Things you should know when living with Hepatitis B

Hepatitis not a death sentence

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that infects the cells of the liver, and we understand that it can be scary when you are told that you have this virus, there currently is no cure, but there are certain things that you can do in the meantime to prevent the disease from progressing further than it already has

There is currently a vaccine for it that prevents you from being infected with the disease and can be gotten in most hospitals in Nigeria, just ask your doctor for it.

The Hepatitis B virus can survive for 7 days outside the body, making it one of the most infectious organisms out there, and when it gets into the body, can stay for 180 days before the person starts to show signs of infection, however it may begin to show up in tests as soon as 30 to 60 days after infection

However, not everyone who gets infected with the virus goes on to develop the disease, some are able to clear the virus completely while others may not be able to and develop the disease

But if you have been diagnosed with the disease, all hope is not lost, here are some things you should know to keep your liver in top shape

Monitor your progress: This is used to check how the virus is progressing or replicating within the liver, you should ask your doctor for regular checkups to monitor this progress, this lets the doctor know if his management is working or not

Take your drugs: There are pills that will be given to you to help prevent the virus from dividing further, not taking your drugs can lead to worse outcomes as the virus is very adept at making sure that it tries to avoid being affected by the drugs and skipping doses makes them less effective, these drugs may have to be taken for a lifetime, to avoid damage to the liver or an increased viral load. Please try to take your pills as often as it was prescribed. Not everyone will require drugs, your doctor will run some tests and decide if you fit the criteria

Eat a balanced diet: Having a balanced diet is very important as it can help the liver

Avoid Alcohol: People who have Hepatitis B should completely avoid alcohol as it can further damage the liver

What if I am Pregnant?: There is no need for alarm as there are drugs that can be prescribed by your doctor after the 28th of pregnancy, these drugs are safe at that time in pregnancy and won’t hurt you or your baby

Then as soon as the baby is born, your baby will receive a dose of Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin (HBIG) this should be given within the first 12 hours of life. They will also be vaccinated, this should be sufficient enough to protect your baby from getting infected with the Hepatitis B virus

Practice safe Sex: Practicing safe sex not only protects you but others and can help you prevent you from other infections that may be harmful to you for example, Hepatitis C, or even HIV. Also, do not share sharp objects with others and make sure that those close to you become vaccinated against the virus

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