What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a disease affecting liver which is caused by the hepatitis B virus. The consequent infection can be acute as well as chronic.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?
Unfortunately, many people don’t know that they have Hepatitis B, because they don’t show symptoms of it. If you show symptoms, they are often like flu. Some of the symptoms include:
– Feeling tired
– Lack of hunger or willingness to eat
– Pain in the stomach
– Dark colored urine
– Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice)
Hepatitis B can be detected by means of a simple blood test.
The symptoms of Hepatitis B can last for several weeks in infected persons. Most adults infected with hepatitis B recover fully, even if symptoms are severe. However infants and children, if affected, are more likely to develop a chronic hepatitis B infection. Having chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis or even kidney disease.
What are the ways in which Hepatitis B can be transmitted?
– Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person, wherein body fluid from an infected person enters a healthy person
– Sharing of needles (it may even be accidental)
– Sharing personal items (e.g. razor, toothbrush etc.) with an infected person.
– Transmitted from affected mother to child.
Prevention & treatment of Hepatitis B
In several cases Hepatitis B gets cured on its own. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water can help this. There may be certain restrictions which one must check with a doctor. If your doctor suspects liver damage from hepatitis B, then liver biopsy may also be done.
Prevention is better than cure. Hepatitis B can be prevented with Hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is usually given in three doses over a course of months.
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