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What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is the infection of the liver. It can lead to scarring of the liver, liver failure & cancer. It left untreated, it could be lethal. It spreads if individuals come in contact with open sores, blood or the body fluids of somebody having hepatitis B virus.

It is, however, good news that in most of the cases, this disease does not last long as our body fights it away within few months we become immune for remaining life. This means that we can’t get it again.

Hepatitis cases have gone down over the last few decades. Individuals between 20 & 49 years of age are most likely to get the disease. Only 5% – 10% adults & children over 5, having hepatitis B end up having chronic infection. The figures are not so good for the ones younger than 5 (i.e. 25% – 50%) & even higher for the infants infected at birth i.e. 90 %. 1.4 million individuals in the US carry the virus of hepatitis B.

Warning signs of Hepatitis B

If anyone highlights any of the given signs and symptoms for Hepatitis, they should immediately consult a doctor:

  • Our skin or the white portion of our eyes turn yellowish & the pee turns orange or brown.
  • Light colored poop
  • Fatigue which persists for some weeks or even months
  • Fever
  • Belly pain
  • Stomach issues such as nausea, loss of appetite & vomiting

Symptoms may not show up till 1 – 6 months post we get the virus. We may not feel any different & around 1/3rd individuals with this do not. It is only detected through a blood test.

Diagnosis for Hepatitis B:

If your doctor suspects that you are suffering from Hepatitis B, then they would take a complete physical exam. They would also check if your liver is keeping healthy. The diagnosis is done with the help of blood tests which look for hepatitis virus & cells which fight the infection known as antibodies. If the disease gets chronic your doctor may take tissue samples from our liver, known as a biopsy. This helps him understand the severity of our case.