What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?
Some people may only have a mild illness and feel they are not ill enough to see a doctor. There are many general symptoms, some of which may be confused with flu.
A few people develop a serious illness and need to be looked after in hospital. More severe symptoms may include:
- bowel motions may become pale
- urine may turn dark
- jaundice (a condition in which the whites of the eyes go yellow and in more severe cases the skin also turns yellow)
If you are worried that you may need a test for hepatitis B, download our factsheet: testing for viral hepatitis.
Treatment for Hepatitis B
People with the acute phase of hepatitis B, do not require treatment. For the majority of people, the symptoms resolve and the person can ‘clear’ the infection, usually within six months, meaning they are no longer infectious; their blood will always show the hepatitis B antibodies but they should never be infected again (they are considered ‘immune’).
Long term infection is chronic hepatitis B which often requires treatment to stop or reduce the activity of the virus from damaging the liver, by limiting the replication (reproduction) of the virus. Not everyone will require treatment straight away. If you have low levels of the virus in your blood (a low viral load) and there is little sign of liver damage, it is likely that regular monitoring will be recommended and treatment started only if there are signs of disease progression.
The British Liver Trust responds to consultations across the UK from a range public bodies and organisations such as the Department of Health, NICE and the NHS.
Recent responses include:
- April 2019: Response to Department of Health and Social Care Consultation on restricting promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt by location and by price from British Liver Trust (link to attached doc)
Please visit the support section of our website for information on Support groups in your area.
Call our helpline or visit our online forum.Visit