Hepatitis B virus can cause liver infection. The virus, transmitted through blood and bodily fluids that contain blood, attacks liver cells. Some hepatitis B patients will develop peripheral neuropathy.
How Does Hepatitis B Spread?
Hepatitis B virus is spread mainly by direct contact with infected blood through unprotected sexual intercourse or sharing contaminated needles or syringes. About 90 to 95 percent of adults with hepatitis B will recover within six months and become immune from further infection. Patients who don’t recover become carriers of the virus and can infect others, even if they do not show signs or symptoms of the disease. These chronic sufferers of hepatitis B may also develop severe liver damage including cirrhosis (scarring of liver tissue) or liver cancer. The likelihood of developing chronic hepatitis B is higher for younger patients.
While there is no cure for hepatitis B, there is a vaccine to protect against infection. The vaccination is taken in three doses over six months.
Signs & Symptoms of Hepatitis B
(Not all symptoms and signs may be present.)
For peripheral neuropathy:
- Numbness, pain, tingling in hands or feet
For hepatitis B:
- Abdominal pain near the liver
- Fatigue lasting for weeks or months
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
Hepatitis B Tests & Evaluations
(Not all evaluation and tests may be necessary.)
- Neurological exam
- Nerve conduction velocity test
- Blood tests, including tests for hepatitis B virus and antibody directed against this virus
- Test liver enzymes
- Liver biopsy
Hepatitis B Treatment & Therapy
(Not all treatments and therapies may be indicated.)