All You Need to Know About Hepatitis B
Viral hepatitis B is an infectious liver disease that is widespread. It is dangerous because it damages the liver and can cause severe consequences like cirrhosis or cancer. Sometimes it can be acute and sometime – chronic.
5 Most Important Things You Need to Know About Hepatitis B:
- Hepatitis B is contracted through blood or body fluids of infected person.
- Two out of three people with Hepatitis B are unaware that they are infected.
- It’s about 800 000 people die every year from complications caused by this virus.
- Hepatitis B is extremely dangerous for health care professionals.
- There is a safe and effective vaccine that can help!
What Causes Hepatitis B and How It is Transmitted?
As we already told – it is caused by virus with the same name. You can get it when you contact blood, seminal, menstrual, vaginal fluids or saliva of an infected person. This is a superficially talk, let’s dive into details.
How Hepatitis B is Transmitted:
Of course it is an unprotected sexual contact and there is no diference – oral, vaginal or anal penetration, it’s all the same. As Hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood – sharing needles, razors and manicure sets, making a tattoo or piercing, blood transfusion even a visit to dental could be dangerous. Unfortunately there is also a mother to child transmission. Infected pregnant can pass hepatitis B to a newborn during the childbirth process.
Note: There is a probability of 99% that an infant can be vaccinated for hepatitis B.
Who Risk at Most?
- As we told – health care professionals have a real threat from hepatitis B because of their work specifics.
- People with multiple sexual relations.
- Drug addicts.
What Are the Symptoms for Hepatitis B?
Here are some of the most typical symptoms: fatigue, heaviness in the right hypochondrium, nausea and loss of appetite, jaundice, light color of feces and on the contrary – dark urine, joints pain.
Note: during the acute phase of infection the majority have no significant symptoms. Sometimes people with acute hepatitis get liver failure which could be a deadly thing. Also there are some cases when hepatitis B virus became chronic and could turn into liver cancer or cirrhosis.
Hepatitis B Virus Medical Examination and Testing
To determine the blood of the hepatitis B virus, three tests must be performed:
- HBsAg – indicates the presence or absence of the virus at the current moment.
- Anti-HBcor – indicates the presence or absence of the virus in the past.
- Anti-HBs – indicates the presence or absence of protective antibodies.
Note: Laboratory markers of viral hepatitis B appear after 4 weeks since the moment of contamination.
You can’t make any tests at home to detect the virus. If you have worries and symptoms or you suspect your partner – visit medical center and make tests.
Is There a Cure for Those Who Has Hepatitis B?
Most patients with acute viral hepatitis B can recover. If acute viral hepatitis passes into a chronic form, they have a very low chance for complete recovery. With modern drugs you can count on a full recovery in 10-15% of all cases. Usually the goal of treating chronic form is to reduce the viral load and prevent the transition of hepatitis to cirrhosis or liver cancer.
According to the standards, there are two classes of drugs that are used to treat chronic hepatitis B:
- Interferons (pricks);
- Nucleoside analogs (tablets).
Drugs can be administered separately from each other or together and the whole treatment can last for several years.
Therapy is carried out by a qualified hepatologist depending on the results of the complete examination. It’s very individual. The examination allows to establish not only the degree of liver damage, but also the activity and aggressiveness of the virus for a particular person.
Note: Interferons have side effects. However, the advantage of this treatment is its limited duration (1 year). Analogues of nucleosides have no side effects. Sometimes it could be a headache, but nothing else.
Note: we strongly recommend do not neglect qualified medical care! You can combine it, but do not use it alone.
The most effective alternative ways to help you when you’re infected with hepatitis B is to focus on maintaining your immune system. Here are some good advice for you:
- You’ll need a healthy diet. No alcohol or smoking, eat more vegetables and low-fat food, drink enough water, fruit juices also could be a good idea. It would be better to consult specialists before making any meal schedule.
- Don’t eat raw fish. Even if it’s extra fresh it can contain bacteria which are dangerous for your liver.Take
- control over your daily activity to save body energy. Don’t push if you feel tired, relax, your ill and need rest for a better recovery.
What Could Be if Hepatitis B Would Not Be Treated?
Obviously, you can die if you have chronic hepatitis B. Take care over your heath and be attentive to the signals that your body sends to you.
Answers to Some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions
Question: When is Hepatitis B vaccination required?
Answer: According to the law and normative documents of the Ministry of Health, all newborns are vaccinated within 12 hours after birth, than they have second vaccination in one month and another one in six months. The vaccine is injected into the shoulder muscle.
Note: Children who are born from an infected mother are vaccinated according to a special scheme.
Question: I’m afraid of making a vaccination, could it be dangerous?
Answer: It could be dangerous only in one case – if you are allergic to yeast or to some component of the vaccine. But as the vaccine has three stages (described in the previous question), you’ll know whether you’re allergic to it and if “yes”, there would not be the second stage. For other people there is absolutely nothing to fear, hepatitis B vaccine is safe. Possible side effects are swelling, soreness and redness of the injected area.