أخبار ساخنة

Hepatitis B: what it is, causes, diagnosis and treatment


What is hepatitis b ?

It is a viral infection of the liver caused by the virus (HBV), which may be mild for some people and go away after a short period, But its symptoms can be acute and need treatment, or even become a chronic disease in other people.

Hepatitis B: what it is, causes, diagnosis and treatment
Hepatitis B: what it is, causes, diagnosis and treatment

But its symptoms can be acute and need treatment, or even become a chronic disease in other people.

This virus is one of the viruses spread around the world, but there is an effective vaccine that protects against infection, and antiviral drugs are available that help stop it.

Hepatitis B is widely spread around the world, with an estimated 269 million people infected with it, with about 1.5 million new infections recorded every year.

If it becomes chronic, liver failure and scarring may increase the chance of cancer and thus life threatening.

This virus spreads after contact with fluids, cuts or sores, as well as blood, of a person infected with hepatitis B virus.

Hepatitis B infection is especially dangerous if the patient contracted it at birth, as it is likely that it will not be cured in this case, But if a person is infected with it when he is an adult, then the body will work to fight it and address it within a few months, then you will have immunity from it and you will not be infected with it again.

Hepatitis has several other types caused by the virus, and they differ from each other in most symptoms and severity, including virus A, virus C, and others; To find out the difference between hepatitis A, B and C, click here.

Symptoms of hepatitis B

The duration of acute hepatitis B symptoms, which lasts for several months after infection, is prolonged, and common symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion.
  • Pain in the muscles of the body.
  • High temperature.
  • Abdominal disorders.
  • dark colored urine
  • Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

A third of people infected with hepatitis B do not show any symptoms, and the infection is known after a blood test.

Symptoms of chronic hepatitis usually never appear unless the infection is acute and of short duration.

Children under five years of age usually do not show symptoms of infection with this virus.

Hepatitis B causes and risk factors

The virus is transmitted from the infected person to others in several ways, even if this infected person does not show symptoms, as infection risk factors increase its spread among people, which include:

  1. Sex: The virus that causes hepatitis B is transmitted after sexual intercourse with an infected person through vaginal secretions or semen.
  2. Childbirth: The virus can be transmitted from an infected mother to a child at birth, but it can be avoided by obtaining a vaccine that prevents transmission to the child.
  3. Needles: The use of needles contaminated with infected blood between people is a strong factor for transmission of the virus, in addition to accidentally touching contaminated syringes in health care settings.

(As for sharing food and drink utensils between people, kissing, sneezing and coughing, in addition to kissing, they are not among the causes of virus transmission).

Acute hepatitis B versus chronic hepatitis B

The difference between acute and chronic inflammation is that chronic inflammation lasts for a long period of time, while acute inflammation requires a short period to be cured.

Hepatitis B remains for a long time, which is called chronic hepatitis B, while acute hepatitis B is short-lived.

The body needs six months or less to recover from acute hepatitis, as the immune system is able to produce antibodies to get rid of inflammation within a short period, But this disease can become chronic in some adults.

Chronic hepatitis B lasts for more than six months or for life, due to the inability of the immune system to fight the virus, Then the disease remains for life, and thus the occurrence of serious problems with the duration, such as: cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

In many cases, the person with chronic infection never feels, and the person with acute hepatitis B may feel some mild symptoms such as fatigue and only simple fatigue.

When infected with hepatitis B at a young age or under five years, the risk of developing chronic infection increases, The disease is often not detected for a long time until after the development of inflammation and the emergence of serious diseases of the liver.

Complications of hepatitis B infection

  • Possible cirrhosis or scarring, which leads to poor liver function.
  • Possible cirrhosis or scarring, which leads to poor liver function.
  • Liver failure, which is the cessation of the vital functions of the liver, and when failure occurs, it is necessary to perform a liver transplant to maintain the patient’s health.
  • Chronic hepatitis B infection increases the chance of developing liver cancer.
  • A patient with hepatitis B may develop kidney disease and vasculitis.
  • Hepatitis d.

Diagnosis of hepatitis B

First, the doctor looks for any indications of liver damage, such as abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes, in addition to conducting tests to detect hepatitis B, which include:

  1. A blood test that shows the presence of chronic or acute hepatitis, and it also shows if a person has immunity to the virus that causes the infection or not.
  2. Liver function tests, which show the percentage of enzymes produced by the liver, in order to clarify the condition of the liver if it has inflammation or damage, and these tests also identify the abnormal part of the liver.
  3. Transient cell elastography, which is an ultrasound of the liver, which shows the extent of the spread of the virus in the liver and the extent of damage in it.
  4. It is possible to take a biopsy of the liver to further reveal the status of the liver by inserting a thin needle into the skin and reaching the liver, taking a small piece of it and examining it in the laboratory.

Treatment of acute hepatitis B

If the doctor finds that the patient has acute inflammation, which is of short duration, then he may not require him to take medications, but advise him to rest and follow an appropriate diet, Drink plenty of fluids and constantly monitor the condition until the infection recovers. In severe cases, the patient needs to stay in the hospital to prevent complications and he is given antiviral drugs.

Chronic hepatitis B treatment

Taking the vaccine (globulin) within the first 24 hours of infection with the virus helps to cure in a short period of time and not cause hepatitis.

Most people who have chronic hepatitis B need treatment for life, and this depends on several factors:

  • The presence of scarring or cirrhosis of the liver as a result of the virus.
  • Having another infection such as hepatitis C or HIV.
  •  Stress on the immune system due to taking medications or other diseases.

Medications help reduce exposure to serious liver disease and prevent transmission of the virus to others, including:

Oral antiviral drugs that work to fight the virus and slow damage to the liver. Examples include: lamivudine, tenovir, adefovir, and entecavir; The doctor may recommend taking two types of these drugs together, or one type with interferon to make the treatment work better.

Interferon injections These injections are used to treat young people with hepatitis B who do not want to continue treatment for a long time, It is also used for women who want to become pregnant after a long period of treatment, but a contraceptive method must be used during treatment with this injection, Also, this treatment should never be used during pregnancy. Interferon injections are made from a natural substance produced by the body to fight infection and strengthen the body's immunity, It may be accompanied by side effects such as nausea, vomiting, depression and difficulty breathing. It is taken every week for six months to a year.

liver transplant; In the event of severe damage to the liver, the solution is transplantation, for the doctor removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver, It is usually taken from a deceased person or sometimes living donors.

Lifestyle changes help speed up the treatment period when adhered to in addition to treatment, as they include:

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Follow a healthy balanced diet.
  • Drink sufficient amounts of water.
  • Wearing loose clothing.
  • Stay away from hot areas as much as possible.
  • Take nutritional supplements and beneficial natural herbs after consulting a doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest and get away from tiring work.
  • It is possible to get pain medication without medical advice, such as: naproxen.


Types of hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E