Hepatitis B is a major transmittable disease with unforeseeable repercussions that impacts the liver. Accidental associate with the infection can develop into cirrhosis, cancer, liver failure.
Infection takes place imperceptibly – the infection is rather resistant to modifications in ecological conditions and is tough to ruin.
What is hepatitis B
Hepatitis B describes illness of viral etiology. Infection takes place as an outcome of consumption of the HBV infection. Further, it will be explained in information what hepatitis B is, where it originates from and how to prevent it.
In current years, the restoration of the bulk of the contaminated has actually been discovered. So, if 20 years earlier the typical age of clients was 40-50 years, today this figure is 15-30 years. Doctors associate this to disregard of fundamental health requirements, early sex and substance abuse.
Viral hepatitis B is divided into categories:
- Lightning quickly – establishes within a couple of hours. Ends with cerebral edema and coma. The result is deadly for the most part.
- Acute – the disease proceeds in several stages. First, there are primary symptoms, then jaundice develops and ends with complete liver failure.
- Subacute – characterized by a long period without the appearance of jaundice. The patient periodically appears, then the primary symptoms fade away.
- Chronic – develops after a long (up to 6 months) incubation period. After the first signs of the disease appear. Patients need complex treatment that can take many years.
Why is hepatitis B dangerous?
Hepatitis B can be contracted through blood or other body fluids produced by a person. A drop of blood, sperm saliva, urine, and vaginal discharge are enough for this.
- Medical manipulations from surgery to opening simple abscesses.
- Beauty and tattoo parlors – unscrupulous craftsmen often neglect the processing of reusable and replacement of disposable instruments.
- Blood transfusion and hemodialysis.
- Promiscuous sex. Doctors say that there is a very high chance of infection with anal sex.
- Infection through a kiss is possible if there are ulcers and microcracks in the oral cavity.
- Visit to the dentist.
- Childbirth in non-sterile conditions.
- In the case when the disease is detected in a pregnant woman, there is a high probability of infection of the baby during childbirth.
- Reuse of syringes in medicine and drug addicts.
- Failure to comply with basic rules of hygiene in everyday life.
Who is at risk:
- Physicians in direct contact with blood and its derivatives.
- Injection addicts.
- Sexually promiscuous persons and the sex industry.
- Blood and organ donor recipients.
- Tourists visiting the underdeveloped countries of Asia, South Africa, Central and South America.
- Family members living with a carrier of group B hepatitis.
What is the danger of hepatitis B? The fact is that the virus can exist for a long time in the external environment and is difficult to destroy by traditional methods. Some features of HBV:
- The causative agent is not at all afraid of boiling. Complete destruction is possible with an autoclave.
- The virus is resistant to negative temperatures. Even if frozen, it will become infectious immediately after thawing.
- Hepatitis B is more than 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Thus, extreme caution should be exercised to avoid contamination. The virus easily passes from person to person in everyday life, since even a drop of dried blood, saliva or sperm lives and retains dangerous properties for up to several weeks. It is imperative to use only your own towels, washcloths, razors, and laundry.
The causative agent of hepatitis B
The causative agent of hepatitis B belongs to the DNA-containing viruses of the hepatnavirus family. The structure of the virus resembles a sphere with an outer and inner shell. The action of the pathogen is aimed at inhibiting the normal function of the liver.
After a while after entering the body, HBV begins to multiply actively, the cells and tissues of the liver are destroyed and ends with all the disorder in the normal functioning of the organ.
According to WHO, a quarter of the world’s population is infected. The pathogen is most common in hot countries with a high population density and unsanitary living conditions.
The viral load in hepatitis B is an indicator that determines the degree and stage of the disease. For decryption, tables are used in which norms and deviations are prescribed. In medicine, there are two methods for determining the load.
Qualitative – determines the presence of HBV in a person’s blood. It is used when the patient is only suspected of having a disease or other diagnostic methods do not give 100% confidence. Decryption gives two results:
- Positive – indicates the presence of a virus in the blood.
- Negative – no virus was found in human blood.
- Quantitative – determination of the amount of RNA of the virus in the blood of an infected person. The higher the number, the higher the infection rate. Extremely low rates are considered the norm. It is prescribed when a virus is detected in human blood.
Hepatitis B has a long incubation period. On average, it lasts 8-12 weeks, but sometimes 5-6 months. For a long time, there may be no symptoms. A person lives a full life, and blames minor ailments on fatigue, poor nutrition, etc. etc. By that time, the hepatitis B virus actively destroys liver cells and it ceases to perform its basic functions.
Signs to watch out for:
- Temperature increase.
- Weakness, dizziness.
- Fatigue, absent-mindedness.
- Loss of appetite.
- Nausea, vomiting.
- Weight loss.
- Upset stool.
- Itching itch.
- Recurrent pain in the liver.
- Yellowing of the mucous membranes, skin and whites of the eyes.
- Dark urine (beer-colored, sometimes foaming), light stool.
- Enlargement of the liver and spleen (palpable).
It is quite difficult to identify the hepatitis B virus due to the long incubation period and erased forms of the course of the disease. Diagnostics is carried out by an infectious disease doctor in a clinical setting. The diagnosis is made based on general clinical symptoms and research results. This is a biochemical analysis of urine and blood, ultrasound, and sometimes a biopsy of liver tissue.
The most important thing is a special blood test to detect antibodies. The diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of markers HbsAg and HbeAg in the blood. A high concentration of these markers indicates an active phase of the disease.
Hepatitis B is a serious illness. Treatment can take many months or even years. Therapy is selected individually, it all depends on the stage and severity of the pathology. Before treating, the doctor gives a referral for instrumental and laboratory examination.
The main goal of the treatment:
- Fighting the virus.
- Elimination of toxins from the body.
- Improving the general well-being of the patient.
- Strengthening of immunity.
- Restoration of normal liver function.
The acute form is treated in a hospital setting. There are no specific treatments. With mild and moderate forms of severity, therapy is prescribed, aimed at providing the patient with bed rest, relieving the condition and replacing lost fluid as a result of vomiting and diarrhea.
In severe cases, droppers are prescribed with saline solutions, which help to remove toxins from the body. With a timely diagnosis and proper treatment, there is a fairly high chance of being completely cured and returning to normal life.
Chronic hepatitis is serious and requires special treatment. Correct therapy helps to maintain the normal functioning of the patient and to stop the development of complications.
The complex includes:
- Antiviral drugs.
- Intravenous drugs to remove toxins.
- Means for maintaining and restoring liver function.
- Choleretic drugs.
- Digestive enzymes to help normalize digestion.
- Therapeutic diet.
- Providing a state of complete physical and psychological rest.
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Possible side effects
When using the antiviral drug Lamivudine, a high therapeutic effect is achieved. But the treatment lasts at least a year, or even longer. Side effects are unlikely, but not impossible. The patient may be disturbed by headaches and indigestion. Sometimes there is an individual intolerance to the drug.
When treating with drugs from the interferon group in adults, side effects cannot be avoided. After the first injections, symptoms similar to those of a cold are observed. The patient is worried about weakness, muscle aches, chills, fever. Lasts from several hours to several days.
Further, the body adapts to interferon, and the symptoms disappear. Changes in the blood begin – the number of platelets and leukocytes decreases, which is fraught with various bleeding and bacterial infections. Therefore, patients once a month need to take a control blood test. If necessary, the doctor temporarily cancels the interferon intake or adjusts its dose.
Less commonly, patients experience skin problems, brittle nails and hair loss, weight loss, and the development of depression.
Thus, the responsibility for safe and effective treatment rests with the attending physician. If at least one side effect occurs, observation is necessary, and possibly the placement of the patient in a hospital.
In particularly severe cases, organ donor transplantation may be required. The method is complicated, as the waiting for a suitable organ can take months. There are few options – getting a donor liver from a corpse or taking a fragment of it from a relative. A potential donor must meet many criteria.
As stated above, the treatment of hepatitis is aimed, first of all, at alleviating the patient’s condition and cleansing of toxins. Many people forget that many pharmacological preparations contain extracts and extracts of natural components. Nature is rich in plants with diuretic, choleretic, regenerating and anti-inflammatory properties.
For treatment with folk remedies, the following recipes are recommended:
- Dissolve a tablespoon of birch charcoal in a glass of warm milk. Drink on an empty stomach for a month.
- Pour a tablespoon of corn stigmas with a glass of boiling water, insist, strain. Take a tablespoon throughout the day, until the condition and test results improve.
- Juices from beets, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin are very useful. You can mix them in equal proportions. Drink half a glass 2-3 times a day half an hour before meals.
- Powder from dandelion roots take a teaspoon half an hour before meals three times a day. The course of treatment is 14 days.
- Mix grapefruit juice with flaxseed oil, take a quarter cup in the morning and evening for a week.
It is worth remembering that natural ingredients also have side effects and cause allergies. It is better to be treated under medical supervision. Correctly selected alternative therapy improves the condition in 1,5-2 months.
In the case of acute hepatitis, there is a high probability of full restoration of full liver function. But even a full recovery is considered a dubious fact. With age, the quality of life may deteriorate – doctors associate this with the so-called residual effects of the disease.
In principle, any result is fraught with health problems for the rest of your life. Only some people just remain carriers of the virus, while others have to undergo treatment for many years for hepatitis itself and its complications.
Most likely complications:
- Acute liver failure.
- Hepatic encephalopathy.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Disruption of the gallbladder, the formation of bile blood clots.
- Cirrhosis of the liver.
- There is a high risk of entering a secondary infection, which is fraught with damage to the lungs, gallbladder, and digestive tract organs.
- Development of oncological diseases.
Prevention and diet
Daily preventive measures
Despite the resistance of the virus to various environmental conditions and a large number of infected people, infection can be avoided. You need to adhere to basic rules:
- Wash hands after visiting organizations, transport, public toilet, contact with people.
- Do not use other people’s razors, nail files, nail scissors.
- Use only your personal hygiene items – towel, washcloth, toothbrush.
- Visit proven beauty salons with a good reputation.
- Avoid casual sexual intercourse, use barrier contraception when having sexual contact with a dubious partner.
- The use of disposable gloves is mandatory for physicians.
- Take the necessary tests periodically.
The most reliable means of prevention is a timely vaccination. A special vaccine is administered strictly intramuscularly! Today there are two types of hepatitis vaccines:
- Standard – the first injection is given on any day, the second exactly one month after the first, and the third after 6 months.
- Alternative – the first injection is given on the selected day, the second exactly one month later, the third two months after the first.
Possible side effects after vaccination:
- The appearance of urticaria.
- Slight rise in temperature.
- Discomfort when moving.
- Redness and hardening of the skin at the injection site.
- Cold or flu signs.
- Pain and aches in muscles, joints.
A therapeutic diet is the key to successful treatment and recovery. To facilitate the work of a weakened liver, the client needs to switch to a sparing diet. You need to start with fractional meals: reduce the size of portions, while there should be 5-6 meals per day.
During the period of illness and recovery, avoid participating in solemn events with a plentiful feast. Choose dishes as simple as possible, to facilitate the digestive tract and better assimilation of nutrients.
The list of prohibited products:
- First courses in fat broth.
- Fatty meat and fish.
- Spicy and salty dishes.
- Ice cream and cold drinks.
- Sausage products and smoked meats.
- Canned food and marinades.
- Cakes and pastries with fat cream.
- Chocolate, cocoa, coffee.
List of Recommended Products:
- Water-cooked cereals
- Lean poultry meat
- Vegetables, fruits, herbs,
- Low-fat fermented milk products,
- Vegetarian soups and borscht,
- Herbal and green tea,
- Steam omelet without yolks.
It is advisable to steam, boil or bake food. The calorie content of the diet should not exceed 3500 kcal.
Hepatitis B signs, causes and treatment. Doctor’s advice on how to prevent and treat hepatitis B.