Hepatitis B Treatment – Know What Your Options Are

Hepatitis B is not a disease to be taken lightly at any cost. What is scary is that hepatitis B may not manifest itself through visible symptoms. Infected people who do not exhibit any symptoms of hepatitis B and are unaware that they have the disease can spread it through sexual contact, sharing infected needles and infected blood donations among other ways.

The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body and performs a host of very important functions that keep the body ticking along safely. Hepatitis refers to injury to the liver that result in inflammation of the liver cells. The word is a mix of an ancient Greek and Latin that gives us the combination of liver and inflammation.

Causes of Hepatitis B

Hepatitis has been known to heal on its own or go on to cause scarring of the liver and cirrhosis. Liver disease is often caused by hepatitis A, B and C viruses. Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is generally contracted through sexual contact with an infected person or contact with other bodily fluids like blood from an infected person.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

Roughly 5 to 10 percent of the people infected by hepatitis B progress to a chronic stage resulting in cirrhosis (scaring of the liver tissue) and possible liver cancer. Some of the symptoms infected people may exhibit include jaundice, fatigue, nausea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, stomach pains and body pains.

Treatment of Hepatitis B

Patients suffering from hepatitis B can be treated medically with an antiviral agent. They are put on a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates to repair the damaged liver cells. Patients are also recommended to get plenty of rest.

If you think you may have been exposed to the disease, take a post exposure antibody injection within 3 days of the exposure for the most effective results. Physicians may use alpha interferon to treat the hepatitis B, but not everyone who is infected responds positively to the treatment.

People who contract the disease should restrict alcohol and drug intake to prevent further damage to the liver.

If you are aware that you are a carrier of hepatitis B, do the responsible thing and undergo an annual screening test, avoid unprotected sex and don’t donate blood. You should also avoid taking drugs without a physician’s supervision as it can harm the liver.

Another form of treatment for hepatitis B is to go the alternative medicine route. Milk thistle seed preparations are supposed to be effective in treating the disease in the chronic and acute stages. It helps to improve appetite and general well being. Dandelion roots, flowers and leaves are also said to be effective in helping to treat hepatitis B by improving appetite and digestion.