- Living with Hepatitis B.
- Will I be able to get rid of hepatitis B infection?
- What is the difference between acute and chronic hepatitis B?
- Will I get sick if I have acute hepatitis B?
- How do I know that I am completely free from Hepatitis B infection?
- What should I do if I am tested positive for acute/chronic hepatitis B?
- What tests will be used to monitor my chronic hepatitis B?
- Can chronic hepatitis B be treated?
- Are there any approved medicines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B?
- Can these medicines cure chronic hepatitis B?
- Should I take medicines if I have chronic hepatitis B infection?
- Will it be safe to take herbal medicines or supplements for chronic hepatitis B?
- What are the tips to keep the liver healthy, who have chronic Hepatitis B.
- Can I donate blood if I have Hepatitis B?
Will I be free from Hepatitis B infection?
Table of Contents
Most healthy adults who just got an infection will get better without any problems. But newborn babies and young children cannot easily get rid of this virus.
- Adults – 90% of healthy adults clear the virus and recover without complications, 10% develop chronic hepatitis B.
- Young children – children 1 to 5 years of age who get the infection are infected with chronic hepatitis B.
Newborns – 90% are infected with chronic hepatitis B, only 10% clear the virus.
What is the difference between acute and chronic hepatitis B infection?
Hepatitis B infection is considered acute within 6 months after exposure to the virus. This is the average time it takes to get rid of hepatitis B infection.
However, if you are hepatitis B virus (HBsAg+) positive after six months, you will be said to have chronic hepatitis B, which lasts for life.
Can I get sick if I have acute hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a silent infection, as it does not cause any symptoms. Most people think they are healthy, and do not know they have the infection, which means they unknowingly spread the virus to others. Others have mild symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and loss of appetite/think they have a clue.
Less common and more serious signs are severe nausea and vomiting, yellow eyes and skin (called jaundice), and a bloated abdomen – these signs call for immediate medical attention and hospitalization.
How do I know that I am free from acute hepatitis B infection?
If your doctor tells you after a blood test that you have cleared the virus and made antibodies (HBsAB+), you will be free from any future hepatitis B infections and you will be eligible for any Will not get infected.
What should I do if I am diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis B?
If you find out after testing that you have had hepatitis B virus for more than 6 months, then you have chronic hepatitis B. You should see a liver specialist/hepatologist or a gastroenterologist who knows about Hepatitis B. This specialist will order some blood tests and an ultrasound of the liver to know the status of your liver whether it is profitable or not.
Most people affected by chronic infection can expect to live a long time. Once you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, the virus will remain in your blood and liver for life. It is important for you to know that even if you do not feel sick, you can pass the virus to other people. That’s why it’s important that everyone in your household and your sexual partners get the hepatitis B vaccine.
What tests should be done to monitor my hepatitis B?
Doctors usually order hepatitis B blood panel, liver function tests (ALT), hepatitis B-Antigen (HBeAg), hepatitis B e-Antibodyn (HBeAB), hepatitis B DNA quantification (viral load), and an imaging study of the liver (ultrasound, FibroScan [Transient Elastography] or CT scan).
Is there any cure for chronic Hepatitis B?
There is currently no cure for chronic hepatitis B, but the good news is that there are treatments available that can slow down the progression of the disease by slowing down the virus. If the hepatitis B virus is produced in small amounts, the liver will be less damaged. Sometimes these medicines completely eliminate the virus, although this is not usually the case.
With the new modifications, a cure for chronic hepatitis B is expected very soon. Visit our Drug Watch for information on new drugs in development.
Are there any recognized medicines available for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B?
Currently, the treatment of hepatitis B is divided into two categories:
Immune modulator Drugs – These are interferon type drugs which strengthen the immune system and help in eliminating Hepatitis B virus. It is given in the form of doses (like insulins are given to diabetic patients). It is given once in a year or in 6 months.
Antiviral Drugs – These stop or reduce the speed of hepatitis B virus, which reduces inflammation on the liver and causes less damage to the liver. It has to be taken once a day in the form of a pill for a year or more.
In the United States, there are seven approved drugs for adults with chronic hepatitis B infection. There are five types of antiviral drugs in this which have to be taken once a day in pill form for a year or more. And there are two types of Immune modulator drugs which are also called “interferon”. Which are given in the form of injection from 6 months to one year.
Oral Antivirals (Nucleos(t)ide Analogues)
- Tenofovirdisoproxil (Viread) This is a type of pill that has to be taken once a day. It has few side effects, It has to be taken for a year or more, It is considered a first-line treatment and has excellent results, (Recognized in the year 2008)
- Entecavir (Baraclude) This is a type of pill that has to be taken once a day. It has few side effects, It has to be taken for a year or more, It is considered a first-line treatment and has excellent results. (Recognized in the year 2005)
- Telbivudine (Tyzeka or Sebivo) This is a type of pill that has to be taken once a day. It has few side effects, It has to be taken for a year or more. It is considered a second line treatment and has excellent results, (Recognized in the year 2006)
- AdefovirDipivoxil (Hepsera): This is a once-a-day pill that has few side effects. It has to be taken for a year or more, It is considered a second line treatment and has excellent results, (Recognized in the year 2002)
- Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV, Zeffix, or Heptodin) is a once-a-day pill that has few side effects. It has to be taken for a year or more, This medicine is commonly used in the US. It is not used in the U.S. because it is less effective than the newer drugs, and most people go off the drug within a year or two. (Recognized in the year 1998)
Immune Modulators (Interferons)
- Pegylated Interferon (Pegasys) This injection is usually given once a week for six months to a year. This medicine can have side effects such as flu and depression. (Recognized in the year 2005)
- Interferon alpha (Intron A) This injection is usually given several times a week for six months to a year, but the treatment may last longer. This medicine may cause side effects such as flu, irritability, and headache. This is an old medicine which is not used much. (Recognized in the year 1991)
Can these medicines cure chronic hepatitis B?
Which these medicines do not cure this disease completely, except in very few cases (to cure means that the virus of Hepatitis B is eliminated and protective Antibdies are prepared in the body). It slows down the growth of the virus and reduces the risk of serious liver damage in old age.
Should I be taking medicines if I have chronic hepatitis B infection?
It is important to understand that not everyone with chronic hepatitis B needs to take medicines. Consult your doctor whether you should take the medicine or not. Your doctor will decide whether you need treatment. Keep consulting a liver specialist doctor or a doctor who knows about Hepatitis B.
Will it be safe for me to take herbal medicines or supplements for hepatitis B infection?
Many people want to take herbal medicines or supplements to boost their immunity and strengthen the liver. The problem is that there is no regulation on the companies that make these medicines, which means there is no system to check the safety and purity of these medicines. Hence the quality of herbal medicines and vitamin supplements varies from bottle to bottle. After this, herbal medicines may interfere with the medicines given to you by your doctor for hepatitis B. or there is a risk of another condition, such as actual damage to your liver. These medicines do not cure chronic hepatitis B.
Many companies make false propaganda and promises about their products on the internet and through social media. Claims made online and requests from patients on Facebook are false and encourage people to buy herbal medicines and supplements. Remember that if it appeals to you too much, it probably isn’t right.
Below are sources of information about the reliability of herbal medicines and alternative medicines. This information is based on scientific evidence, not false promises. Check the active ingredients in your herbal medicines and supplements and make sure they are actually safe for your liver. The most important thing is that your liver is not damaged too much.
U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary Medicine and Integrative Health
- Herbs at a Glance Fast Sheets
- Ayurvedic medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
NIH: National Library of Medicine
- Livertox Database
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): Nutrition.gov
- Questions to ask before taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
What should patients with Chronic Hepatitis B do to keep their liver healthy?
Patients with chronic hepatitis B do not need to take medicines to maintain liver health. But he has to do many things to protect his liver and improve his health. Below we have listed 10 top priority tips that can be started today!
- Visit your liver specialist or doctor regularly. So that the health of your liver remains.
- Get the hepatitis A vaccine to protect your liver from other infections.
- Stay away from alcohol and smoking, as they both damage your liver, which is already damaged by hepatitis B virus infection.
- Consult your doctor before taking herbal medicines or vitamin supplements because some medicines can interfere with your hepatitis B medicines, causing more damage to your liver.
- Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines, such as (e.g. acetaminophen, paracetamol) or non-hepatitis B prescription drugs, to be sure these medicines are safe for your liver, as many medicines are broken down by your liver. Processes happen.
- Avoid smelling or breathing paint, paint thinners, glue, household cleaning products, nail polish removers, and other toxic chemicals, as they can damage your liver.
- Eat healthy foods like fruits, whole grains, fish, chicken and plenty of vegetables. “Cruciferous Vegetables” / Leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower protect the liver from environmental chemicals.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked shellfish (e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops) as they may be infected with a virus called Vibrio vulnificus. Which is very poisonous and can cause a lot of damage to the liver.
- Check for mold before eating dry fruits, corn, groundnut, sorghum, millet, because if the grain is kept in the shipping area and it is not sealed properly, there may be a problem of mold. If the grain is moldy, it may be contaminated with “aflatoxins,” which are known risk factors for liver cancer.
- Lower your stress levels through healthy eating, regular exercise and rest.
Remember that what you eat, drink, breathe and whatever enters your body through the skin is filtered by the liver. That’s why protecting the liver is essential for your health.
Can I donate blood if I have Hepatitis B?
No. Blood banks will not accept blood from people infected with hepatitis B, even if you have fully recovered from the acute infection.