Hepatitis B is a serious health condition that is caused by a virus called Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). It is also known as serum hepatitis.
It is a liver infection attacking the liver and makes it swell and stop working and also causes liver cancer, liver failure and even death.
Liver is the most essential part of the body that helps store vitamins, iron, minerals and energy in the form of glucose.
It is responsible for the production of bile for digestion of the food. It help fight against the germs that enter your body.
It is estimated that, in the United States, approximately 250,000 people are infected with Hepatitis B yearly.
It is a contagious liver infection that can spread easily through direct contact with an infected person because the virus will be present in the blood and body fluids. As it is transmitted from person to person through the infection in the blood, the virus is also known as blood-borne virus.
So, by having sexual contact with infected person, by sharing the drug needles or razor or tooth brush or by using body piercing tools of an infected person, you can easily get infected with hepatitis B.
It is also possible for you as an infected woman to develop an infected baby. It is found that you have 90% chance of giving birth to an infected baby.
Remember that hepatitis B will not spread by closely moving (hugging, touching, breast feeding, sharing the food) with an infected person.
The liver infection can be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B is short-term infection that remains for a short period after infected with the virus. It is found that approximately 90-95% of hepatitis B sufferers can be able to fight against the virus and doesn’t make their infection become chronic.
On the other hand, chronic hepatitis B is a long-term infection that lasts over six months. It will never go off completely. It is found that approximately 5-10% of hepatitis B infected sufferers will develop chronic infection.
Most of the Hepatitis B sufferers develop no symptoms. However, if symptoms develop then they usually occurs within 1-6 months after exposure.
The symptoms may include, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, itching, stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, muscle pain, high liver enzymes and loss of appetite.
In some rare cases, urine becomes dark-yellow and stools become pale-in-color.
The good news about this virus is that you have a vaccine called hepatitis B vaccine to prevent this serious health condition. For hepatitis B, there is no specific treatment. Most of the times, your immune system will fight against the infection and eradicate the virus within six months.
Anti-viral treatment will be given in rare cases of acute type where it is in severe condition. However, treatment for chronic hepatitis B will be to reduce the liver inflammation and infection.
Lamivudine, Entecavir, Adefovir Dipivoxil and Interferon are some medications to treat hepatitis B. Liver transplantation may also be used in the severe stages.