Is weight loss common with Hep B?

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luckyman316
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   Posted 1/2/2014 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Just curious. I'm getting conflicting answers. One person tells me it's stress, another said they lost weight when they got it, another said it might be something more serious.
 
Went from 212lbs-192lbs very quoickly in August-September (right when I got Hep B). The weight never came back and have been very concerned because I noticed I lost a lot of meat/muscle on my legs and those were always my trademark -- went from filling out a size 38-32 in my legs to barely having any legs in a size 36-32 now.
 
Granted, I wanted to lose weight but not this way (plus I'm weak).
 
I'm seeing doctor on Monday to express my concerns. What should I ask him?

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/2/2014 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
My mom lost a lot of muscle mass in addition to weight due to her Hepatitis B. When we questioned the doctors, they said...the more the disease progresses the more muscles mass decreases. I "think" it has something to do with the cirrohsis of the liver, but I am not sure how to explain it in more detail. However, since you have just been diagnosed, I am surprised that you would already be loosing muscle mass. Do you think you may have a decreased appetite due to just getting your diagnosis? Sometimes anxiety/worrying causes people to have no appetite.

Post Edited (Worried daughter2) : 1/2/2014 2:42:42 PM (GMT-7)


luckyman316
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   Posted 1/2/2014 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Worried Daughter. I'm really hoping it's not Cirrohsis of any sort. Granted, I found out about the Hep B in August (ironically, the weight loss happened rapidly from September-August). Yes, I lost appetite from it but that has pretty much since come back almost completely. Hopefully, that is what it is...

My worries are that I had this virus prior to me finding out, or even for a few years (cause I never did a lot of doctor's visits unless I felt sick) and I've done some good drinking while I had this. Guess I'll have to ask my doctor on Monday.

Who knows, maybe I'll luck out and the blood test will reveal I cleared the virus :)

MamaLama
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   Posted 1/2/2014 8:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucky Man, keep us posted after the doc sees you. I'd want to know what my status was, whether I had cleared the virus, if I was contagious, what constituted an emergency or need for additional intervention. And what additional tests and routine check ups were needed going forward. Hopefully you don't have much damage at this point. I'd lay off the alcohol...period. The liver is very likely to be damaged by alcohol use.

Best,
MamaLama
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


Partner received liver transplant May 1, 2011, Jackson Memorial, Miami, FL

luckyman316
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   Posted 1/3/2014 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, I'll keep you posted. Now I'm really worried about Cirrohsis. Majority of my drinking came April/May/June this year (It was quite a lot to "have a good time") and ironically, I started to feel odd in July. I'll be asking my GI doc for the ultrasound at this point to rule out any major damage. I'm surprised he told me I could drink a beer a day and I'd "be fine" based on my test results. Regardless, no more drinking for me. Hoping my liver regenerates and my virus clears -- though people have suggested this is a chronic infection.

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't remember if you have mentioned how long its been since you think you may of contracted Hepatitis B? In the meanwhile, I would push for a referral to a hepatologist. This type of doctor would be able to address your issues and concerns better than a GI doctor. Unless your GI doctor specializes in the liver. Also, I would push to have am ultrasound while your waiting to find out if your hepatitis B is chronic. I am with the mindset to be agressive...even if your not chronic. I am only speaking from experience of being a caregiver to my mom. From the time she found out she was hepatitis B positive she was monitored extremely closely. Everyday, I am thankful for her aggressive GI/hepatologist and her fantastic liver transplant team...and her amazing donor and donor family.

luckyman316
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   Posted 1/3/2014 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not know when I contracted it. I only know of when I was diagnosed with it officially, which is August. I "suspect" I may have gotten this in either June or July though, either on a road trip, a barber, a dentist needle or from allergy testing -- July being the likely case with these last 2 scenarios since I've never had all these weird symptoms before in my entire life nor were my mother or father Hep B nor have I done anything risky to give myself Hep B (Strongly against drugs so no sharing of needles, unprotected sex once in my life, usually very clean except for the drinks I've had here and there which weren't out of control).

Yes, I am going to be aggressive with him when I go there on Monday. If anything, maybe everything comes back normal and I have a better piece of mind.

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes...hoping that all test results come back normal/negative and this will all be a thing of the past. Since its only been since July/August time frame...there may be a good chance your body will fight off the virus. Fingers crossed!!! Please update us after your Monday appt.

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/3/2014 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
That is my hope too, though someone on another forum suggested it was an old chronic infection because my eAntigen is negative. Also my viral load was in 5 million and they said this is what happens over the years that is slowly goes up... now, I believe they may be wrong as my viral load went from a few thousand to a few million in a matter of months.

For whatever reason, I get the sneaking suspicion that I'm virus free but the damage was done and now I have a long road to recovery. Just me feelings.... I'll cross my fingers. Has anyone mentioned that they cleared the virus longer than 6 months time? Every day seems to be a struggle but less so than before.

For numbers sake, here is what happened the last 2 tests:

Protein, Total, Serum: 7.3 g/dL
Albumin, Serum: 4.3 g/dL
Bilirubin, Total: 0.6 mg/dL
Bilirubin, Direct: 0.15 mg/dL
Alkaline, Phosphatase: 59 IU/L

These numbers have gone down over the months:
AST (SGOT): 42 -- Previous was 77 at start and then decreased to 53 before it got to this number
ALT (SGPT): 90 -- Previous was 127 to start and then 119 before it got to this number

Unfortunately, these numbers have gone up:
HBV IU/mL: 5,635,700 IU/mL (previously 272,980)
log10 HBV IU/mL: 6.751 log10IU/mL (previously 5.436)
HBV Copies/mL: 32,799,800 Copies/mL (previously 1,588,800)
log10 HBV copies/mL: 7.516 log10copy/ML (previously 6.201)

May I add that the last test did not report the eAntigen as being negative? As a matter of fact, it didn't report it at all...

Post Edited (luckyman316) : 1/3/2014 1:23:04 PM (GMT-7)


Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I knew more about what the blood tests mean, to help you. I think there's a test for the Hepatitis B amtigen, Hepatitis B antibody and the Hepatitis B Quantative DNA...is this the test you are referring to? In addition to requesting an ultrasound you may as well as to see if your doctor can test for Hepatitis C and A.
When my mom was diagnosed, she never had symptoms...the only thing she had were extremely itchy legs with a mild rash...she went to a dermatologist who couldn't figure out what was causing this rash. The dermatologist referred my mom to a rhumetologist, the rhumetologist ran a bunch.of blood tests including a hepatitis panel and so, it was discovered my mom had hepatitis B. Ever since that day, she was seen by a GI, hepatologist and transplant team. I haven't met a lot of people with Hepatitis B...many of the people I know have Hepatitis C.
How are your liver enzymes? Alt, AST, ALK phosphate, GGT, bilirubin??? Are your platelets low? Another thing to look at is your Albumin? Is that low?
On Monday, go with a ton of questions and have your Dr. be aggressive. As always, I wish you much luck :-)

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 1:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I just saw your updated post after I sent mine regarding what your liver enzyme levels are...LOL! I guess we were typing/submitting at the same time.hahaha!!!

It looks like your liver enzymes AST and Alt are still a bit elevated, but the downward trend seems positive. Your ALK Phosphate and bilirubin are well within normal range along with the albumin.

In regards to the Hepatitis B panel...it definitely seems as the virus is active and replicating.

There is a medication called Hepsera you may want to suggest to your doctor. It helps supress the Hepatitis B virus and put it into a dormant state (again, I am probably not explaining it correctly), it can't reverse the damage that the Hepatitis B has done to the liver, but definitely mention HEPSERA to your doctor.

Oh...found this...
Hepsera (adefovir)
used to treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Hepsera is a nucleotide analog. It works by slowing the growth of the virus. It is not a cure for hepatitis B.

Post Edited (Worried daughter2) : 1/3/2014 1:42:23 PM (GMT-7)


luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/3/2014 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
So would you suggest this is a chronic infection as well or does it being active mean it's a new/acute virus?

Last I talked to my doctor, he mentioned Viread to me if I'm a chronic carrier. I'll talk about HEPSERA as well. I guess he's just waiting those 6 months and that's it.

Let's just say I NEVER felt the way I feel now, so I'm still suspecting it's a new infection but who knows now.

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately, I don't know (sorry). I would assume that its active given the increase in the numbers however, your doctor would be best to determine if its acute or chronic.

Viread is basically the same as Hepsera. They both treat chronic hepatitis B. Sometimes, your body builds a resistance to one medication, and you can be switched to the other. But I think that could possibly happen over time. I think the goal of these medications are to put the chronic virus into a dormant state and try to stop futher damage to the liver. It's not a cure, but it definitely is a very helpful medication.

What made your doctor suspicious to run a Hepatitis B panel?

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/3/2014 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
That is a very good question, one I do not have an answer to. Let me back track a bit...

I was going to physical therapy for a neck/back issue I was having. Sometime during the physical therapy, I started to become dizzy and nearly fainted. Ironically, this was about 2 weeks after allergy testing and 1 week after dental work. It kept happening, at work, at events (forget about events now), in movie theaters, etc. I went to the doctors a few weeks later and they did a CBC where it came back my liver enzymes were mildly elevated, triglycerides were mildly elevated and my cholesterol was borderline high (so it was close to normal).

I naturally thought it was my cholesterol so went and got checked there again... they drew more blood for testing and then gave me a tetnus shot. Called me in and said I needed to come back, there was a "mix up in the lab". Drew more blood again and that time told me I was having weird results. First test showed I *had* Hep B but cleared it but second test showed the virus active in me, third test showed active.... that's when they sent me to the GI in the same office to get the HBV Panel done.

Oh yeah, and I still get those faint like feelings and have no answers as to what is causing them and suddenly have had a weird fear of heights and feel off balance like I am going to fall, etc. (I never had this before, even when I was on top of San Jacinto Mountain and at the Grand Canyon -- even in June when I went up to a large overlook in PA)

Post Edited (luckyman316) : 1/3/2014 2:25:12 PM (GMT-7)


Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
So...your doctor never initially ordered the Hepatitis B tests...it was due to a lab error that they were run? If so, its a blessing that it happened, this way you are aware that you have/had exposure to Hepatitis B.

Not sure why.your experiencing the fainting like feelings. You may want to ask your doctor to refer you to a cardiologist to check out your heart. Especially, since your cholesterol and triglycerides were slightly elevated.

Sometimes primary care offices don't know exactly which Hepatitis panel.test need to be run. That's why its to see a hepatologist...its their area of expertise. Also, the hepatologist can send you for scans (ultrasound, CT or Mri) as well as discuss treatment options (Hepsera, Viread, etc).

its possible that you contracted hepatitis B via the places you mentioned,and Hepatitis B can be transmitted via sexual contact, unlike Hepatitis C. Make sure that you are careful until you get your final results.

**David**
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   Posted 1/3/2014 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Let me correct one thing Wd2 said. You can get Hep C from sex, it's just not as easy as from Hep B.
nullum beneficium impunitum...

Worried daughter2
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   Posted 1/3/2014 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
@ David...that's what I meant. Sorry it didn't come across that way :-)

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/3/2014 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup, they initially thought there was a mix up in the lab showing I had this virus. I had a good range of symptoms right after I found out (loss of appetite, rapid weight loss -- though loss of muscle/meat on my bones is more recent and extreme tiredness. Friends said I even looked sick)

I'm going to ask about the Hepatologist on Monday and if they have any reccommendations. My GI is a liver specialist. Last time he mentioned "If I suspected liver cancer, I'd have to stick you with a needle for a liver biopsy". Yeah, I'm trying to avoid all this obviously.

That was the first place they sent me, a Cardio doctor. They found nothing with the stress test, 2d Cardiogram or holter monitor. I do have a 6 month follow up with them on Tuesday. Wondering what I should ask them. They wanted a CBC from doctor, but I'm not sure they will get those results within a day.

Yes, my main suspects are the dentist (He admitted he has two "bad Hep B" patients he treated but sterilizes everything), the same doctor with the allergy testing (it's odd that the "lab" found it) or the barber place (next to a trailer park so who knows what or who goes there). If sexually transmitted, it would have been 2011. However, I don't recall having symptoms after dating the girl and I'd imagine I'd have symptoms if I had contracted it then. Part of me wants to ask her if she has it but I'm afraid it will open up a can of worms... however, as far as I know, nobody I know or have dated has it.

Post Edited (luckyman316) : 1/3/2014 3:38:10 PM (GMT-7)


luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
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   Posted 1/3/2014 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks David. This has been a great support forum so far. Appreciate all knowledge and info you guys can share.

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/6/2014 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
So I just got back from the doctor's office, with a good positive experience. He mentioned he did not want me to go to a Hepatologist yet. He said he has seen cases where people have cleared this virus up to a year after getting it and would rather have me wait. He also does not suspect any liver issues with me and told me based upon the numbers he has seen, this is an acute infection (sneaky suspicion they know more than they are telling me at this point --- as in something happened at that office before this which caused me to get this).

He said my eAntigen was Negative and my anti-bodies were positive (when this all started, both were negative - I guess because I had a viral load still, he had to say I was positive for the virus but I suspect my viral load went up before I developed the antibodies for this virus). I asked what are the chances my body will clear this and he said 90% chance it will if it hasn't already, but less than 50% chance it won't. I also asked to see any bloodwork I had done from when I was younger to see if there was a chance I had this all my life and they said that after 1996, they never did any bloodwork but prior to that they would have to dig through basement archives

I asked him to check a few more things with bloodwork (vitamin D levels, among other things) and asked if I can get an ultra sound done. Doctor said based upon my tests and the fact that my liver enzymes keep going down, he's not worried about any liver issues but ordered one anyway for my own piece of mind smurf

I'll update more once the results are "official" this week when I get them back. Praying I get a little note of "Negative for Hepatitis B" in the mail. What was odd was the doctor did not even say he wanted me to come in for a follow up after he was done with me, I had to ask him and he said "yes, 3 months, no need for any shorter followups"

themiz
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   Posted 1/6/2014 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Luckyman,
I don't know anything about Hep B, but wanted to let you know I am reading your posts. Good going on asking for the US. I am not one to invite trouble, but some things are just a good idea. Supportive hugs sent your way for that negative result. I will watch for your updates.
themiz

Wife of themister, a fine man living with ESLD.
Eradicated Hep C geno 3a SVR July 2012
Transplant list, Mayo AZ- July 11, 2013

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Kahlil Gibran

**David**
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   Posted 1/6/2014 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
If I were in your shoes, there's no way I would hold off going to a hepatologist. Where's the harm in seeing an expert. The worst thing that could happen is that they would confirm your docs conclusions.
nullum beneficium impunitum...

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/6/2014 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
themiz, thanks and like the screen name.. assuming it in relation to the wrestler, The Miz? If so then AWESOME :)

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/6/2014 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
David, I will be considering this option. Let me see what my results are first when they come back and how the ultrasound goes and take it from there.

luckyman316
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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 1/7/2014 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I wanted to update you guys some more on this. I had a follow up at a cardio doctor today, who got a copy of my bloodwork (CBC among other things). Mostly everything fell within normal range. However, my ALT went up to 105 and my AST went up to 47. So this did not reduce but did not go up a lot. *However* there was no mention of Hep B being positive (I'll wait until my official doctor letter in the mail again).

Now, my Total Cholesterol went down a lot (I was in 260 and now 1t 185) and my good cholesterol raised, plus my bad cholesterol has gone down since I last had this checked but still not within levels.

On top of this, the other most important part.... my Vitamin D levels were severely low. 14.9 when it should be between 30-100. On top of this, I discovered I had a very low testosterone count too (251 when it should be between 348-1197 -- ideally 700).

Thankfully I started taking Vitamin D3 over a week ago, but I believe I'll need to take more than the recommended dose by my doctor of 1,000 IU a day (Someone I know suggested start with 10,000 IU and reduce it after 2 weeks).

Anyway, wanted to share since this community has helped me a bit as well.

Post Edited (luckyman316) : 1/7/2014 7:25:19 PM (GMT-7)

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