Not a few people with hepatitis B are worried and afraid of the disease they are suffering, considering that hepatitis B can cause complications in the form of cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, with proper treatment, people with hepatitis B can still live a normal life.
Some people with hepatitis B have an immune system capable of eradicating the hepatitis B virus completely. However, some other sufferers may not be able to fight the hepatitis B virus, so they can develop chronic hepatitis B.
If not treated properly, chronic hepatitis B can lead to long-term health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death.
Recognize the Symptoms of Hepatitis B and How to Overcome It
Some people who contract the hepatitis B virus may not experience any symptoms. However, there are also patients who can feel the symptoms of this disease after exposure to the hepatitis B virus within 2-3 months.
The following are some of the symptoms that may be felt by people with hepatitis B:
- Stomach ache
- Dark urine
- Gray or whitish stools
- Muscle ache
- Loss of appetite
- Digestive disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- The body feels tired, weak, and not feeling well
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
Acute hepatitis B usually goes away on its own within a few months, but people with this disease still need to get treatment and monitoring from a doctor.
Meanwhile, to treat chronic hepatitis B, doctors can provide the following treatments:
Administration of antiviral drugs
This drug serves to suppress the activity of the hepatitis B virus and prevent complications, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Antiviral drugs can also prevent the transmission of hepatitis B from sufferers to others.
Interferon is a protein that can have an antiviral effect, so it can kill the hepatitis B virus. This drug is usually used as an additional therapy for antiviral drugs to treat chronic hepatitis B.
Surgery is generally necessary to treat hepatitis B that has caused severe liver damage or severe liver dysfunction. To restore the patient's liver function, doctors can perform liver transplant surgery.
Tips to Keep Hepatitis B Patients Healthy
Undergoing hepatitis B treatment and care from a doctor is one of the main steps to treating hepatitis B.
However, in addition to drugs, hepatitis B sufferers are also recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle so that they can continue their activities and live normally. Here are some tips that can be done:
- Avoid risky sexual behavior, such as having sex without a condom or changing partners. Hepatitis B patients should also abstain from oral and anal sex.
- Avoid sharing needles with other people as well as personal equipment, such as razors and toothbrushes.
- Consumption of healthy and nutritionally balanced foods, such as fruit, vegetables, protein, and nuts. Stay away from foods that contain lots of sugar, salt, and cholesterol, and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke.
In addition, people with hepatitis B also need to exercise regularly, get enough sleep and rest, and reduce stress, so that their health condition is maintained.
If you want to use supplements and drugs, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, people with hepatitis B should consult their doctor first.
Patients with hepatitis B who want to have children are also advised to consult a doctor before starting a pregnancy program.
Method Preventing the Spread of Hepatitis B Virus
Most people with hepatitis B have a long life expectancy. However, patients still have to be careful not to transmit the hepatitis B virus to others.
To prevent transmission of the hepatitis B virus, the following steps can be taken:
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
- Live safe and healthy sex behavior, namely using condoms when having sex and not changing sexual partners.
- Avoid sharing needles, toothbrushes, towels, nail clippers, and razors with other people.
- Make sure the use of new and sterile needles when you want to make a tattoo or piercing.
- Clean all objects that have blood on them using a 1:9 solution of bleach and water.
- Clean or dispose of objects that have been in contact with blood, urine, vaginal fluids, semen, or feces of people with hepatitis B.
To prevent transmission of the hepatitis B virus to other people, hepatitis B sufferers are advised not to donate their blood, organs, sperm, or eggs.
Patients with hepatitis B are also advised to have regular health checks to monitor the condition of the liver through blood and urine tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and biopsy..
In order for health conditions and disease progression to be monitored, hepatitis B sufferers need to consult a doctor regularly at least 1-2 times a year or depending on the schedule recommended by the doctor.
Suffering from chronic hepatitis B is not the end of the world. Patients with hepatitis B can still carry on with their normal activities and lead normal lives, as long as they undergo proper care and treatment, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.