Hepatitis B Symptoms
How Long Do Acute Symptoms Last?For most people, acute hepatitis B symptoms gradually get better within a couple of months. These people will have no long-lasting liver damage and will recover completely. Yet, for some people, the body is not able to completely get rid of the virus. These people end up having a long-term liver infection. This is known as chronic hepatitis B.
Acute hepatitis B will lead to a chronic (long-term) liver infection in 30 percent to 90 percent of people who were infected as infants or children and 6 percent to 10 percent of those infected as adolescents and adults. Chronic infection can lead to chronic liver disease, liver scarring, and liver cancer.
Chronic Hepatitis B Symptoms
For some people with chronic hepatitis B, the scarring within the liver can get bad and can interfere with, or even prevent, blood from flowing freely through the liver. This makes it harder for the liver to do its job. As the hepatitis continues, more scars are formed and can begin to join together. When many of these scars form together, it is called cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis means that large areas of the liver have become very badly scarred -- usually permanently. This causes the liver to shrink and harden.
There are a number of cirrhosis symptoms that can occur as a result of chronic hepatitis B. Some of these symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain (or stomach pain)
- Spider-like blood vessels (spider angiomas) that develop on the skin.