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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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Here is the story. I got 1st hep b vaccine at age 14. Nothing

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Here is the story.
I got 1st hep b vaccine at age 14. Nothing happened. I Got 2nd vaccine after a month. Then i got jaundice 1 month after 2nd vaccine. My Doctor diagnosed me, and said don't take 3rd vaccine. 2 months later i got cured and tested negative. My doc said you completely recovered now. 3 years later ( at age 17 ) i got nausea due to bad food and tested hep b out of fear. I got tested negative. Then i strongly believed hep b is completely gone.

Now I am 26. I went for a dental surgery, and i ticked for a previous hep b medical history in their general paper work. They tested me and my doc says i am positive hep b. She says i might be chronic carrier and so visit a hepatologist. I am so scared now, I couldn't concentrate on anything. How can i test positive, when my body fought against that virus in past and successfully tested negative. Which result is right and which result is wrong. Will I still have any antibodies left or virus left in my body that made the latest test positive? Does a person who defeated this virus can get infected again?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hi and thank you for your question.

First of all, if you had recovered from hep B, no you would not be able to get it again. I wonder if the test that you received was positive because you have built immunity? We would need the name of the test you were given in order to tell you that.

Not all doctor's are specialist and understand the various test (especially a dental surgeon) and this may be why they are sending you to a Hepatologist. They can order the proper test and give you a definitive answer.

If you are not having symptoms, you are probably going to be ok, either way. In most cases those that develop severe problems from chronic Hep B have an underlying immune system problem (such as HIV) or are abusing their liver by use of alcohol or drugs excessively. If you do not have a immune disorder or engage in substance abuse, you are less likely to have problems even if you are diagnosed with Hep B.

I have a great article for you that explains all the details, including the names of the tests you should have if you have had Hep B in the past. Click HERE.

I'm providing you with this chart and information about the HEP B tests, since you haven't mentioned the names of the test you already have. If you have the names and more details, I'll be glad to help you interpret them.

I hope this information relieves you from you fear that you will have a severe illness just because you might test positive for Hep B.

I'll be standing by if you have more questions. So please don't rate my answer if you have more questions, just reply to this post so that I can continue to help you. If this is enough information for you at this time, then please feel free to rate my answer positively. If you need more info in order to rate me positively, again, please reply with your questions so that I can provide you with more information.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi stacy,

The doc didn't do panel test. She did an ANA test. What is this test for hep b and what values does this test bear? hat can I interpret with those ANA values for HEP B?

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hi there.

I'm confused now, because the ANA test (antinuclear antibody) test is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders and is most often used as one of the test to diagnose Lupus. In other words, it doesn't test for Hep B. So maybe you misunderstood your doctor and you do not have Hep B? What do you think? Is there something I am missing that does not show up on your question page above as far as test results?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Susan,


 


This is story in chronical order


14 yrs 3 months: Got 1st vaccine (At mass vaccination camp in school)


14 yrs 4 months: Got 2nd vaccine


14 yrs 5 months: Got Jaundice and treated for 2 months in specialized hosp


14 yrs 6 months - 9 months: Got blood test and ultra sound of liver atleast 3 times every month to re confirm I am completely cured. They confirmed i am negative.


 


26 yrs: This dentist gave my blood sample to an internal medicine beside her facility and comes back saying that other doc confirmed you have chronic hep b. When I asked personally she said she did some ANA test and it turned positive. She didn't talk about panel tests. But I am afraid looking at her confidence. The dentist says the internal medicine is very sure you have chronic hep b, and you need to run couple of more tests to confirm if you are a carrier. they never said what tests they ran.


 


So I am going to a gastrologist/internal medicine tomorrow to run hep b panel tests.


i am getting married in 6 weeks and this is heart breaking for me. i can't stop crying. I read every possible article online. If this internal medicine is so true, how will my life be after 10 to 20 years.


1.) Eventually can my antibodies kill existing virus?


2.) lets imagine all that good stuff im visiting and monitoring my disease with a hepatologist every year. i am worried about my life in 50's 60's and 70's as i turn old. Because those are the ages people die with some long term problems. i can't leave my partner alone and pass away in that time frame :-(


This breaks my heart


 

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Let me ask you one thing now, how do you feel now? Are you sick or jaundiced?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am super fine.


I do yoga, jog 3 miles in 45 min


i party with friends


play soft ball.


i am just like a normal person. My digestion is perfect too

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I was working on a another question.

I think it is just likely that you are a carrier, and that if you continue your healthy lifestyle, and do not drink alcohol or take excess of supplement or drugs that put a burden on your liver, that you will be fine, and live a healthy and long life. Unfortunately, the information out there doesn't talk to much about the people that are carriers or have built immunity that do fine. As a nurse, I have known nurses and seen patients that are Hep B positive that live out a healthy life. Of course, I can't guarantee that, but nothing in life is guaranteed! I'm not just saying this in an attempt to make you feel better, I really do believe this. You don't have the risk factors that the people that go on to develop severe problems have. You are not even sick. I have a feeling you will feel a lot better after you see the doctor tomorrow. I would appreciate it if you let me know how that goes. Please do reply though if there is something else I can help you with regarding this right now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Susan,


 


I am wondering about two questions


 


1.) Can the virus re surface once I tested negative in childhood? Is it negative because it went to a dormant stage in my childhood?


2.) or is this a new acute infection


3.) can the antibodies in chronic patients remove virus eventually in next few years, if i monitor and make sure virus is not growing anymore?


 

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
This is not a new acute infection, unless you had been exposed again.

You will show positive for Hep B on certain test for the rest of your life, because you were once infected.

Something is not right about the information your doctor (the dentist ) gave you, because:

How will I know when I have recovered from an "acute" hepatitis B infection?

Once your doctor has confirmed through a blood test that you have successfully cleared the virus from your system and developed the protective antibodies (HBsAb+), you will be protected from any future hepatitis B infection and are no longer contagious to others.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with chronic
hepatitis B?

If you test positive for the hepatitis B virus for longer than 6 months, this indicates that you have a chronic hepatitis B infection. You should make an appointment with a hepatologist (liver specialist) or gastroenterologist familiar with hepatitis B. This specialist will order blood tests and possibly a liver ultrasound to evaluate your hepatitis B status and the health of your liver. Your doctor will probably want to see you at least once or twice a year to monitor your hepatitis B and determine if you would benefit from treatment.

Most people chronically infected with hepatitis B can expect to live long, healthy lives. Once you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, the virus may stay in your blood and liver for a lifetime. It is important to know that you can pass the virus along to others, even if you don’t feel sick. This is why it’s so important that you make sure that all close household contacts and sex partners are tested and vaccinated against hepatitis B.

 

The above is taken from this page: http://www.hepb.org/patients/living_with_hepatitis_b.htm#ques2

 

I have to be away from the computer for just about 30 minutes. Please let me continue with you, after you read this info, I'll be back to check for your reply at that tie.

 

 

Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 8 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Susan,


 


I saw my results yesterday. I consulted gastrologist. I am tested surface antigen positive and antibody negative. So doc said you are a chronic hep b since last 14 years. I don't even know it.


But he said my ALT levels are good, and I am a healthy carrier and i don't need any treatment.


 


1.) How long can I stay like this without my virus getting replicated? I am like this since 13 years. Will i have some changes in my viral count and what could trigger it?


 


2.) Do people normally stay a healthy carrier throughout their lives? Theoretically i read it might increase. But how realistic is it that viral count increases?


 


3.) If I am on medication due to increased viral load in future does my virus get used to the medicine and starts not responding to medicine?

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hi. That is good news, and what I suspected you might be told. I am working at another job right now, and I want to be thorough in answering your questions, so I will get back to you a little later this afternoon, if you don't mind. Thank you for the positive rating, and I will get back to you in a few hours.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Susan,


 


Can you please let me know additional info. on my question

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Yes, i don't know if you were able to see my last reply, but I am working in a clinical situation right now and will answer you after I am off later today, I promise and I will answer your specific questions that you asked.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.

How long can I stay like this without my virus getting replicated? I am like this since 13 years. Will i have some changes in my viral count and what could trigger it?

No one is able to foresee your future or know whether or not you will see changes in your viral count. But, statistically we do know that people with your profile (that is, if you are not drinking alcohol frequently and using drugs, if you are, it will be important for you to make life style changes) are more likely to stay in a good condition of health than those that do, and there are several reasons for this (I discuss this further below.) The people that are affected (develop cirrhosis and cancer) due to Chronic Hepatitis B (HBV), are the people that are unaware of their infection, so they do not get check ups and they do not live a healthy life style. Since you know that you have Hep B, you are 'ahead of the game', and less likely to develop any complications (as long as you see your health care provider as recommended, which is yearly, and follow recommended treatment, if ever required) and make any needed lifestyle changes.

Clinical trials for new approaches to treat hepatitis B, such as the use of antiviral drugs in combination are continually underway. So improved methods of defending against the HBV virus will continue to be made available in our life times.

You may never have a change in your viral count.

Do people normally stay a healthy carrier throughout their lives? Theoretically i read it might increase. But how realistic is it that viral count increases

Some people stay healthy while being an HBV carrier throughout their lives.

People that do require treatment for their HBV slow the progression of the liver disease and some even completely get rid of the virus, we know now. But because you are not showing signs of damage, you are not even a candidate for the treatment and may never need it (treatment can have side effects such as flu like symptoms although improvements are being made in the treatment too)

Again, regarding a 'viral count increase' or 'reactivation' of the virus - this is seen most often following alcohol or drug use (or in those with impaired immunity – impaired immunity occurs with HIV, or in those receiving cancer chemotherapy, most commonly). Alcohol and drug abuse increases liver damage and increases the ALT, for example. So you want to prevent this from happening by not drinking alcohol.

Additionally, if you became infected with Hepatitis D (HDV), you would have an increased risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer it has been found.

Here are the lifestyle recommendations to keep your immunity strong:

1. Make sure you find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about hepatitis B. A "liver

specialist" is a doctor who specializes in liver disease. They usually have the most current

information about hepatitis B testing, management and treatments.

2. Get regular medical check-ups with your liver specialist or family doctor. This

should be at least once or twice a year, or more if needed. Make sure you see your doctor

on a regular schedule whether you decide to start treatment or not. Ask lots of questions

and get copies of all of your blood tests.

3. Avoid alcohol or strictly limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Medical studies show

that alcohol is very damaging to the liver.

4. Avoid smoking or stop smoking because this is also very harmful to the liver.

5. If you are a pregnant woman, tell your doctor that you have chronic hepatitis B.

Make sure your doctor gives the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin

(HBIG) to your newborn baby immediately after delivery. This is very important because

if your newborn is not protected within the first 12 hours of life, there is a 90% chance

your baby will become chronically infected with hepatitis B. With proper treatment, there

is more than a 95% chance your baby will be protected!

6. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Although there is no specific diet for chronic hepatitis B, it

is always good to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, limit fat and junk foods, and

drink plenty of water.

7. Talk to your doctor before trying any herbs, vitamins, or fad diets. Many herbs and

fad diets can hurt your liver. Be very careful and talk to your doctor first before trying

alternative treatments. Some herbs can even interfere with the medicines prescribed by

your doctor, so you need to be cautious.

8. Have your partner and other loved ones tested and vaccinated for hepatitis B.

9. Avoid spreading your blood to others. Don't share sharp objects like razors, earrings,

toothbrushes, or nail clippers.

11. Avoid illegal street drugs.

12. Get the hepatitis A vaccine to protect yourself from another serious liver infection



If I am on medication due to increased viral load in future does my virus get used to the medicine and starts not responding to medicine?

The treatment that is used to decrease the HBV acts by boosting your immune system. Your immune system kills the virus. So it is not like antibiotic treatment that people can become resistant to or stop responding to (viruses are treated differently that bacterial infections)


References: http://report.nih.gov/NIHfactsheets/ViewFactSheet.aspx?csid=125


http://www.hepb.org/patients/living_with_hepatitis_b.htm#ques12


I think I answered all your questions, but let me know if there are more!

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I was wondering I answered all your questions. I may have told you more than you wanted to hear! But felt it was important for you to understand how HBV can effect you and what you can do to prevent certain problems. Let me know if so, if not, I wish you the best, and hope you have a nice holiday and New Year.

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