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Hepatitis B treatment

Description
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that causes inflammation of the liver. There are two types of hepatitis; acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis is caused when the body is able to get rid of the virus. Chronic hepatitis is caused when the body can not get rid of the virus.
Causes
Hepatitis B can be caused when the body becomes exposed to the HBV virus. This exposure can be caused by an infection or when the immune system is weak. Exposure to alcohol, toxins, medications, poisons, piercings and tattoos increase the risk. Contact with infected people increase the chances of getting the virus.
Prevention
One can prevent contracting Hepatitis B by avoiding contact with infected people, by having protected sex and avoiding using their personal items that may have blood on it. Also make sure that piercings and tattoos are performed with sterile needles. There is also a vaccine for Hepatitis B available, in which three shots are given over a period of several months.
Common Symptoms
Many people with Hepatitis B have either few or no symptoms. Some symptoms appear 6 months after exposure. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, fatigue, low fever, muscle/joint ache, nausea/vomiting, yellow skin and dark urine (jaundice).
Rare Symptoms
Mental disturbance, swelling of abdomen.
Traditional Treatment
Hepatitis is not treated unless it is chronic. Drugs are used to slow or stop damage to the liver. Drugs given by shots include Interferon and Peginterferon. Drugs taken orally include Lamivudine, Telbivudine, Adefovir, and Entecavir.
Alternative Treatment
If the liver is too damaged by the virus, a liver transplant is necessary. Modification of diet may be helpful in dealing with the condition, and other methods such as body cleanses and exercise have been used to fight the illness as well.
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Research and Development
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is performing research on better prevention and treatment strategies using antiviral medicine.
Hepatitis B Treatments
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