What Happens When the Hepatitis B Virus Infects the Liver?

If your body can store vitamins and other essential nutrients, it’s all thanks to the liver. Imagine not being able to remove wastes from the blood or fight infections. Well, the liver has a great deal to contribute. 

The Liver’s Vital Functions 

 For our bodies to run smoothly, the liver performs these necessary functions: 

  • Stores sugar, iron and vitamins to help give your body energy 
  • Manages the production and removal of cholesterol 
  • Removes waste products, drugs, and other poisonous substances from the blood 
  • Helps clotting factors to stop extreme bleeding after cuts or injuries 
  • Produces immune factors and removes bacteria from the bloodstream to fight infection
  • Releases bile to help digest food and absorb essential nutrients in the body 

What happens when the Hepatitis B virus hits the liver? 

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that causes inflammation of the liver.  When a person is first infected with hepatitis B symptoms, symptoms include: 

  • Fever 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) 

Some people who are infected with the virus do not develop symptoms.  This occurs frequently in infants and children.  Later on in life, however, people with chronic hepatitis B infection commonly experience fatigue and loss of appetite. Some develop complications such as liver scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cancer. 

  • Liver inflammation and scarring (cirrhosis) disrupt the liver’s function
  • You may experience abdominal pain, joint pain, weakness, and fatigue 
  • Skin yellowing, including whites of the eye (jaundice) 
  • Fever, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting 

People suffering from hepatitis B may develop kidney disease or blood vessel inflammation. If complications persist, a person may develop acute liver failure that will lead to the requirement of a liver transplant. 

If your doctor has recommended an immediate Hep B titer test, you may visit our lab online to book a test with the nearest lab service center. 

What is a hepatitis B titer test? 

The hep B titer test or panel consists of three parts that help determine the presence of the virus or antibodies. The test entails drawing one blood sample to get accurate lab results. 

The HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) test is done to track the presence of the hepatitis B virus. If the test results come out positive, the person has either an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection depending on the clinical history and symptoms. 

The Anti-HBs or HBsAb (hepatitis B surface antibody) is a part of the lab test that shows a doctor whether the patient has exhibited an immune response against the virus. A positive test indicates that a person has recovered from a hepatitis B infection or has been vaccinated against hepatitis B.   

The Anti-HBc or HBcAb (hepatitis B core antibody) is the third part of the test that helps the doctor determine whether either a past or present infection with hepatitis B. However, even core antibodies may not make the person immune to the disease. It is important to note that if the patient gets a positive result on the HBcAb portion but is found negative for the first two tests, this indicates further testing to determine the patient’s hepatitis B status. 

Preventing this virus from infecting you depends on various factors, including your lifestyle. Therefore, seek consultation from a medical healthcare professional to help you better understand how you can prevent hepatitis B infection. 

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