Hepatitis B is a viral liver infection which was first introduced by Dr. Baruch Blumberg.
PHowever, the gravity of this disease varies from person to person that depends on the type of stage- acute and chronic.
At acute stage, a person takes 6 months maximum to recover. Whereas ,at chronic stage, it takes more than 6 months and can even suffer from cirrhosis, cancer or liver failure.Here’s an in-depth guide to everything you need to know about Hepatitis B.
Symptoms of hepatitis B
The first step is to check for the symptoms that may appear during the post-infection period.Here are the following signs of Hepatitis B that you must know-
- Yellow Colouration: Skin, eyes.
- Pain: Abdomen, Joint.
- Stomach : Nausea, Appetite loss.
- Dark coloured urine
- Excessive fatigue
Causes of hepatitis B
HBV infection have the following causes as given below:
A common way through which HBV disease can spread through blood, semen, or saliva.
Sharing Needles/Day to day Items
Another major cause for Hepatitis B is sharing essentials of the person with HBV like towels, razors, toothbrush etc. with an uninfected. The probability of spreading Hepatitis B is high in case of sharing the used needles or injections with other unaffected patients.
Mother to Child during pregnancy
It can pass from a mother with HBV to the new born baby by direct means.
Diagnosis of hepatitis B
A must-to-do step to make confirmations about the presence of Hepatitis B after checking through the signs and symptoms.
Take a closer look at the possible tests that doctor refers while screening a person for hepatitis b-
One of the common ways to detect Hepatitis B is to go for blood tests. It is of three different categories that are as follows-
- Surface Antigen
This test determines whether the person is infectious or not. A positive test result indicates that the person is infected with Hepatitis B. Whereas, the negative test result indicates the opposite.
- Surface Antibody
This test is done after vaccination or recovering from HBV infection. It aims to check whether the person immune to hepatitis B or not.
- Core Antigen Test
It focuses on the current status of a person whether he/she is infected with HBV. Moreover, the positive result also indicates if the person is having acute or chronic hepatitis B.
As we know, liver is one among vital organs that is present in our body stores vitamins and minerals and other essential chemicals.
Thus, getting tests done as soon as possible is our responsibility.
Other important tests to diagnose Hepatitis B are liver tests because of its major association with liver. Here are the tests that are as follows-
a.Liver function tests
This test measures the amount of enzyme level present in the liver to know in which state it is in right now. Just remember, higher the levels of enzymes, greater is the risk!
Here, the doctor takes a small sample of the liver portion for the analysis of infection or damage in the liver.
Treatments for hepatitis B
The treatment starts where the test procedures end.
After checking the factors that help to identify the HBV, the doctor then proceed with the following treatments or medications-
A vaccine shot after Hepatitis B diagnosis will boost immunity to get rid of the infection from the body.
At the chronic state, the doctor prescribes certain antiviral medicines to fight HBV namely:
It blocks the HBV for its further growth in the body. Taking this medicine once a day is enough for adults and children of 2 years age. Side effects such as fatigue, headache are common in this medication.
Another drug used for treating HBV infections is Adefovir. It comes up with side effects like headache, stomach pain.
c.Tenofovir disoproxil fumaratek
When it comes to chronic HBV , this medicine plays its part for treating the patients.
Medicines namely Lamivudine, Telbivudine , also works on reducing the effect of virus in the body.
These injections are for those who are suffering from chronic hepatitis B. As a result, more cells are build for better functioning of the body.
Liver transplantation is the ultimate treatment option to go for that depends on the state of liver health.
•Alternative medicines(if any)
Here are some alternative medicines that you can try keeping in mind that this isn’t proven much effective for HBV:
Due to its lower side effects, one can prefer medicinal plants as an alternative treatment for Hepatitis B.
Some key examples of medicinal plants are
Ganoderic acid, an extract from Ganoderma Lucidum, aids in the HBV reduction.
It is a Chinese herb known for its anti-viral properties that enhance the body functionality.
According to some sources, it may help to promote liver health.
Taking health supplements such as vitamin D and zinc can also reduce the risk of fatty liver disease. In addition to this, a research based study found that taking vitamin D can also reduce the anxiety or stress level.
•No other remedies can work best than a proper diet. Thus, it’s necessary to include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein such as egg, fish and chicken and nuts.
•Chewing one garlic clove daily helps to remove the toxins out from the body.
•Mix one teaspoon of roasted carom seed powder, cumin seed powder with a pinch of rock salt .Have it twice a day to notice some changes.
•Honey is an anti-inflammatory agent that one can consume everyday along with adding one tablespoon of liquorice powder.
What to avoid?
Alcohol consumption can lead to serious life-threatening condition.
The infection can spread through any means of sexual contact .Thus it’s recommended to have sex under protection to avoid transmission as much as possible.
Before heading to FAQs, I would like to throw limelight on importance of self-care is the best care that ever you need.
At the end, all you need to do is to take care of your body and to maintain a good hygiene. Other than that, there’s nothing to worry about this disease anymore nowadays!
•Is there any cure for Hepatitis B at the chronic stage?
: No, but it’s treatable through medications, vaccination and a proper diet.
•Can one get infected again with HBV after vaccination too?
•Is there any treatment for HBV infected newly born babies?
: Yes, ensuring that the baby gets the earliest dose of vaccine.
•How to clean blood spills/saliva on the surface of an infected person?
: By using household bleaching powder or disinfectant on the surfaces to kill viruses.
•Who should get vaccinated?
: All infants, 18+ young adults and concerned people who got in touch with the infected person should get vaccinated.
•Can hepatitis B spread through coughing, food or water?
: No, it’s completely safe.
•Can an infected person donate his blood?
: Generally doesn’t accept blood donations from an infected person.