Being the most common liver infection in the world, Hepatitis B is one of that medical Condition about which you should have some basic knowledge. About 400 million people in the world are infected with Hepatitis B virus and scientist claims that this number is only going to increase at least for a couple of years from now. The infection can even lead to the conditions like cirrhosis or worst, liver cancer. Now, the best you keep yourself safe and away from getting infected from hepatitis B virus is by studying about the Hepatitis B infection. Well, you don’t have to go anywhere else for this purpose as this article is all about Hepatitis B. This is everything you need to know about the Hepatitis B infection. Let’s get started.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is one of the most common infections of the liver in the world which is caused by HBV (Hepatitis B virus). The virus infects the liver and the further effects can be liver damage or even liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus is usually transmitted via blood and other bodily fluids. Usually, treatment for this medical condition takes about six months but this only applies when you are infected with acute hepatitis B. In the case of chronic hepatitis B, no permanent treatment is available. The symptoms keep showing up in the body of the patient as the virus remains in the liver forever. Advancements are being made in developing the treatment for chronic hepatitis B but no fail-proof treatment has been developed yet.
One scary fact about hepatitis B is that the HBV is more infectious than AIDS virus. Every year, millions of people suffer from hepatitis B.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
From the moment, the Hepatitis B virus enters your body, it can take a couple of months for symptoms to become apparent to you. Initial symptoms of hepatitis B include:
- Decrease in Appetite
- Mild fever
- Paint in muscles and joints
- Darkness in color of urine
- Fatigue and weakness
- Discomfort in the abdominal region
If you can observe any of the symptoms mentioned above and you’ve been in contact with an infected person in the near past, then you should visit your doctor on the immediate basis as early treatment of Hepatitis B can prevent the infection and save you from the further sufferings.
The adverse effects of HBV can be:
- Liver Failure: in case of a liver failure, the prime functions of liver shut down and liver stops functioning. This is called Acute liver failure. The only treatment, in this case, is to get a liver transplant.
- Cirrhosis (Liver Scarring): the inflammation of liver is a common effect of HBV but when a person is affected from HBV for a longer period, then inflammation in the liver can lead to scarring of liver or cirrhosis.
- Liver Cancer: if a person is affected by chronic Hepatitis B, then he is at a greater chance of getting liver cancer than a healthy person not affected by HBV.
- Other problems: Hepatitis B can lead to kidney problems like kidney failure or swelling and inflammation in blood vessels.
How is Hepatitis B transmitted?
As it has been mentioned above that the virus of Hepatitis B is found the blood and other bodily fluids of the infected person, therefore the most common mode of its transmission is also through the exchange of these bodily fluids only. There can be multiple ways in which the virus can be transmitted between the bodies through the exchange of bodily fluids. Now, the downside to this is that a lot of people develop misconceptions and try to keep away from the infected patients which make the life for the patient only worse. Now, in order to prevent this behavior, below we have compiled a list of ways in which hepatitis B is communicated from person to person and the ways in which it doesn’t.
Ways in which hepatitis B is transmitted
- Sharing of the infected needle during drug abuse
- From infected women to her infant especially from pregnant women to her offspring
- Direct blood to contact through sharing of items like toothbrush, earrings, and razors with an infected person
- Human scratching or biting
- Having unprotected sex with an infected person
- Sharing room or home with an infected person
- Use of unsterilized needles for tattooing or piercing
Ways in which Hepatitis B is not transmitted
- Having food prepared by an infected person
- Lip or cheek kissing
- Sneezing or coughing from an infected person
- Holding hands with the infected person or another form of casual touch like hugging etc.
Signs to check if you are vulnerable to getting Hepatitis B or not
Below mentioned is a list of possible scenarios. if you feel like you’ve been through one of the cases mentioned below, then there are chances that you might get infected with hepatitis B.
- If you live and share space with an infected person
- If you are a kidney dialysis patient
- If you had sex with the same gender
- If you’ve been diagnosed with an STD earlier in your life
- If you shared a needle with an infected person
- If you are a medical practitioner and you operated on an infected person
- If you are born from infected mother
- If you had unprotected sex
- If you are a healthcare service worker
- Diabetic people over the age of 60years
Preventive measure to keep HBV from spreading
In this section, we are going to talk about some of the measures that can be used to keep Hepatitis B virus from spreading from infected persons to healthy ones. Have a look:
- Before getting into any sexual contact with a person, make sure to check the HBV status of him or her.
- Buy your medicines and drugs only from trusted stores and try to avoid buying illegal drugs.
- Make sure get piercing or tattoos done from a fresh new needle only.
- Remember to get a vaccine for HBV before you travel to someplace where people are infected by HBV.
Lifestyle habits to keep your body healthy and Disease free
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
Having a healthy meal every day is one of the most important steps in order to maintain a healthy body. Healthy eating habit does not include only what you eat. Instead, the time of your daily meal is equally important. Eating a healthy home-made meal every day at different times of the day is not going to provide you the desired result and neither it is healthy for your body. So, eating healthy food every day at almost similar times is the best practice for having your daily meals.
Some of the common constituents of a healthy balanced meal are fruits, salad, pulses, curry, bread, dairy, and meat.
You can also follow these additional Healthy Eating Tips for active lifestyle.
- Drink plenty of water
In order to stay properly hydrated, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. There are a lot of benefits of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. First and foremost, it keeps your body and brain fresh all day and helps in flushing out all the toxic stuff in your body. Weight regulation and improving skin quality are also on the list of benefits. The list of benefits can be very long and the main thing to keep in mind here is that drinking plenty of water every day keeps your body healthy and disease free.
- Exercise Daily
Regular exercising even for half an hour a day keeps your body in shape and away from diseases. It doesn’t matter if you hit the gym, go for a run, a cycle ride, simple yoga or aerobics workout or even basic stretching at your terrace, what matters is that you are devoting some time from your day for exercise. It helps in burning those extra calories that you consume throughout the day while making your body active and full of energy. And yes, exercise keep you away from diseases too, if you didn’t guess it by now? Research has even proved that skipping an hour of sleep daily and doing exercise instead is more beneficial for your body than taking that extra one-hour sleep.
- Keep a check on your body posture
Exercising is not the only activity that helps in maintaining the body shape. Maintaining the right body posture is an equally important thing. The way you sit, stand, sleep or walk or run, every activity has some right posture associated with it. Sitting or standing in a wrong posture can affect your body shape adversely while the wrong posture while exercising can be harmful to some of the muscles of your body depending upon the type of your exercise.
Keeping a check on your body posture might not directly help you in being disease free but it is definitely one of the aspects of being healthy.
- Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep daily at the right time is very essential for the overall health of your body. Keeping your body deprived of sleep can be a cause of a lot of medical problems like depression, stomach inflammation, and even cancer. Healthy sleep is the gateway to a healthy heart and mind too. multiple recent studies have shown that people who don’t get at least seven hours sleep daily are more likely to be overweight or obese and the effects can be seen in your memory retaining skills. Basically, if you can’t work upon any of the suggestions mentioned above, then you should at least give enough sleep to your body daily.