HEALTH CONDITIONS

A comprehensive list of today's common ailments and health conditions.

Hepatitis B

By Shannon Pierce

Hepatitis B

 

Acute and chronic hepatitis B are both viruses which infect the liver.  Acute Hepatitis B is more common, and adults who get it may only have it for a short time.  Chronic hepatitis B is when the virus damages your liver over time and is more common in babies.  It can also increase your risk of liver issues later in life, such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, or failure.

 

Symptoms

 

If you do experience symptoms at all, you may feel like you have the flu.  Some people may be unaware that they have the virus.  Symptoms usually appear four months after contracting hepatitis B. People may experience, fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, bowel issues, fevers, rashes, jaundice,  joint pain, weakness, dark urine.

 

Causes

 

Hepatitis is passed from person to person through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or semen.  Sharing needles, having sex without a condom, or sharing personal hygiene items such as razors or toothbrushes can spread the virus.  Getting a tattoo or piercing with a contaminated needle is also a common way of picking up the virus. Infected mothers can pass the virus to their babies during delivery, which is why all pregnant women should be tested.  That way, the baby can get a shot to help prevent from getting infected.  Hepatitis B cannot be contracted by day-to-day normal such as sharing food or drinks, sneezing, coughing, or kissing.

 

Diagnosis

 

Doctors often perform blood tests, or they run tests on a small liver sample, called a liver biopsy.  Blood tests will show if you have the virus currently, have had it in the past, or if you have had the vaccine to fight Hepatitis B. Your doctor may want to run tests on you if you live with or had sex with someone infected.  If tests on your liver come back abnormal, if you have HIV or hepatitis C, if you have immigrated to the United States, if you use illegal drugs, or if you have been in prison, your doctor may test you for the disease.

 

Treatments and drugs

 

The best treatment for hepatitis B is time and rest.  Your body can fight most cases by eating nutritious foods, drinking water, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. For chronic hepatitis B, see your doctor to determine which medicines could work best for you. To prevent infection, the hepatitis B vaccine is recommended in a series of shots for children and adults.

 

 

 

 

 


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