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HEPATITIS - B INFECTION

When to Seek Medical Care

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting that does not go away in 1-2 days
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Dark-colored urine (like tea or cola)
  • Pain in the abdomen

Either of these situations also warrants a call to your health care provider:

  • You think that you might have been exposed to someone with hepatitis or that you might be at risk for any reason.
  • You have other medical problems and think that you might have hepatitis.

If you are unable to reach your health care provider or have any of the following, go immediately to a hospital emergency department.

  • Vomiting and cannot keep down any fluids
  • Severe pain or high fever
  • Confusion, delirium, or difficulty awakening

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Self-Care

The goals of self-care are to relieve symptoms and prevent worsening of the disease.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water is fine; broth, sports drinks, Jello, frozen ice treats (such as Popsicles), and fruit juices are even better because they provide calories.
  • Avoid medicines and substances that can cause harm to the liver, such as acetaminophen
  • Avoid drinking alcohol until your health care provider OKs it. If your infection becomes chronic, you should avoid alcohol for the rest of your life.
  • Avoid using drugs, even legal drugs, without consulting your doctor. Hepatitis can change the way drugs affect you. If you take prescription medications, continue taking them unless your health care provider has told you to stop. Do not start any new medication (prescription or nonprescription), herbs, or supplements without first talking to your health care provider.
  • Try to eat enough for adequate nutrition-rich diet. Eat foods that appeal to you, but try to maintain a balanced diet. Many people with hepatitis have the greatest urge to eat early in the day.
  • Take it easy. Your activity level should match your energy level.
  • Avoid prolonged, vigorous exercise until symptoms start to improve.
  • Call your health care provider for advice if your condition worsens or new symptoms appear.

Avoid any activity that may spread the infection to other people.

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