Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B services offered in Waldorf, MD

Hepatitis B is one of the most common liver infections worldwide, affecting more than 800,000 Americans. There’s no cure for chronic hepatitis B, but various treatments can relieve symptoms and prevent you from spreading the infection to others. At GI Associates of Maryland in Waldorf, Maryland, the team of experienced gastroenterologists specializes in diagnosing and treating hepatitis B. Call the GI Associates of Maryland office today to schedule a hepatitis B consultation, or book your appointment online. 

Hepatitis B Q & A

What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), is a severe liver infection. In most cases, it’s acute and improves within six months; however, the infection becomes chronic for some people. 

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B symptoms include:

  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Make an appointment at GI Associates of Maryland if you experience hepatitis B exposure. Visiting the office within 24 hours can reduce your risk of a chronic infection.

Are there different types of hepatitis B infections?

Yes. GI Associates of Maryland treats both types of hepatitis B infections, including:

Acute hepatitis B infection

An acute infection lasts fewer than six months. Most healthy immune systems are able to clear the disease without complications.

Chronic hepatitis B infection

A chronic infection lasts six months or longer and doesn’t respond to your immune system. Without treatment, a chronic infection increases your risk of significant liver problems, including liver failure and cirrhosis.

The younger you are when you catch hepatitis B, the more likely you have a chronic infection.

How is hepatitis B diagnosed?

Your GI Associates of Maryland provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam, checking for signs of liver damage, like yellow skin or abdominal pain.

Then, they order a series of tests, including blood work and a liver ultrasound. Blood work analyzes a sample of your blood to determine if your infection is acute or chronic. An ultrasound is an imaging procedure that helps your provider assess the extent of the liver damage. 

How is hepatitis B treated?

Treatment for hepatitis B depends on if your infection is acute or chronic. Your provider might recommend:

Acute infection

Rest, drinking fluids, and good nutrition help your body fight an acute infection. If your infection is severe, your provider might prescribe antiviral medication.

Chronic infection

A chronic hepatitis B infection requires long-term care to prevent the condition from worsening. Treatment usually includes antiviral medications and interferon injections (a synthetic substance that helps fight infection). Your provider might recommend a liver transplant for a severely damaged liver.

Call the GI Associates of Maryland office today to learn more about hepatitis B treatments, or book your appointment online.