Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Know about Hepatitis B - Main Cause of Liver diseases
Hepatitis B is a virus that is very common. Hep B can hurt your liver and make you sick if not prevented or caught early. It is important to talk to your doctor about Hep B. Hep B has no symptoms in the early stages, and it is infectious, so it spreads through blood and body fluids. Hep B is passed on in many ways, and most people do not know how they got it. Hep B is transmitted through unprotected sex, blood - like shared razors or needles, and when a pregnant woman has Hep B, it’s possible that it will spread to her baby during delivery.
Worldwide, 2 billion people carry evidence of Hep B infection. That’s one in every three people. While most of these people develop natural immunity to Hep B, 300 to 400 million people do not clear the virus from their bodies and develop long term or chronic Hep B infection. Newborn babies can be protected from Hep B through specific medications. Even if the mother has Hep B, the child can be protected. Children that don’t have Hep B can be protected from Hep B through the Hep B prevention shots. This is called vaccination. Adults can also be protected from Hep B through the Hep B prevention shots or vaccine. If you have chronic Hep B, then encourage your loved ones and anyone you have close contact with to get vaccinated. Don’t share razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, earring or needles; practice safe sex; and avoid contact with blood. This is your liver. It is the largest organ in your body. Your liver filters your blood, removes bacteria, replaces old blood cells and forms clotting factors to help you stop bleeding. You liver also helps you process your food and stores energy for later. Your liver is important! The Hep B virus targets and damages your liver. The Hep B virus enters liver cells and creates more Hep B. A viral load test measures the amount of Hep B in the blood. This is an indicator of how active the Hep B infection is. The body responds by sending immune cells to attack the virus and the infected liver cells. The infected liver cells die. When liver cells die, enzymes called ALT and AST leak out into the bloodstream. High ALT and AST tests indicate that the liver is being damaged. When liver cell die, it causes scarring. When this gets really bad, it leads to inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis. Eventually this can lead to liver failure or liver cancer if untreated. There are often no symptoms of liver cancer until advanced stages, so it is important to talk to your doctor about treatment and a regular check-up of your liver.