INTRODUCTION THREAD: People affected by Hep B

Dear Thomas

Thank you really for your answers, they are encouraging for me.

About the tests , the doctor informed me that it is early the virus to be detected with antibodies . So I did RNA test for HCV and HBV DNA for the existence of the virus . The information I had from the medical centre was that the virus HIV & HCV can be detected 15 days after somebody be exposed and for HBV 20- 30 days after somebody be exposed, with a 95% success to the results . The doctor suggested this method because he said that it is really important to find early the possible existence of HCV . The next step for me is to make examinations for antibodies for all the viruses , 8-10 weeks after the incident .
In the beginning ( two weeks after) I did some blood examination (Anti-HBc IgM , Anti-HBs , Anti-HBc IgG), I think these exams are about if I had HBV in the past , but they were negative.

P.

My name is Sulaimon, I am Hep B, I was diagnosed 2016 as carrier. This forum is a great idea to learn more about Hep B.

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Dear @saadepoju, it’s great that you could join our community and hope you find the support you need here.

Cheers,
Thomas

Hi @Panos, this seems like a reasonable course of action and looks to be consistent with an acute infection.

I agree with what @Joan_Block has mentioned in trying to limit any potential spread by not sharing any razors, toothbrushes, etc. during this time, use appropriate protection with any sexual contact, and make sure that any blood spills from cuts are disinfected appropriately.

You are not alone during this time, many of us understand what you might be feeling with the anxiety of test results. I hope you can find the support you need here to get you through this tough time.

Cheers,
Thomas

Dear Thomas and Everyone,

I’ve been silent until I had more to share. In short, I reviewed new test results with my doctor and he is a lot less sure of his earlier explanations as I shared in my earlier post. Of course, his change in attitude causes more stress and disappointment. Here is what I have now learned:

  1. Hep A Ab, Igm: Negative.
  2. HBsAg Screen: Confirmed “positive abnormal” from the blood bank results.
  3. Hep B Core Ab, Igm: Negative
  4. Hep C Virus Ab: <0.1 (I am not really sure what this means but doctor said I do not have help C.)
  5. Hep B Surf Ab Quant: <3.1. (Low). Not sure what this means but it seems like it is “inconsistent with immunity” – again, not sure what this means.
  6. Hep B Core Ab, Tot: Positive Abnormal (reference range: negative)

My doctor started out saying that I was infected in past 3-4 months which really freaked me out but I could at least pinpoint possible sources. But as we kept talking, he apologized and said that I am actually “Chronic” which is consistent with the blood bank results.

But my doctor explained that “chronic” could be any time period of more than 4 months or so to possibly more than 20 years ago. I am so angry right now that I am in that “unlucky” small percentage that ends up being “chronic.”

Last doctor’s visit, I asked if was was contagious and he said “no.” Now, he is saying that he is “unsure” because I need to now get tested for viral load (HBV DNA QNT – QHBV).

On the upside, my doctor reviewed previous results of blood work: liver enzymes looked good in past two test (2020, 2019). No red flags in any previous blood tests. Also, he was pleased that I’ve had no symptoms in past three years since being under his care. Of course, I can be asymptomatic.

Lastly, my doctor offered me the option (not required) of seeing the gastroenterologist who recently conducted my colonoscopy. I plan to wait for the viral load results first.

So now, I feel like my prayers are not working. I feel unlucky. I feel targeted by “the universe.” I feel like I am being punished. So, of course, I am stressed all over again while I wait for yet another test. (I am disappointed my doctor did not think of viral load test before now.)

At this point, I have decided not to share my story with anyone until I learn more. But I am thinking about asking my daughter to get vaccinated before stating college in the fall.

At some point, I will need to tell my wife for her safety. If she is positive, then we both will be stressed and confused. But if she is not positive, then she can get vaccinated.

Any thoughts or feedback on my latest story?
Any thing I should be asking my doctor?
Should I meet with gastroenterologist?

Thank you everyone for listening, responding, and sharing.

Dear @hopefulone, thanks for updating us all on your most recent results. Sorry to hear about your experiences, it must be such a shock to you.

Just to give you a bit more background on your lab results:
Hep C Virus Ab: this tells you if you have been exposed to Hep C before, it is negative so your body has not encountered Hep C
Hep B Surf Ab : measures your protection against Hep B. It is high when you have been successfully vaccinated, and low when you have a Hep B infection.
Hep B Core Ab, Igm: This is only high if you have been exposed recently to Hep B, so this is the reason why your doctor said that you have been exposed a while ago (could be even just after you were born).

For this reason, there is no good reason to think that you are being targeted or punished. About 300 million other people around the world have chronic Hep B; it’s hard to say that all of them are deserving to be punished, particularly those that have been exposed at birth as newborn children. Some events just happen and we are no more targeted by Hep B than we are the rain when it falls.

You should remember that you are not alone in this, even if you don’t share your story with anyone around you. Many of us here are here to support you and know how you feel (including the anxiety of waiting for test results).

It might be helpful to read some of the other stories people have shared on this board, and know that in many instances your family can be the best support during this time and will not think worse of you because of your hep B:

For the future, I think it would be good to see the gastroenterologist, particularly if they have good experience in Hep B. Otherwise you can see a hepatologist (liver specialist) which might be more specific. It is also advisable to get a fibroscan or ultrasound to see if your liver is damaged.

Take your time during this period. It can be very overwhelming and it’s important to be kind to yourself.

All the best,
Thomas

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Thank you Thomas for the feedback. Really appreciated. I am curious about something: How can so much previous medical blood work and urine tests and colonoscopies not reveal any indication of potential foreign virus like hep b in my system? Might this suggest a possible low viral load (I’m afraid to ask because I may get more disappointing news)?

Thank you.

Thomas,

Do you recommend I get vaccinated for hep A and C?

No problem, @hopefulone. We are all in this together!

You won’t see a lot of things in the blood unless you actually try to look for it. We didn’t know the Hep B virus even existed until about 60 years ago, even though people have had it for >80 million years (pretty much the whole of human pre/history).

The other thing is that hep b can be very sneaky and not cause any disease in a person for a long time. People may not feel any symptoms for 50 years after getting infected. So other tests may not be affected or changed by Hep B infection.

Yes, I think you should consider Hep A vaccination because you don’t want to risk the additional stress on your liver from a severe Hep A infection. This is something to discuss with your health provider if it is recommended for your specific situation. There is unfortunately no vaccine for Hep C at the moment.

Thomas

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To Thomas and hopefulone, this topic is of high interest to me. I’m still researching my results have also engaged the hep org in this country and more. Not since my tiny childhood has anyone ever taken time to discuss the results, I found out by the insulting nature my haematologist spoke and less treated me.

Greetings

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I’m sorry to hear about your experiences with the health system @19Kaipe59, but I am glad that you are finding this discussion useful.

Yours sincerely,
Thomas

Im koobi from texas and i was born with it as well

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Welcome to the forum, @Ardi0033. I hope you find this site useful and find the support you need here.

Thomas

Dear Thomas, your empathy I appreciate deeply. However, at our given era you should not apologize for your colleagues narrow-mindedness, they need to ask themselves “why practise medicine when one prejudges?”

Hippocratic oath, we all ones students in various medical professions have sworn and yet was it all in vain?

Another Sunday night pondering,

Till later.

Hello house,
Was diagnosed of hbv last year, got to know when I was asked to donate blood for my wife. went for test, and did several tests like liver, and hbv tests, my doctor said I shouldn’t bother to start treatment since my viral load is low 570. This few months I’ve been feeling pain in my right tummy, weakness and slight backache. I want to go for another test but it’s on the high side but I want to use herbal if anyone can prescribe, I heard camel urine and black seeds can help.

Dear @Babson,

Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing your story. It must have been a shock to find out this way about your status. If you are having symptoms, you should definitely visit your doctor to find out what is going on.

It is also advisable to get a liver specialist to keep you under monitoring, as the virus can reactivate without warning. They will also be able to assess your liver damage over time (for example, using fibroscan) to make sure you are keeping healthy.

Regarding the use of herbal supplements, there are no proven supplements that can fight Hep B. Even more importantly, some of these supplements can even hurt your liver and make it fail (some people have died after taking them). Please take care and avoid taking these. There have been other discussions about these issues on the board here:

Hope this helps,
Thomas

Hi Babson, welcome to the hepbcommunity.org! So glad you found us. I echo what Thomas just wrote. But want to add a stronger word of caution against trying alternative remedies like camel urine and “black seeds” (not sure what this refers to). Please know that there are many unethical people out trying to make a quick dollar on people like us who are eager to “cure” ourselves of hep b. As Thomas already wrote (and he’s a highly trained scientist with a PhD who specialized in researching hepatitis B), there are no approved herbal remedies to cure hep b … and many alternative treatments out there are fake medicine and could actually do worse damage.

The best thing you can do is to find a knowledgeable health care provider who truly understands hep b and how to monitor your liver health for maximum health and longevity. And keep asking questions on this forum to benefit from the collective wisdom of everyone participating. Always, Joan

Do not play with your medication because you can become resistant to the drugs. There are only a few drugs that will stop the virus damaging your liver. I have been on medication for years and read other’s stories. There is no side effects with this medication. Please go back to doctor. Your liver could be getting worse.

Dear Babson

Can you please describe a little more you situation ? From your message I understand that initially you diagnosed with HEP B and after some months the virus couldn’t be detected any more? I am right ? And after one year some symptoms started again ?
My doctor says to me that the liver desnt make pain, it is more bowel pain. Personally i have a pain in my belly at the right side more than 2 week now.
P.

Does anybody know if the pain at the right side of the belly is a common symptom for Hepatitis ? In my case this pain is quite aggressive and doesn’t go away . If I run or push myself it is getting bigger , i understand that there must be some inflammation .
From the bibliography and from what my Doctor says it is rare to have pain at this early stage and generally to chronic Hep B. The truth is that this pain has started to affect me physiologically anymore, it insist 1 month now.
As somebody mentioned in the forum even the Specialists doctors they don’t know well this disease and how to advise the patient .