Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hep B virus. It’s the most common liver infection in the world, transmitted most commonly from mother to baby, or through exposure to infected blood (typically through unsterile medical procedures).

Hep B can be very serious if undetected. Hep B can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis (scarring of liver tissue), liver cancer or liver failure if it is left unmanaged or untreated. Luckily, hep B patients can live healthy lives if they are treated by a doctor.

A big concern is that many people with hep B don’t know they are infected. This is because the virus doesn’t show symptoms in most patients. These patients become ill, and go to the doctor or hospital not knowing they have hepatitis B until they receive the results of their blood test.

If you would like to learn more about hep B, ask your doctor or call the Hepatitis Infoline (see below).

image of Asian-looking women at crowded event

What Might Cause Hep B?

 

Hep B is caused by the Hepatitis B virus, which is most commonly transmitted through contact with infected body fluids. Ways that this can happen include:

  • From mother to baby at birth
  • Unsterile medical procedures
  • Unsterile tattooing and piercing instruments
  • Unsafe sexual practices

Find out more information about hep B transmission here.

 

Hepatitis B Signs and Symptoms

 

Hep B often has no symptoms, but if they do appear, they include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain

 

What To Do if You Think You Have Hep B?

 

Hep B is an easily manageable condition. If you think you might have Hep B, see your doctor for a blood test. You can live a long and healthy life if you do have Hep B, as long as you regularly visit your doctor for monitoring.

 

Call The Hepatitis Infoline For More Information About Hepatitis B

 

If you’re unsure what to do next or have a question about hep B, call the Hepatitis Infoline for more information and support.

You can also browse our FAQs, or download one of our free online resources.

This page last updated 12 Dec 2017

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