The hepatitis B virus causes liver inflammation and, in 5 to 10 percent of infected people, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and possibly liver cancer. Symptoms include nausea, fever, appetite loss, stomach pains, fatigue, jaundice (yellowed eyes and skin) and dark urine.
1. Consider a post-exposure antibody injection. This treatment is most effective within three days of exposure.
2. Get ample rest.
3. Eat a diet high in proteins and carbohydrates to help protect your liver and repair damaged cells.
4. Ask your physician about alpha-interferons or nucleoside analogues, which can be used to treat hepatitis B. Not all people respond successfully to the treatments, however.
5. Take annual liver function and cancer screening tests if you are a carrier.
6. Limit or avoid alcohol if you are a carrier, as it can harm your liver.
7. Take drugs only under a physician’s direction and supervision if you are a carrier, since drugs can also damage the liver.