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Hepatitis B: Symptoms, Causes, Transmission, Tests, Treatments & Prevention


Hepatitis B: Symptoms, Causes, Transmission, Tests, Treatments & Prevention

Hepatitis B is an inflammatory condition of the liver caused by viral infection. The causes of Hepatitis B include medication, drugs and alcohol. In the case of Hepatitis, the body starts to make antibodies against the tissues inside the liver. The antibodies start to attack the liver by mistaking it as a threat. This can eventually cause liver damage over a certain period of time to the patient’s liver. It is important to seek medical assistance as soon as you begin to experience the symptoms. The only way to treat Hepatitis B is early detection among the patients. This is the reason why it is important to learn more about Hepatitis B and it is symptoms. 

 

Causes of Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is caused by being exposed to the Hepatitis viruses through food, water, body fluids and blood. Hepatitis B is transmitted from one person to another when you come in contact with the infected person. Alcohol can also cause liver damage by damaging the cells of your liver causing Cirrhosis. A person can also get Hepatitis by consuming excess medication over a long period of time. It is recommended that you consume alcohol in moderation and only consume medication under the supervision of a doctor. Otherwise, it can lead to Hepatitis B among patients and cause liver damage among patients. 

 

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

In some cases, the symptoms may not show until the liver damage has taken place. However, in certain cases, you might begin to experience the symptoms as soon as you have Hepatitis. Here is a list of Hepatitis B symptoms:

  • - Fatigue
  • - Flu-like symptoms
  • - Dark urine
  • - Pale stool
  • - Abdominal pain
  • - Loss of appetite
  • - Unexplained weight loss

 

Diagnosis of Hepatitis B

Doctors need to perform a wide variety of tests to determine whether the person is suffering from Hepatitis B. It is necessary to confirm that the patient is suffering from Hepatitis B before the doctors can start any kind of treatment. Here is a list of Hepatitis B tests performed by doctors for Hepatitis B diagnosis:

 

Physical Examination- Doctors may start with a physical examination by gently pressing on your abdomen to see if there is any swelling in the liver. 

Liver function tests - Doctors will look for high levels of enzymes in your blood indicating liver damage. Blood tests help doctors to diagnose Hepatitis in patients and start treatment immediately. Blood tests can also be used to find out whether you have been infected by any Hepatitis viruses and are suffering from autoimmune Hepatitis. 

Liver biopsy - Doctors may also collect liver samples to check for liver damage. They will usually perform this procedure using an ultrasound and a needle. 

Ultrasound - Healthcare experts will use ultrasound to create an image of your liver to find out whether there are any signs of liver damage. 

 

Treatment of Hepatitis B

The treatment completely depends on the type of Hepatitis that the patient is suffering from. Treatment for Hepatitis B includes monitoring, and medications over a certain period of time until the patient is completely cured of the disease. In most cases, the patient makes a complete recovery with a normally functioning liver. After the treatment, the patient will no longer face any liver-related complications. However, in case the liver has been damaged then the doctor may recommend a liver transplant. 

 

Tips to Prevent Hepatitis B

There are certain things that you can do to avoid getting Hepatitis in the first place it is important to do some research and take necessary precautions. Here is a list of things that you can do for Hepatitis B prevention:

Vaccine - Hepatitis B vaccination is given in 3 doses within 7 months. The vaccine has proven to be quite effective when it comes to preventing Hepatitis B among adults. In the case of children, the first dose is given within 24hrs of birth to prevent Hepatitis B. 

Reducing exposure - You can also reduce the risk of Hepatitis by not coming in contact with an infected person. As mentioned earlier Hepatitis is spread through food, water and body fluids. If you are travelling to a place where the majority of the people are suffering from Hepatitis B try to avoid going to such places or take necessary precautions such as maintaining a safe distance when talking to some. Make sure you carry your own separate food and water when visiting such places. 

 

Complications of Hepatitis B

Someone suffering from Hepatitis can experience a wide range of complications. Here is a list of complications for Hepatitis patients:

  • - Chronic liver disease
  • - Cirrhosis
  • - Liver cancer
  • - Liver failure 
  • - Bleeding disorders
  • - Ascites
  • - Portal hypertension
  • - Kidney failure
  • - Hepatic encephalopathy
  • - Hepatocellular carcinoma

 

Hepatitis B can be cured if the patient receives timely medical assistance. Therefore it is important to raise awareness regarding Hepatitis B among people. 

 

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