Hepatitis B

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Hepatitis B?

It is an infectious disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus, which is transmitted through contact with blood and other body fluids of an infected person. 

Hepatitis B infection can be:

  • Acute: lasts less than six months, since with a strong immune system, the virus is eliminated. 
  • Chronic: it can last for years or a lifetime, depending on the strength of the immune system to eradicate the virus.

We are all at risk of contracting it, but the incidence is higher in:

  • Babies of mothers with hepatitis B.
  • Those who share needles, syringes, and other types of drug delivery devices.
  • Patients with diabetes, hepatitis C, or AIDS.
  • Patients receiving hemodialysis treatment.
  • People who have sex with multiple partners.
  • People who have lived with an infected person or traveled to countries with a high incidence of hepatitis B.
  • Health sector workers exposed to blood contact.

Symptoms

Hepatitis B symptoms can be mild or severe. It usually appears one to four months after infection and symptoms may not be reflected, but the most common are:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Pain in the abdomen and joints.
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • High fever.
  • Light-colored stools.
  • Jaundice.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dark colored urine.
  • Lack of appetite.

In the case of chronic hepatitis B, symptoms can appear years after infection. Therefore, it is important to get regular check-ups, especially if you are at high risk of contracting it.

Diagnosis and treatment

After analyzing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will order blood tests and tests for viral hepatitis.

If you have acute hepatitis B, you may not need treatment. For a chronic infection that causes liver damage, you will likely require antiviral medications.

Potential risks:

Chronic hepatitis B can lead to complications, such as:

  • Cirrhosis.
  • Liver cancer. 
  • Liver failure.
  • Other conditions such as kidney disease. 

Prevention:

In addition to getting vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus, the best way to prevent it is:

  • Do not share needles or personal items like toothbrushes, razors, or scissors.
  • If you plan to have a tattoo or piercing, make sure the person doing it uses sterile tools.
  • Wear gloves if you are usually in contact with other people’s blood.
  • Use condoms during sex. 

In the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we offer you health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, from both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • health.ny.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlinesplus.gov
  • niddk.nih.gov
  • cdc.gov
  • medigraphic.com
  • Aguila-Rubido JC, van de Klundert MAA, Michel ML. Terapias contra la hepatitis B crónica: desafíos y oportunidades. Biotecnol Apl. 2019;36(1):1401-1410.
  • Sánchez FP, San José FA, Simó AY, et al. Serological markers of infection and exposure to hepatitis B in voluntary blood participants. Rev Mex Patol Clin Med Lab. 2020;67(2):76-80. doi:10.35366/95550. 
  • Díaz TAM. Seroprotection for hepatitis B virus in university students of prehospital care in Cali, Colombia. Revista Cubana de Salud Pública. 2020;46(1):1-15.
  • Miñan-Tapia A, Torres-Riveros GS, Torres-López SE, et al. Level of knowledge about hepatitis B and associated factors. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr. 2019;35(3):1-17.

						

Internal Medicine

En Medicina Interna, ofrecemos un servicio de atención médica de prevención, diagnóstico, tratamiento oportuno y seguimiento de patologías infecciosas, respiratorias, endocrinológica, dermatológicas.

The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.