What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can cause liver disease. There are a number of ways it can spread, but sexual contact is recorded as the most common way to catch it. Even though there are three types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis B is credited as the most regularly sexually transmitted. It’s estimated that anywhere from 850,000 people to 2.2 million people are currently diagnosed with acute Hepatitis B.
For some individuals, Hepatitis B can become chronic and last up to six months. If your Hepatitis B does become chronic, it may lead to liver cancer, liver failure, or cirrhosis. Damage at this level can leave irreparable scarring for the rest of your life. Symptoms and signs of Hepatitis B vary from mild to severe and usually appear one to four months after initial infection, yet they have been known to show as quickly as two weeks.
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Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but common Hep B symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
How Do I Get Hep B?
Luckily, Hepatitis B is preventable with a vaccine. If you think you have contracted Hep B or have come in contact with the disease, contact your doctor and find out if you’ve been vaccinated. You can catch Hepatitis B through any contact with blood or other bodily fluids. That means that sharing toothbrushes, sharing needles, and having unprotected sex all put you at an extremely high risk of catching something. There are currently no medications to treat acute Hep B but the preventative measures you can take, including vaccination, to treat and prevent Hep B. If you get diagnosed, you may still be able to be administered a vaccination shot, so that’s good news.
That means that Hepatitis B is regularly diagnosed as a preventable STD. Luckily, it can be prevented and treated when taking the proper steps. One of the most important steps is getting tested. Contact myLAB Box™ and have us send you one of our Hep B tests. Get tested in the comfort of your own home and get the knowledge you need to stay healthy.
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