How to Diagnose and Treat Hepatitis B?

How to diagnose and treat hepatitis B?


Your doctor may look for signs of liver damage, such as yellowing skin or belly pain. Other tests include:

  • Blood tests can detect signs of the hepatitis B virus, see whether it’s acute or chronic, and determine if you are immune to it.
  • Liver ultrasound can show the amount of liver damage.
  • Liver biopsy can check for liver damage.

Hepatitis B can damage the liver before causing signs and symptoms. Certain people may need to get screening for it if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Live with someone who has hepatitis B
  • Have had many sexual partners
  • Have had sex with someone who has hepatitis B
  • Are a man who has sex with men
  • Have a history of a sexually transmitted illness
  • Have HIV or hepatitis C
  • Have a liver enzyme test with unexplained abnormal results
  • Receive kidney dialysis
  • Take medications that suppress the immune system, such as those used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant
  • Use illegal injected drugs
  • Are in prison
  • Were born in a country where hepatitis B is common, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Eastern Europe
  • Have parents or adopted children from places where hepatitis B is common, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Eastern Europe


There are treatment to prevent hepatitis B infection after exposure and for acute hepatitis B infection:

  • An injection of immunoglobulin (an antibody) given within 12 hours of exposure to the virus may help protect you from getting sick with hepatitis B. However, it’s short-term.
  • Rest, proper nutrition and plenty of fluids are enough to fight with acute hepatitis B infection. If it’s severe, antiviral drugs or a hospital stay is needed to prevent complications.

For chronic hepatitis B infection, treatment is needed for the rest of most people’s lives. Treatment helps reduce the risk of liver disease and prevents you from passing the infection to others. They include:

  • Antiviral medications can help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver.
  • Interferon injections can be used to avoid long-term treatment or for women who might want to get pregnant within a few years after completing a finite course of therapy.
  • Liver transplant will be used if your liver has been severely damaged.

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