications, including duloxetine and nortriptyline
- immunosuppressants, including cyclosporine and methotrexate
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Hepatitis B And Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for everyone, but how might vitamin D help those living with HBV? Vitamin D is especially important for children and older adults, as it aids in the bodys absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus, which helps form and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also a potent immune modulator, and aids in the prevention of hypertension, and cancer. Vitamin D levels appear to play a critical role in type I and type II diabetes, glucose intolerance, and metabolic disorders. Studies have also shown a link between low vitamin D levels and NAFLD , independent of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or insulin-resistance profile . The lower the vitamin D level, the higher the risk for NAFLD, or fatty liver disease. The liver plays such an integral part in digestion, regulation, storage, and removal of toxins the list goes on. You cant live without it! As a result, it seems logical that healthy levels of vitamin D would benefit those living with HBV, if adequate vitamin D levels help reduce the risk of NAFLD, metabolic syndrome, etc.
It is important to maintain a balance and use common sense when considering supplementing your diet with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential, but too much of a good thing can be dangerous to your health. Be sure to keep your doctor in the loop especially if you are currently undergoing HBV treatment.
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.
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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!
Should I Take Supplements If I Have Hepatitis Or Liver Disease
Extra care and consideration need to be taken when you have an existing health condition, including hepatitis, liver disease or liver cancer. Hepatitis already affects the healthy function of your liver therefore, be careful not to weaken it further.
Hepatitis C treatment involves medication for 8-12 weeks and, poor drug interaction between supplements and medication can cause harm, interrupt the treatment or absorption of certain drugs.5 Individuals with hepatitis B may also require some drug treatment as well.
The following site provides an overview of some drug interactions between hepatitis B and C drugs as well as other common supplements, medication, or herbal ingredients: .
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The 10 Best Herbs For Liver Health: Benefits And Precautions
Risk factors for liver disease include heavy alcohol intake, high blood sugar levels, obesity, high blood pressure, viruses, elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and more .
Liver disease is treated in a number of ways, including medication, nutritional therapy, immunotherapy, lifestyle change, surgical resection, and even liver transplant in end stage liver disease .
In addition to standard treatments, many people turn to alternative therapies, including herbal supplements, in hopes of improving and protecting their liver health. In fact, around 65% of people in the United States and Europe with liver diseases take herbal supplements (
Here are the 10 best herbs that have been shown to improve liver health.
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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Summary And Quick Facts For Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus . Chronic HBV infection often does not cause symptoms in its early stages, so only about 33% of adults with chronic hepatitis are aware they are infected.
- Minimization of risk factors for HBV can reduce transmission of the virus, while new diagnostics and emerging treatments continue to advance the ability to combat this disease. This protocol will review these conventional treatments, as well as discuss nutritional approaches for addressing HBV infection and chronic liver disease progression.
- Standard therapies for chronic HBV infection and hepatitis B are limited. Although research on specific nutritional strategies for HBV infection is not as broad as for hepatitis C infection, evidence suggests that natural compounds can be of benefit for both conditions.
When To See A Doctor
People should see their doctor if they experience symptoms of liver disease or if they believe they may have had exposure to a hepatitis virus.
Most people remain asymptomatic in the early stages of liver disease. Doctors can detect early signs of liver damage during annual checkups and routine screening appointments.
Anyone who has a family history of liver disease or who exhibits one or more risk factors can speak with their doctor about lowering their risk for liver disease.
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You Have Hepatitis B Will Liver
Manufacturers and health gurus around the world market liver detox diets and supplements that promise to remove toxins, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system and help you lose weight. But do they help people with chronic hepatitis B?
A team of Australian researchers examined these claims and concluded, At present, there is no compelling evidence to support the use of detox diets for weight management or toxin elimination.
Considering the nancial costs to consumers, unsubstantiated claims and potential health risks of detox products, they should be discouraged by health professionals and subject to independent regulatory review and monitoring, the authors wrote in their report published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Lets look at some of the diets and products the researchers evaluated.
According to researchers, none of these plans have been evaluated scientifically, which includes using a control group that receives a placebo instead of the treatment. The L. Ron Hubbard plan, promoted by the Church of Scientology, received some scientific evaluation after the purification protocol was applied to 14 rescue workers who were exposed to high levels of chemicals after the 9/11 collapse of the World Trade Center.
The program used niacin supplements, sweating in a sauna and physical exercise to get rid of toxins stored in body fat which is where nearly all toxins end up not in liver cells.
So why are these diets and supplements so popular?
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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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.
How The Liver Works
Weighing in at about 3 pounds, the liver has a lot of important jobs.
Your liver eventually processes everything you eat. After your stomach and intestines finish digesting food, it travels through your bloodstream to your liver for filtering.
The liver breaks down fat to release energy. It produces a yellow-green substance called bile to help your body break down and absorb fat.
This organ is also involved in sugar metabolism. It pulls glucose from your blood and stores it in the form of glycogen. Anytime your blood sugar level dips, the liver releases glycogen to keep your levels steady.
When alcohol, medications, and other toxins make their way to your liver, theyre pulled from your blood. Then your liver either cleans up these substances, or removes them into your urine or stool.
looked at children who were being treated with chemotherapy for leukemia. After 28 days, kids who received milk thistle supplements had slightly fewer signs of damage to their liver.
Many of the studies on silymarin have involved people with cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
A evaluated 18 milk thistle studies including people with these conditions. The supplement didnt have much effect on liver disease complications or deaths compared to placebo treatment. Many of the studies included in the review were of poor quality.
Milk thistle seems to be safe . Yet, some people have reported GI symptoms or allergic reactions after taking it.
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The Hepatitis B Vaccine
The hepatitis B vaccine is used to prevent hepatitis B. Its usually provided in three doses.
The first dose can be taken on a date you choose. The second dose must be taken 1 month later. The third and final dose must be taken 6 months after the first dose.
Some people may need two or four doses of this vaccine.
There is also a newer hepatitis B vaccine thats offered in two doses.
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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What About Physical Activity
Physical activity can improve appetite, decrease stress, lessen depression, and help you reach or maintain a healthy body weight. If you have been inactive for a long time, increase your activity slowly.
Participating in physical activity is safe for most people. If you have other medical conditions or injuries, check with your health care provider or a qualified exercise professional before becoming more active.
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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