“Hepatitis” is an inflammation of the liver. Many people are not aware that the liver is one of the vital organs and its disease can leave serious damages or even lead to death. IT processes nutrients, purifies the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function may be impaired. Consumption of alcohol, toxins, some medications, and soda contributes to liver health, and there are also certain health conditions that can lead to the same.
Even though it is possible to get an infection in many various ways, the most common are direct contact with an uninfected person with infected blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. Sexually transmitted hepatitis B is among the most common modes of transmission – hepatitis B is classified as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Many people deal with it and it becomes a major global health problem. Not only that it can cause cirrhosis or liver cancer, but also exposes patients to high risk of death if not recognized on time.
Speaking of sexually transmitted diseases, many people make a mistake thinking it won’t happen to us and that it happens “somewhere in the world”, we exclude the possibility our partner is risky, and so on. It is a common optimistic assumption that bad or unforeseen situations happen to others. It helps us better predict events but can lead to some not-so-good decisions and sexually transmitted diseases, and related complications.
Even though hepatitis B is major problem for entire societies around the world, it is common to connect it with individuals who are often on the margins of society. It is estimated that about 325 million people worldwide suffer from hepatitis B and C.
What can I identify the symptoms of hepatitis B?
The signs and symptoms of hepatitis B range from mild to severe. They usually occur one to four months after infection but sometimes it occurs only two weeks after infection. The most common symptoms that indicate the presence of this virus in the body are abdominal pain, mild fever, lack of energy, jaundice, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea and vomiting, urinary incontinence.
What is acute and what is chronic hepatitis B?
Acute or short-term infection is more common than chronic. Depending on the severity of the infection, one part of the liver parenchyma remains functionally damaged, but the remaining part is usually sufficient to maintain normal liver function. In 90 percent of adult patients, complete elimination of hepatitis B virus (HBV) occurs after acute infection, but in some patients, especially with mild and anicteric forms of the disease, acute hepatitis B develops into chronic hepatitis B.
How to make a diagnosis?
The diagnosis requires a detailed examination of the patient, to determine if it is hepatitis, a blood test is needed, which you can learn more about if you visit stdtestingnow.com. Blood tests are performed to find out which virus caused hepatitis. Some of these tests can detect hepatitis antigens, which are parts of certain viruses. But more often, specific antibodies are detected, and these are molecules in the host’s immune system that attack specific antigens.
How to protect yourself from this infection?
Most people infected with hepatitis B do not have any symptoms, which does not mean that they cannot infect other people with the virus. The most common routes of infection are blood and blood products that have not been tested for viruses; medical or dental procedures in countries where the equipment is not adequately sterilized; mother-to-child transmission at birth; sexually; sharing drug injection and snorting equipment; sharing razors, toothbrushes and other household items; tattooing and piercing with non-sterile equipment. Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination.
In case a person is regularly vaccinated against hepatitis B, it is necessary to examine the indicators of infection and the number of antibodies (anti-HBs) created due to vaccination. If a person is not vaccinated or does not have enough antibodies, the vaccine should be given within seven days, and people who are unresponsive to the vaccine should receive HB immunoglobulin. The protection, in this case, is about 90%.
Acute hepatitis B is not considered to require treatment, but it will be enough to take care of your own health by getting enough rest, drinking enough fluids, eating healthy, and avoiding alcohol. More than 90% of adults recover from hepatitis B during the initial acute phase within one year of infection. with lifelong immunity. When it comes to healthy food, the advice is to base yourself on a diet rich in plant-based foods, to avoid fried foods, as well as to include whole and as few processed cereals as possible.
The best protection and effective mechanical protection against STDs is provided by the use of condoms during each sexual intercourse during the entire intercourse. The safety of condom protection depends on its regular and proper use. Regular gynecological examinations on an annual basis are recommended for women.
In addition to preventive vaccination, measures to prevent hepatitis B infection include education on measures to protect and avoid risky exposures, vaccination and serum administration after exposure to the virus, proper sterilization of medical equipment, mandatory testing of donated blood, semen, tissues, and organs, testing of pregnant women are recommendable. Prevention includes avoiding of sharing equipment among intravenous addicts, and early detection and treatment of patients.
In most cases of hepatitis, recovery is complete. In the event of acute hepatitis, periodic visits to the doctor are required for repeated blood tests, and their frequency depends on how the patient feels. If symptoms still appear after three months and laboratory findings still indicate the presence of the virus, tests should be performed every month. If symptoms persist after six months, then a biopsy should be performed to confirm whether it is a chronic infection, as well as whether it has led to permanent liver damage.