Hepatitis B is very serious and is the most common infection of the liver that is caused by Hepatitis B virus. It is spread by coming in direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.
It often doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms in adults and typically passes in a few months without treatment, but in children it often persists for years and may eventually cause serious liver damage.
Hepatitis B vaccination can prevent you from contraction the Hepatitis B infection.
SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS B
- Body aches and pains
- A high temperature of 38C/ 100.4F or above
- A general feeling of being unwell
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Dark urine and pale, grey-coloured stool
TREATMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR HEPATITIS B
The treatment for hepatitis B largely depends on how long you’ve been infected with the disease for:
- Short-term (acute) Hepatitis B: Doesn’t usually require specific treatment, but may require treatment to relieve the symptoms.
- Long-term (chronic) Hepatitis B: Often treated with medication to keep the virus at bay.
Both types of Hepatitis require medications` therapy to be performed.
Acute hepatitis B treatment is based on treating the troublesome symptoms (pain, sickness, etc.)
While the chronic Hepatitis B infection requests a different way of treatment, which includes two main components: stimulation of the immune system to fight against the virus and protection of the liver to enable its long-term normal functioning.
Hepatitis B medications can help keep the virus at bay and stop it damaging your liver, although they won’t necessarily cure the infection. Some people require lifelong treatment.
DIAGNOSING SERVICES FOR HEPATITIS B
- Physical examination: Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam to check for swollen lymph nodes. They’ll also ask you about your medical history and the symptoms you’ve been having.
- Blood tests: Blood tests can determine if you have the virus in your system and whether it’s acute or chronic. Chronic HBV infection is defined by the continued presence of HBsAg in the blood for longer than six months.
- Liver function test: A liver function test for alanine aminotransferase (ALT) – one of the most important liver enzymes – sometimes called SGPT on lab reports. An elevated ALT level indicates that the liver is not functioning properly and that there is a high risk of permanent liver damage. ALT levels can be temporarily elevated during an acute hepatitis B infection, but rarely leads to any long-term liver problems. In chronic hepatitis B, ALT levels can either periodically or consistently increase. This indicates a much higher risk of long-term liver damage reoccurrences.
- Ultrasound: ultrasound can be used to look for liver cancer tumors.
- Liver biopsy: Your doctor might also want to remove a small sample of your liver for testing (liver biopsy) to determine whether you have liver damage. During this test, your doctor inserts a thin needle through your skin and into your liver and removes a tissue sample for laboratory analysis.
- MRE: MR elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive MRI based technique for assessing the properties of the Liver. This is a new technology and has been adopted since 1995 and is potentially a more accurate alternative to invasive liver biopsy which is currently the gold standard for diagnosis and staging of liver fibrosis. It is also safer and far less expensive than the liver biopsy method of diagnosis