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For an acute hepatitis B infection, there is generally no treatment besides rest and managing any symptoms – the body will fight off the virus on its own. For chronic hepatitis B, there is still no complete cure. However, most people with chronic hepatitis B can expect to live a long, healthy life. There are treatments that help slow the progression of liver disease by slowing down the virus, although not all people with chronic hepatitis B need treatment, unless hepatitis B virus is produced, then less damage is done to the liver.
Your doctor will probably want to see you at least once or twice a year to monitor your hepatitis B and the health of your liver. He or she can determine if you would benefit from treatment based on your blood tests and physical examination.
The following are five drugs. for chronic hepatitis B. These are the American names; they may have different names in your country: Entecavir (Baraclude®), peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys®), Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A®), Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV®) and Adefovir dipivoxil (Hepsera®). These drugs slow down the hepatitis B virus and reduce potential liver damage. In rare cases, they may even get rid of the virus completely.
People with a chronic hepatitis B infection should also make lifestyle choices that help them live healthy and protect their liver. They should avoid alcohol and smoking. Both of these can be extremely harmful to a liver already infected with hepatitis B.
People with a chronic hepatitis B should also talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated against hepatitis A, another virus which attacks the liver and can be especially harmful for someone with chronic hepatitis B.
There is no special diet for people with chronic hepatitis B. It is best at a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in fat and includes plenty of vegetables. You should avoid eating raw shellfish since they can contain bacteria that are harmful to your liver.