What Do You Need to Know About Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It can become chronic or may last for more than six months. Chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. These conditions can permanently cause scarring in the liver.
What are the Types of Hepatitis B?
- Acute. An acute infection happens at the beginning when you first get infected with hepatitis B. Most people recover or clear the infection during the acute stage.
- Chronic. This type can lead to inflammation and serious, or possibly fatal, illnesses of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Treatment can slow disease progression, reduce the chance of liver cancer and increase your chances of surviving.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
- Yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
- Joint pain and fever
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
What are the Possible Complications of Hepatitis B?
- Scarring of the liver. Hepatitis B infections can cause extensive liver scarring, which may impair the liver’s ability to function.
- Liver cancer. Cancers of the liver are more likely in people with chronic hepatitis B.
- Liver failure. When the liver fails suddenly, it stops performing its vital functions. When that occurs, a liver transplant is necessary to sustain life.
- Other conditions. Chronic hepatitis B can cause kidney disease and blood vessel inflammation.
Is Hepatitis B Curable?
Unfortunately, hepatitis B has no specific cure yet. However, receiving a vaccine can prevent the initial infection. Using antiviral medications are also helpful for chronic hepatitis B condition. If chronic hepatitis B starts causing permanent liver damage, undergoing a liver transplant can help improve long-term survival.
Treatment for Acute Hepatitis B
If your doctor determines your hepatitis B infection is acute you may not need treatment. As your body fights the infection, your doctor may advise rest, proper nutrition, and plenty of fluids. To prevent complications, antiviral drugs or hospitalization are needed in severe cases.
Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis B
Most people diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection need treatment for the rest of their lives. You can reduce the risk of liver disease and prevent the spread of infection through treatment. To combat the virus and slow its ability to harm your liver, antiviral medications are the first-line treatment. Talk to your doctor about which medication might be right for you.
Tenofovir for Hepatitis B Treatment
Tenofovir is an antiviral medication used for a patient with HIV. It is also used in treating chronic hepatitis B among adults and children 12 years and older. Tenofovir works by interfering with the enzyme of the bacteria. It also reduces the risk to transmit the disease to other people. This medication also works to increase white blood cell count to fight against infection.