Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B usually appear about three months after you've been infected and can range from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
Most infants and children with hepatitis B never develop signs and symptoms. The same is true for some adults.
When to see a doctor
Seek medical care if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.
If you know you've been exposed to hepatitis B, contact your doctor immediately. A preventive treatment may reduce the risk that the virus will infect your body. But the treatment must be given within 24 hours of exposure to the hepatitis B virus.
Sep. 01, 2011
- Perillo R. Hepatitis B and D. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Lok ASF, et al. Chronic hepatitis B: Update 2009. Hepatology. 2009;50:1.
- Hepatitis B FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/B/bFAQ.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- What I need to know about hepatitis B. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepb_ez/. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis B. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hepatitis-b/tab/glance. Accessed Aug. 1, 2011.
- Milk thistle. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/milkthistle/ataglance.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.