Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can cause both acute and chronic infections. The virus spreads through contact with body fluids or blood of a person with hepatitis B. Timely hepatitis B treatment is necessary from stopping the virus causing any damage to liver. This disease has become an occupational hazard for people working in health industry. Hepatitis B prevention is possible with safe and effective vaccine.
Hepatitis B diagnosis
A simple blood test helps your doctor in hepatitis B diagnosis. From the blood test, your doctor can know whether you have hepatitis B virus now or had it in the past. Your doctor can also know whether you took any vaccine as a preventive measure. Based on his findings, the doctor will be able to give a proper hepatitis B treatment. Your doctor may recommend liver biopsy if he feels you can have liver damage due to hepatitis B. For this, the doctor will use a needle to collect a tiny sample of your liver for testing.
Hepatitis B Treatment
In most of the cases, there is no need for hepatitis B treatment as it goes away on its own. You can take rest at home, eat healthy foods, avoid drugs & alcohol and drink plenty of water to relieve yourself from the symptoms. You can also check with your doctor regarding any medicines or herbal products you need to avoid as some of them tend to make your liver damage due to hepatitis B even more worse.
In case of chronic hepatitis B, the treatment depends on whether the infection is becoming worse and whether you have any liver damage. People with chronic hepatitis B can lead an active life by taking good care of their health and by getting regular health checkups. Though medicines are available for chronic hepatitis B, they might not work for everyone. Hence it is important to talk to your doctor and decide which medicine is best for you.
In case, chronic hepatitis B causes any severe damage to liver, you may require a liver transplant.
Hepatitis B Prevention
In order to prevent hepatitis B, vaccine is the best bet. The vaccine is taken in a series 3 or 4 shots. All babies, children, teenagers and adults at risk should take this vaccine. There is also a combination vaccine available that gives protection against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. In order to prevent the spread of the virus to others, take the following precautionary measures:
- Avoid sharing needles
- Do not share razors and toothbrushes
- Avoid having sex without condom
- Do not get yourself a tattoo or pierced with needles that are not sterile
- If you have to touch blood, then wear plastic or latex gloves.