What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver, which involves the infection from a hepatitis B virus.

Hepatitis B is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids or blood in the case of:

  • Sexual intercourse with an infected person
  • Blood transfusion from an infected blood
  • Contact with large amounts of saliva
  • Sharing of contaminated needles in substance abuse individuals
  • Needle stick injuries
  • Contact with an infected needle from getting a tattoo, piercing or acupuncture
  • Breastfeeding from an infected mother

Risk factors for Hepatitis B

Certain people are more at risk for acquiring hepatitis B. These include health care workers, people receiving multiple blood transfusions and dialysis, homosexual individuals who are sexually active, morticians, drug abusers using the parenteral route and those getting frequent tattoos or body piercings.

Hepatitis B symptoms

The hepatitis B symptoms are attributed to the damage on the liver, which include:

  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy, irritability, fatigue, weakness
  • Myalgia and arthralgia
  • Anorexia
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Right upper quadrant abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pruritus
  • Dark urine
  • Clay colored stools
  • Bleeding tendencies
  • Anemia
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Asterixis or the rapid flexion and extension of the fingers

The hepatitis B symptoms usually present during the late stage of the disease. Hep B infection may also lead to complications such as brain damage as a result of unable to metabolize and excrete toxins from the body, leading to hepatic encephalopathy.

Hepatitis testing is important to determine the presence of hep B infection. Testing for hepatitis B involves the collection of blood samples and subjecting it to assays to determine presence of hepatitis B antigen and antibodies. The results of the tests are usually available 2 to 3 working days.

The treatment for Hepatitis B involves the administration of antiviral medications to reduce the symptoms and duration of the infection.  However, in some cases of acute hepatitis B, treatments are not instituted because adults can eliminate the disease by themselves because viral infections are usually self-limiting.

If you’re worried about Hepatitis B please contact Better2Know on the number above, to book your confidential appointment for a Hepatitis B Test today.

Contact Better2Know
0207 099 0955

Lines are open 24/7. Click to call.

Or click to Book Online now