Author Topic: HEPATITIS B.  (Read 3196 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mahnaaz

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 482
  • Karma: 50
« on: March 19, 2006, 02:21:28 PM »

What is hepatitis B, and what causes it?

      Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is one of the most easily spread (contagious) forms of viral hepatitis, which includes hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. However, hepatitis has many other causes, including some medications, long-term alcohol use, and exposure to certain industrial chemicals.
All types of hepatitis damage liver cells and can cause the liver to become swollen and tender (liver inflammation). Some types can cause permanent liver damage.


An acute infection usually goes away on its own without treatment. Some people have no symptoms. Most people who develop symptoms feel better in 2 to 3 weeks and recover completely after 4 to 8 weeks. Other people may take longer to recover. Once an acute infection is over, you are no longer contagious. You also develop antibodies against HBV that provide lifelong protection against future infection. Most people who have hepatitis B have acute hepatitis B and do not develop chronic hepatitis B.

   Chronic infection occurs when the hepatitis B virus continues to be present in your liver and blood for 6 months or more. Chronic hepatitis B puts you at increased risk for developing serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). When you have chronic HBV, you can easily spread the disease.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?

Less than half of those with acute HBV infections have symptoms. Symptoms include:
1)   Jaundice (the skin and whites of the eyes appear yellow). Although jaundice is the defining sign of hepatitis B, it does not occur in most cases. Jaundice usually appears after other symptoms have started to go away.

2)   Extreme tiredness (fatigue).

3)   Mild fever.

4)   Headache.

5)   Loss of appetite.

6)   Nausea and vomiting.

7)   Constant discomfort on the right side of the abdomen under the rib cage, where the liver is located. In most people, the discomfort is made worse if their bodies are jarred or if they overwork themselves.

8)   Diarrhea or constipation.

9)   Muscle aches and joint pain.

10)   Skin rash.

Most people with chronic HBV have no symptoms.
How is hepatitis B spread?

1.   The hepatitis B virus is spread from one person to another through body fluids, including blood. Contact with a body fluid can occur from sexual contact, sharing needles or other equipment (such as cotton, spoons, and water).

2.   To inject illegal drugs.

3.   Handling blood or instruments used to draw blood.

4.   Sharing razors or toothbrushes, and getting tattoos or body piercing with needles that were not properly cleaned.

5.   The virus also can be passed from a mother to her newborn baby during delivery (prenatal transmission).

Vaccination to prevent the spread of HBV infection is up to 95% effective. 2 Although the vaccine is not widely used among adults, those at risk for infection (such as medical personnel who work with body fluids or people who have multiple sex partners) should be vaccinated. Most states require childhood immunization against hepatitis B.

How is hepatitis B diagnosed?

If your health professional suspects you are infected with hepatitis B after a physical examination and medical history, blood tests will be used to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether you actually have been exposed to the virus, whether the virus is multiplying (active) or not multiplying (inactive), whether your liver is damaged, and whether you have a chronic infection.
You may be infected with HBV but have no symptoms. In this case, you may not find out that you once had hepatitis B, or that you currently have chronic HBV infection, until you have a routine blood test or donate blood or until a family member or someone you live with is found to be infected. Some people never know they have hepatitis B until a health professional finds that they have serious liver disease such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. However, this is uncommon.

How is hepatitis B treated?

In most cases, acute hepatitis B goes away on its own. You can relieve your symptoms at home by reducing your activity level, eating healthy foods, avoiding dehydration, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B depends on whether the virus is multiplying and whether liver damage exists or may develop. Your health professional may monitor the disease during frequent checkups and look for liver damage, or you may have to use antiviral medication to stop the virus from replicating and prevent liver damage. If your liver is severely damaged, a liver transplant may be considered.
Man Qazi Wati Had e Daramad
Baren Mani Bareg Kujam Int.