Hepatitis – B

Himalai a step towards Social Responsibility. Today is World Hepatitis day (Eliminate Hepatitis from the root), Most common Things That every Body should know about Hepatitis and Its virus.

  • Hepatitis-B is the leading cause of liver Cancer.
  • Most of the People Infected at birth or in early Childhood.
  • Hepatitis-B will Spread through the sharing of Infected Blood.
  • Hepatitis B Virus Doesn’t Spread through Air, Sharing Utensils, Food, shaking hands.
  • Hepatitis-B is Treatable, educate every one and Save Lives and Families

Health is wealth, being Healthy and creating Healthy awareness is part of Social responsibility. Most of us are unaware about the Highly fatigue disease. Small awareness, remedies and cautions will keep us Healthy and live long life.

Get the Glimpse of the Hepatitis – B…

What is it…?

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause liver damage, cause Liver Cancer. The virus is easily spread via hep B–positive blood, semen or other body fluid. Pregnant women who have hepatitis B can also transmit the virus to their babies, usually during birth. People who have not been infected with HBV can be vaccinated against the virus to prevent infection.

What all the symptoms of it….?

When you’re first infected, the warning signs include:

  • Jaundice. (Your skin or the whites of the eyes turn yellow, and your pee turns brown or orange.)
  • Light-colored poop
  • Fever
  • Fatigue that persists for weeks or months
  • Stomach trouble like loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
  • Belly pain
  • Symptoms may not show up until 1 to 6 months after you catch the virus. You may not feel anything, and about a third of the people with this disease don’t. They only find out through a blood test.

What age group are majorly affected…?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

It affects all women and men irrespective of age.

hepatitis B virus infection in young pregnant women

Causes of this disease…?

Hepatitis B is an infection of your liver. It can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure, and cancer. It can be fatal if it isn’t treated.

It’s spread when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the hep B virus.

The good news is that most cases of the disease don’t last a long time. Your body fights it off within a few months, and you’re immune for the rest of your life. That means you can’t get it again.

Diagnosis and Treatment…?

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine you and look for signs of liver damage, such as yellowing skin or belly pain. Tests that can help diagnose hepatitis B or its complications are:

Blood tests. Blood tests can detect signs of the hepatitis B virus in your body and tell your doctor whether it’s acute or chronic. A simple blood test can also determine if you’re immune to the condition.

Liver ultrasound. A special ultrasound called transient elastography can show the amount of liver damage.

Liver biopsy. Your doctor might remove a small sample of your liver for testing (liver biopsy) to check for 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.

Screening healthy people for hepatitis B

Doctors sometimes test certain healthy people for hepatitis B infection because the virus can damage the liver before causing signs and symptoms. Talk to your doctor about screening for hepatitis B infection if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Live with someone who has hepatitis B
  • Have had many sexual partners
  • Have had sex with someone who has hepatitis B
  • Are a man who has sex with men
  • Have a history of a sexually transmitted illness
  • Have HIV or hepatitis C
  • Have a liver enzyme test with unexplained abnormal results
  • Receive kidney dialysis
  • Take medications that suppress the immune system, such as those used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant
  • Use illegal injected drugs
  • Are in prison
  • Were born in a country where hepatitis B is common, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Eastern Europe
  • Have parents or adopted children from places where hepatitis B is common, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Eastern Europe

Treatment

Treatment to prevent hepatitis B infection after exposure

If you know you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis B virus and aren’t sure if you’ve been vaccinated, call your doctor immediately. An injection of immunoglobulin (an antibody) given within 12 hours of exposure to the virus may help protect you from getting sick with hepatitis B. Because this treatment only provides short-term protection, you also should get the hepatitis B vaccine at the same time, if you never received it.

Treatment for acute hepatitis B infection

If your doctor determines your hepatitis B infection is acute — meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own — you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor might recommend rest, proper nutrition and plenty of fluids while your body fights the infection. In severe cases, antiviral drugs or a hospital stay is needed to prevent complications.

Treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection

Most people diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection need treatment for the rest of their lives. Treatment helps reduce the risk of liver disease and prevents you from passing the infection to others. Treatment for chronic hepatitis B may include:

Antiviral medications. Several antiviral medications — including entecavir (Baraclude), tenofovir (Viread), lamivudine (Epivir), adefovir (Hepsera) and telbivudine (Tyzeka) — can help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver. These drugs are taken by mouth. Talk to your doctor about which medication might be right for you.

Interferon injections. Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) is a man-made version of a substance produced by the body to fight infection. It’s used mainly for young people with hepatitis B who wish to avoid long-term treatment or women who might want to get pregnant within a few years, after completing a finite course of therapy. Interferon should not be used during pregnancy. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and depression.

Liver transplant. If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver. Most transplanted livers come from deceased donors, though a small number come from living donors who donate a portion of their livers.

Things to do and not to do as a Hepatitis B.?

Foods you should eat–

  • Whole grains–Dr Jambavalikar says that fibre-filled, nutritious whole grains should be an important part of the diet when you are recovering from hepatitis. They are very good for digestion.
  • Fruits and vegetables— Fruits and vegetables should be a significant part of any diet to recover from a liver disease. They are full of essential nutrients and are easy to digest. Plus, they are antioxidant-rich, which can protect the liver cells from damage.
  • Oils— Remember to replace all hydrogenated oils in your diet with healthy oils.  Olive oil, canola oil and flaxseed oil all contain healthy fats and are recommended to patients with Hepatitis.
  • Proteins— Healthy proteins in the form of low-fat milk and dairy products along with lean meats, beans, eggs and soy products can also be a part of a healthy liver diet.

Foods you should avoid–

  • Saturated and trans fats–Foods rich in saturated and trans fats such red meat, baked products, whole -milk and full-fat dairy products such as cheese, butter and cream, fried food and junk food should be completely avoided.
  • Alcohol–Alcohol can affect the liver function and put pressure on it.
  • OTC medication–Dr Jambavalikar says that one must completely avoid taking over-the-counter drugs without a doctor’s prescription. You should also refrain from taking vitamin supplements.
  • Processed foods— Processed food items are best avoided when recovering from Hepatitis as they are harder on the liver and relatively devoid of nutrients. Processed bread, cheese and almost all fast food items are also best avoided during hepatitis, as they can delay recovery.

Get monitored regularly. No one likes a blood draw or to be reminded they have hepatitis B, but it’s important that you’re tested annually or more often if you have a high viral load and/or signs of liver damage. There’s no cure yet, but there are effective treatment options with more in the pipeline. So be brave, protect your health, and go to the lab for a blood test.

If you’ve been prescribed an antiviral, don’t forget to take it.Taking a pill every day is tedious and it’s tempting to skip it, but failing to take your daily antiviral reduces its effectiveness and can lead to drug resistance. The hepatitis B virus is a master at mutating to escape whatever is attacking it. Forgetting to take your daily pill can lead to an uptick in your viral load and liver damage. Stay strong, take your daily pill, and keep that virus undetectable.

Face it, antivirals are a long-term commitment. Until a cure is developed, antivirals—either tenofovir (Viread) or entecavir (Baraclude)—are the best treatment to quickly reduce both viral load (HBV DNA) and liver damage. But they work for only as long as we take them, and once we start, we are usually committed to years of treatment. Quitting antivirals before we’ve achieved undetectable viral load and lost the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) often results in a resurgence of both viral load and liver damage. Antivirals are a long-term treatment that help prolong our lives.

Demand to be screened for liver cancer. Some experts say current medical guidelines that recommend when we should be screened for liver cancer don’t go far enough to protect us. So, take charge of your health and ask for a liver cancer screen, which includes a semi-annual blood test and an ultrasound.  Hepatitis B-infected Asian men (or of Asian descent) over age 40 years and Asian women over age 50 years, patients with a family history of liver cancer, patients with cirrhosis, and Africans over the age of 20 should all be screened. Think you’re not at risk for cancer because you take antivirals? Think again. Antivirals help reduce liver damage, but if you’ve had cirrhosis or are older, the risk of liver cancer remains.

If someone promises a new cure or treatment that sounds too good to be true….it probably is. In our search to be rid of hepatitis B, we may be tempted to yield to clever marketing and try a supplement that promises to cure us. But first, do your homework and practice precaution. To check out an herbal supplement, visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s website to see what scientific evidence exists for a supplement and talk to your doctor. There is no magic bullet that will cure hepatitis B. Experts hope to find one soon, but for now be patient and stay skeptical. If you want to safeguard your health, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Experts say a cure is coming … so stay informed about new drug developments and clinical trials. There is lots happening on the research front. To find out what drugs are in the development pipeline, visit the Hepatitis B Foundation’s Drug Watch page for the latest news. You can also find out if you qualify for a clinical trial. Expensive blood work, treatment medications, and doctor’s visits are usually free-of-charge for those accepted into a study. The foundation features a list of hepatitis B-related clinical trials that are recruiting patients in the U.S. and around the world at its Clinical Trials page. You could become part of the cure.

Pregnant with hepatitis B? Get your viral load tested and ask your doctor about antivirals. In November, the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) for the first time recommended that pregnant women with viral loads (HBV DNA) higher than 200,000 IU/mL (or 1 million copies/mL) receive an antiviral (either tenofovir or telbivudine) starting at their 28th week of pregnancy. The antivirals won’t hurt you or your baby and will reduce the risk that your baby will be infected with hepatitis B to nearly zero, as long as your baby gets the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine and a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B antibodies) within 12 hours of birth.

Fight discrimination against hepatitis B and know your rights. Hepatitis B should never be a barrier to the education or job you want. Sadly, ignorance and stigma remain in the U.S. and abroad. It depends on us, our friends, and our family, to stand up and fight for our civil rights. We can’t back down. If we don’t fight, who will?

Practice safe sex and never re-use needles. Today, in some areas of the U.S., hepatitis B is increasing—even though a safe and effective vaccine exists. Unfortunately, not everyone is immunized and the infection is still getting transmitted sexually. In the midst of America’s heroin epidemic, it’s also spreading when syringes are re-used and shared. Do you want to end hepatitis B? Make sure your friends and family members know how to prevent sexually-transmitted infections (even if those conversations are challenging, their lives may depend on it) and support needle exchange programs in your region and state. Countless studies show that when needle exchange programs are available, HIV, hepatitis B and C rates decline! It saves lives and healthcare dollars!

Be brave, disclose, and get your friends, family, and lovers screened for hepatitis B and vaccinated. Yes, it will be one of the hardest conversations you will ever have, but if you are infected with hepatitis B, you need to disclose your infection to people who may be at risk. If you just discovered you have chronic hepatitis B, which you may have contracted at birth, you need to tell your siblings and your mother and get them screened and immunized if needed. Dating someone, and about to take the next step? You need to disclose ahead of time and give them information and choices. It builds trust and it’s the right thing to do. You would want the same for yourself.

Life of Hepatitis victims…?

If you test positive for the hepatitis B virus for longer than 6 months, this indicates that you have a chronic hepatitis B infection.

All patients with chronic hepatitis B infections, including children and adults, should be monitored regularly since they are at increased risk for developing cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.

You should make an appointment with a hepatologist (liver specialist) or gastroenterologist familiar with hepatitis B. This specialist will order blood tests and possibly a liver ultrasound to evaluate your hepatitis B status and the health of your liver. Your doctor will probably want to see you at least once or twice a year to monitor your hepatitis B and determine if you would benefit from treatment.

Not everyone who tests positive for hepatitis B will require medication. Depending on your test results, you and your doctor might decide to wait and monitor your condition. If your test results indicate that you would be a good candidate for treatment, then your doctor will discuss the current treatment options with you. Whether you start treatment or not, your doctor will want to see you every six months, or at minimum once every year.

Before you start any treatment, make sure you research each treatment option, and ask your doctor to thoroughly explain each option, so that you are well informed. It also might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another doctor before starting any treatment, because more information is always better!

Once you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, the virus will most likely stay in your blood and liver for a lifetime. It is important to know that you can pass the virus along to others, even if you don’t feel sick. This is why it’s so important that you make sure that all close household contacts and sex partners are tested and vaccinated against hepatitis B.

While living with hepatitis B can be difficult and scary at first, the more information and support that you have, the easier it gets. Many patients become such experts at managing their hepatitis B that they sometimes teach their health care providers about the latest research and information!

The most important thing to remember is that hepatitis B is a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) that can be successfully managed if you take good care of your health and your liver. You should expect to live a long, full life.

 

 

 

 

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