Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver disorder caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is an infection that may eventually lead to liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis. The disease can be prevented using a ...

Symptoms

Symptoms of hepatitis B, whether it be mild or severe, mostly appear after four months of getting infected:

  • Fever
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the joints
  • Dark urine
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes

Causes

Hepatitis B virus(HBV) causes hepatitis B infection. This virus gets passed on from one person to other through semen, blood or body fluids. Some ways by which HBV gets passed on are:

  • Sharing needles and syringes with a person whose blood was infected with HBV.
  • Sexual contact with a person who has hepatitis B.
  • Mother to child during pregnancy.

Risks

Some of the factors that increase the chances of getting infected from hepatitis B are:

  • Working at a place that exposes you to human blood.
  • Living with a person who is diagnosed with hepatitis B.
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who is infected with HBV.
  • Traveling to areas that have high infection rates of hepatitis B, for example Central and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
  • Sharing needles with others while injecting drugs.

Prevention

The disease can be prevented by the following means:

  • Get vaccinated before travelling
  • Use protection when ever you have sex
  • Take precautionary steps while tattooing and body piercing
  • Find out the HBV status of your sexual partner
  • Stop using illicit drugs

How is it diagnosed?

In case your doctor doubts that you have hepatitis B, they will examine you properly and most likely prescribe blood tests. Blood tests help in diagnosing whether you have the virus in your body or...

How is it treated?

Immediately get an appointment with your doctor and ask them for the vaccination of hepatitis B if you have any doubt that you have been exposed to HBV, because getting a vaccination within 12 hours of coming in contact with the HBV virus might he..

  • Treatment for acute hepatitis B

    In this type of hepatitis B the doctor suggests rest and a nutritious diet because this type is short-lived and gets cured with time.

  • Treatment for chronic hepatitis B

    For this type of hepatitis B the treatment’s main objective is to protect your liver and stop the infection from spreading to others. This treatment includes:

    • Antiviral medications
    • Liver transplant
    • Interferon alfa-2b

When do I contact the doctor?

Get an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible in case you have a doubt that you have been exposed to hepatitis B. It’s possible to reduce the risk of infection if you receive a preventive treatment within 24 hours of getting exposed to the virus.

Book an Appointment

How does Medanta provide care?

The Medanta Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences has been set up with an aim to provide supreme quality diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients suffering from any disorder associated with the digestive tract. The institute enc..

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