How is hepatitis B treated
- Treatment of Acute Hepatitis B
- Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B
- Signs of improvement or worsening
- Possible complications
Treatment for hepatitis B is not always necessary because most of the time the disease is self-limiting, that is, it cures itself, however in some cases it may be necessary to use medications.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is through vaccination, the first dose of which must be taken shortly after birth, and the use of condoms during sexual intercourse, in addition to the recommendation to avoid sharing personal objects, such as syringes, toothbrushes and razor blades.
When necessary, treatment is done according to the symptoms and the stage of the disease:
Treatment of Acute Hepatitis B
In the case of acute hepatitis B, the symptoms are milder and, in most cases, the use of medications is not indicated, only rest, hydration and a balanced diet are recommended. However, to reduce the discomfort caused by nausea and muscle pain, the use of analgesic and anti-emetic medications may be indicated, and it is not necessary to take any specific medication against the hepatitis B virus.
It is important that during treatment the person does not consume alcoholic beverages and, in the case of women, does not use the birth control pill. If during this period there is a need to take any other medication, the doctor should be advised, as it may interfere with the treatment or have no effect.
Acute hepatitis usually heals spontaneously due to the activity of the immune system, which creates antibodies against the hepatitis B virus and promotes its elimination from the body. However, in some cases, especially when the immune system is weakened, acute hepatitis can become chronic and the virus can remain in the body.
Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B
The treatment of chronic hepatitis B involves both rest, hydration and adequate nutrition, as well as the use of specific medications that are usually indicated as a way to prevent the onset of chronic diseases, such as liver cancer.
Those who have chronic hepatitis B should be careful with their diet, should not consume any type of alcoholic beverages and only take medication under medical guidance to prevent further damage to the liver. In addition, it is important that regular blood tests are performed to check not only the degree of liver impairment, but also the presence of the hepatitis B virus, as in some cases chronic hepatitis C can be cured and thus treatment can be interrupted by the doctor.
Despite the possibility, the cure for hepatitis B is difficult to achieve, being frequently associated with chronic liver diseases due to the proliferation of the virus, such as cirrhosis, liver failure and even liver cancer.
See how you can complement the treatment and increase the chances of a cure in the following video:
Signs of improvement or worsening
The signs of improvement or worsening of chronic hepatitis are not very noticeable, so it is recommended that the person with the hepatitis B virus have regular blood tests to check for the presence or absence of the virus, in addition to the viral load, which represents the amount of virus present in the blood.
Thus, when the tests show that the viral load is decreasing it means that the treatment is being effective and that the person shows signs of improvement, however when there is an increase in the viral load, it means that the virus is still able to proliferate, being indicative of worsens.
Complications of hepatitis B usually take time to appear and are related to the proliferative capacity of the virus and resistance to treatment, the main complications being cirrhosis, ascites, liver failure and liver cancer.