Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis

Fibromyalgia and Hepatitis: A Look At This Combination

The incidence of fibromyalgia and hepatitis is significantly higher in people with Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections than it is in the population at large. This serious and potentially fatal liver disease may be acute or chronic. It is now also suspected that it may be somehow tied to your risk of developing fibromyalgia.

A recent study followed 118 Hepatitis B patients. The subjects were divided into three groups:

  • Those who had undergone at least 3 months of antiretroviral therapy.
  • HBV carriers and those with chronic HBV.
  • The control group consisted of 60 people without HBV who were matched by age and gender.

HBV patients were found to have much higher serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase. These are two liver enzymes which can indicate liver damage. Additionally, symptoms which are characteristic of fibromyalgia were also found to be far more common in people with Hepatitis B.

Following up on this finding, the researchers discovered that fibromyalgia was much more prevalent among Hepatitis B patients. That could be accounted for by known factors. This led the researchers to conclude that Hepatitis B may be if not actually related to fibromyalgia, a significant predictor.

Hepatitis B treatment and prevention

Vaccinations are available for Hepatitis B which greatly reduce the risk of contracting the virus. However, if you haven’t been vaccinated against the disease and contract the virus, it can generally be treated. This may consist of interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) injections, antiviral medications. In some cases, where the disease is especially advanced, a liver transplant may be necessary.

If the infection is acute, the treatment may be nothing more than adequate hydration and nutrition to help your immune system fight the infection itself.

Hepatitis B is transmitted through bodily fluids and sexual transmission is especially common. If you have Hepatitis B, practice safe sex and inform your partners about your HBV status. Never share razors, toothbrushes or needles.

The most effective way to prevent transmission is to be vaccinated, but other prevention tips are:

  • Know your partner’s HBV status and practice safe sex, using a new condom every time
  • Be careful about tattoos and piercings
  • Don’t use recreational drugs

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