Hepatitis B Version 4.1
The following documents related to hepatitis B have been elaborated for informative purpose only. They have been written by Stuart Millinship. This report has not been written by the Health On the Net Foundation's team and the Foundation is not responsible for the content of the Hepatitis B report.

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Acute Hepatitis B
Fulminant Hepatitis B
Chronic Hepatitis B

Acute Hepatitis B

For acute hepatitis B there is no recognised treatment apart from complete avoidance of alcohol and rest until you are recovered which can take many months.

There is some evidence to suggest that Milk Thistle can reduce the recovery period so you may wish to consider discuss taking this with your doctor.

If after 6 months the hepatitis B surface antigen is still present then you are considered to have chronic hepatitis B.

Fulminant Hepatitis B

This is a rare type of acute hepatitis that is frequently fatal. Rapid deterioration occurs and the onset of hepatic encephalopathy is an indicator of serious illness and comma can develop within a few hours. There is massive liver cell death and size of the liver decreases "Acute Yellow Atrophy" this is frequently accompanied by bleeding. Renal failure frequently occurs and this generally indicates a fatal outcome.

Survival is uncommon in adults but in children the prognosis is better. At present no therapeutic measures have been found effective and the best hope for recovery depends on attending to complications as they develop and meticulous nursing care. Emergency liver transplantation has also had moderate success.

Survivors of fulminant hepatitis B generally make a complete recovery and without liver damage.

Chronic Hepatitis B

Considering both conventional and complimentary medicine there appear to be three main classes of treatment

  • Anti Virals
    Treatments in this category attempt to suppress or destroy the hepatitis B virus by attacking the virus or using other methods such as interfering with viral reproduction. Examples of these include Famciclovir, Lamivudine, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, glycyrrhizin (liquorice root) and Phylanthus Amarus. It should be noted that the above are either experimental and/or there effects unproven.
  • Immune Modulators
    These aim to modulate the human immune system to enable the body to mount it's own defence against the virus. Examples include the Interferon's and Thymosin Alpha. The only generally approved treatment, Interferon alpha 2b, is in this category.
  • Protectors
    These aim to protect liver cells from damage, aid the liver to regenerate itself and so prevent development of cirrhosis or other problems. Examples include Milk Thistle, Vitamin E and Selenium. Although there is evidence that the above can protect the liver and that they may be beneficial in cases of chronic viral hepatitis there is not enough research to prove conclusively any benefit at present.

Unfortunately none of these treatments is 100% successful and there is no proven "cure", treatment depends on may factors including serology, stage of liver disease, presence of cirrhosis age, co-infection with other viruses, and the individuals response to drugs/herbs etc. The following chapters contain information on many forms of treatment that you may wish to consider and discuss with your doctor.




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