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  • My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

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    Old 10-29-2009, 06:30 AM   #1
    rydog23
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    My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    A couple of weeks ago my wife and I had physicals at our family doctor for the first time in a long time. My wife's workup came back normal with the liver enzymes (alt) slightly elevated around 51. The doctor said it's nothing to worry about.

    Then, a few days later, she had blood taken for a life insurance exam by her employer. They declined the application due to her having Hepatitis B. She asked them to send her the results so we can show her family doctor and move on from there.

    My wife is Vietnamese, 28 years old and in superb health. We don't know when she got the virus, but suspect it was many years ago or possibly from her mother. She moved here around 1994. We both were shocked about the news since she is always eating really healthy and has had no liver symptoms until the slightly high ALT reading of 51 recently.

    Both of our immediate reactions was to research about Hepatitis B online and of course we immediately read it can cause liver cancer and death. We both are worried but also are trying to remain positive about this disease. Is there any information that would make us feel better about this news? Thanks for any help!

     
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    Old 11-02-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Well, my wife went to have blood drawn today. I tried to call them before they closed to check the results and they said they have to do more tests to fully diagnose. I'm guessing the first round of testing wasn't enough for some reason. Ugh. Now we have to wait until our Thursday follow up before we know what is going on. What I don't understand the most about this whole situation is why wasn't she screened and vaccinated when she immigrated from Vietnam in 1994?

     
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    Old 11-03-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
    churchkp
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    There is a high rate of hepatitis B in the asian-american population (somewhere in the 10% range). It is not considered highly contagious. immigration screens for things like tiberculosis. They are not a health care provider for immigrant immunizations.

     
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    Old 11-05-2009, 12:26 AM   #4
    milesLove
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    First of all, pls really calm down. There are a few things for your wife to check: liver function, HBV-DNA. If the liver function is good, HBV-DNA is negative, she can live a normal and healthy life just as you do, it's no big deal. It will not have to lead to liver cancer (otherwise, 1/10 of Asian people have died from it). My grandma is 80 years old now, she looks healthier than many other ladies at her age!

     
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    Old 11-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Miles,

    Thanks for the uplifting reply. We just got the faxed physical results from the life insurance company after a whole week of trying to get them. Everything in the blood and urine is great except for these test results:

    SGOT (AST) 43 (normal range 0-41)
    SGPT (ALT) 50 (normal range 0-45)

    HBS-AG = positive
    HBE-AG = positive

    This is as far as the life insurance test went in regards to problems. No other details. We have a follow up today with her primary doctor to hopefully hear more details to her condition, treatment options, etc. Although as of this morning they hadn't completed their bloodwork tests and we still don't know what they are looking for and what is taking so long. Based on the test results above what are we to expect from here on out? Thanks again for everything.

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-08-2009 at 07:56 PM. Reason: needless quoting

     
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    Old 11-05-2009, 08:21 PM   #6
    milesLove
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    AST and ALT reflect the liver function. They are a bit high, see what the doctor suggests (it can be just "rest well, eat well, exercises" or have some treatment). HBS-AG = positive, HBE-AG = positive means that the virus are active and being reproduced. The HBV-DNA test will tell you more information. You may want to have the blood test too, see if you are infected. Normally, an adult's natural immune system has big chances to clear the virus and generate the anti-bodies by itself. If you are not infected, take the vaccine, you and your wife will still be good.

    Last edited by milesLove; 11-05-2009 at 08:23 PM.

     
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    Old 11-05-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Thanks again for the reply. We saw our family doctor tonight. I feel a little relieved after talking with her. She didn't seem overly concerned about my wife's health given her "hairline" elevated liver enzymes and overall great heath and appearance. We both are going to have more blood taken out tomorrow. Mine for the hbv test and hers for the hbv dna. We've also scheduled an ultrasound and a visit with a hepatologist. I'm hoping everything will go smoothly from here on out.

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-08-2009 at 07:56 PM. Reason: needless quoting

     
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    Old 11-08-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Update: I found out that I've become naturally immune to Hep B by fighting off the virus. We are still waiting for more blood test results, including DNA, an ultra-sound and a follow up with a hepatologist for my wife.

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-08-2009 at 07:56 PM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

     
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    Old 11-13-2009, 01:19 PM   #9
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Update: My wife's ultrasound results came back normal! Also, she is immune to Hep A and doesn't have Hep D. The only bad news was that her hbv dna levels are very high (more than 110,000,000/liter). We're seeing the liver specialist on Dec. 10th to evaulate her for treatment. I think overall we have more good news than bad.

     
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    Old 11-20-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
    rydog23
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Update: My wife saw the liver specialist today and he put her on Viread once a day. She's already nauseous from the medicine and has gone to bed early. Hopefully her body will adjust to the medicine and she'll get over the side effects. We are going to see him again in 3 months to re-check her blood results to see if the medicine has caused her dna levels to come down. He confirmed that there are no signs of serious liver disease and the goal is treatment to prevent future damage.

     
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    Old 11-20-2009, 11:16 PM   #11
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    It is most likely that your wife got infected as a child, or at birth from her infected mother (if her mother is alive, she may want to be checked for hepatitis B infection). Those infected as adults usually clear the virus, though some become chronically infected. Those infected as children or infants are much more likely become chronically infected. Blood to blood contact, sexual transmission, or mother to child during birth are the usual means that the virus spreads. It is endemic in Asia.

    Note that having had past hepatitis B infection makes you ineligible to donate blood in the US, even though you have cleared the infection.

    If she becomes pregnant, be sure that her doctors know about the hepatitis B infection, so that when the infant is born, the actions taken to reduce the risk of chronic infection are done (injection with hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine).

    Last edited by tjlhb; 11-20-2009 at 11:23 PM.

     
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    Old 11-21-2009, 01:20 AM   #12
    milesLove
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    rydog, thank you for the update, hope your wife will get better soon!

     
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    Old 05-11-2012, 05:04 AM   #13
    leyteboyz
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    Re: My wife was told she has Hepatitis B during life insurance testing

    Hello Rydog23...i've been reading your post about your wife....i just want to know the update, but you don't post anymore in this blog...i have same problem too i'm from philippines i've been in canada for 10 yrs i found out last year when i applied for life insurance and now i have special doctors for HEPA and i did a liver biopsy last month and i dont know what's the results yet...i'm 27 Y/O..thanks for your post i would like to hear any update about your wife..thanks "Gabriel"

     
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