Hepatitis B: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Hepatitis B: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Do you have fever and abdominal pain? Do you feel extremely tired? If yes, you might be showing signs of hepatitis B. You should get yourself treated immediately, because any delay in treatment might lead to liver cancer and liver failure. This article focuses on symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is a virus that causes liver infection. It causes swelling and irritation of the liver.

Based on the duration it lasts for, it is of two types.

  • Acute hepatitis B infection: This type of infection gets cured within six months. Usually, the immune system will treat the infection. Generally, people getting this infection develop acute hepatitis B, in few cases it can lead to chronic infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis B infection: This infection stays for six months or longer. In case, the infection is not treated by the immune system itself, hepatitis B can lead to severe liver diseases.

What are Hepatitis-B Symptoms?

The symptoms are:

  • Dark urine
  • Headache
  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Skin rash
  • Yellow eyes and skin

Are you at risk?

The virus gets transmitted through infected blood, semen and other body fluids. You are at risk of developing this infection when you:

  • Have unprotected sex with many partners or with a person infected with hepatitis B virus
  • Share infected needles
  • Are a man having sex with another man
  • Stay with a person infected with hepatitis B virus
  • You are born to an infected mother
  • Work at a place that requires you to deal with human blood
  • Travel to places such as Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe

How is it diagnosed?

Firstly, the doctor will ask you about your medical history which includes your job, sexual activity etc. Thereafter, he/she will conduct a blood test to know if the virus in present in the blood. A blood test can also reveal if you are having acute or chronic infection. The doctor might recommend a biopsy wherein a sample tissue is removed from the liver. This sample tissue is analysed for the presence of the virus.

How is it treated?

Treatment of this infection depends on the severity of the disease. A person with acute hepatitis B should have balanced diet, plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and drugs to cure it. In rare cases, medicines might be required.Chronic hepatitis B is treated with the help of antiviral medicines.

If you experience the above symptoms, consult a family doctor online at eVaidya now!

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