Arlington, Texas Location

(817) 468-7200

Southlake, Texas Location

(817) 468- 7200

What Is Hepatitis B?

How your gastroenterologists can help when you have hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can sneak up on you. All you may notice is slight yellowing of your skin. Unfortunately, hepatitis B can damage your liver, so it’s important to visit your gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology Practice Associates in Arlington, TX, provide comprehensive gastroenterology services, including diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is caused by exposure to the HBV virus. You can be exposed to the HBV virus through blood and other body fluids. This exposure can happen several ways, including:

  • Sexual contact
  • IV drug use
  • An accidental needle stick
  • A mother passing it to her child

Once you are exposed to the HBV virus, you can develop symptoms of hepatitis B, which include:

  • Stomach and abdominal pain
  • Nausea, low appetite, and weight loss
  • Muscle soreness and joint pain
  • Feeling tired and feverish
  • Yellowed skin and eyes (jaundice)

Hepatitis B can be prevented with a highly effective hepatitis B vaccination. The vaccine is easily available from your doctor. In addition to the vaccine, there are other steps you can take to avoid developing hepatitis B. You need to:

  • Avoid using IV drugs
  • Know the status of your sexual partner
  • Use a condom during sex

Remember that if you get body piercings or tattoos, go to a reputable shop which uses sterile needles.

If hepatitis B goes untreated, it can cause:

  • Cirrhosis or scarring of the liver
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cancer

Your doctor has several options to treat hepatitis B, including:

  • Antiviral medications to help fight the virus and prevent liver damage
  • Interferon injections to fight the infection
  • If the liver has been damaged, a liver transplant is also an option

Hepatitis B can cause serious medical consequences for your liver and your body. If you are worried about hepatitis B, talk with an expert, your gastroenterologist. To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of hepatitis B, call the gastroenterologists at Gastroenterology Practice Associates in Arlington, TX. You can reach them in the office by calling (817) 468-7200, so call now.

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