What are the signs and symptoms of hepatitis B?

Symptoms may or may not develop. For acute hepatitis B, there are three stages each with differing symptoms. 
The first phase of acute hepatitis B is called the prodromal phase which may include symptoms of: 
  • Fever 
  • Joint pain or arthritis 
  • Rash 
  • Edema (swelling) 
The preicteric phase is the second phase, symptoms may include: 
  • Fatigue 
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Anorexia 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Abdominal pain or diarrhea 
  • Dark urine and light stool color 
The third phase is the icteric phase; symptoms may include: 
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and white of eyes) 
  • Anorexia may worsen 
  • Irritated skin lesions may develop 
Most individuals with chronic hepatitis B are asymptomatic. If the infection worsens some symptoms that may appear are analogous with liver failure. As chronic hepatitis B can progress to cirrhosis. If diagnostic test results show the presence of HBsAg, which is the surface antigen for hepatitis B, for longer than six months than an individual most likely has chronic hepatitis B. 
Other symptoms may include:
  • Jaundice 
  • Enlarged spleen 
  • Fluid retention in the abdomen 
  • Extreme swelling of the extremities (legs and feet)
  • Encephalopathy: the liver does not function properly and toxins build up in the bloodstream and affect brain function
hepatitis b liver damage

  • "What You Need to Know About Hepatitis B." Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Web 16 Jun 2018. 
  • "Hepatitis B." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 27 Oct. 2017. Web 16 Jun 2018. 
  • "Viral Hepatitis." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 May 2018.Web 16 Jun 2016.



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