At Triborough GI we know that Like many other liver diseases, hepatitis B is a “silent epidemic” because most people do not have symptoms for most of the disease progression. It is one of the most common serious liver infections globally and in the state of Arizona, despite the fact it’s preventable and treatable. It’s time to get the facts on hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The word hepatitis means “liver inflammation”; in this case, HBV is the cause of the inflammation. HBV is a short-term illness for most people, while others develop a serious long-term infection. Chronic inflammation (swelling and reddening) can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis (hardening or scarring), liver cancer, and in some cases death.

Hepatitis B spreads when bodily fluids like blood or semen from a person with the virus enter the body of someone without HBV. This can happen through:

  • Sexual contact
  • Sharing needles, syringes, or other IV drug use equipment
  • From mother to baby at birth.

Not everyone experiences symptoms with HBV. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice for those who do.

Treatable and Preventable

The treatments your healthcare provider at Triborough GI recommends will depend on the type of hepatitis B you have, acute or chronic.

  • Acute hepatitis B infections
    • Short-lived infections typically require that you get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and maintain a nutritious and healthy diet to give your body the support it needs as it fights off the infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis B infections
    • There are seven FDA-approved drugs for hepatitis B for chronic, long-term infections. Two are injectable treatments that help boost the immune system to fight off the virus. The five other options are antivirals you take orally. These treatments help reduce inflammation and damage to the liver.
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