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Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Santa Monica, CA

Hepatitis can be the result of viruses, infection, toxic substances or autoimmune diseases. There are several types of hepatitis. It affects the liver, causing it to become inflamed, and some types can be highly contagious. Most hepatitis cases are caused by viruses, particularly type B, which causes chronic disease and is the most common cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

Hepatitis A also affects the liver, but unlike hepatitis B, which is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, hepatitis A is spread through fecal-oral transmission. Whereas hepatitis B cannot be spread by casual interactions with an infected person, hepatitis A can be transmitted through food prepared by an infected person. Poor sanitation and inadequate personal hygiene are breeding grounds for hepatitis A.

Testing for Hepatitis

A blood test can determine if you are immune to hepatitis or if you have the virus. There are a few different tests given to patients who may have the disease. Certain antibodies will be present in the blood if you have hepatitis.

In the case of hepatitis B, testing can reveal whether it is chronic or acute. A liver ultrasound test will show damage to the liver, and if there is cause, your doctor may do a liver biopsy. A small amount of the liver is excised and tested for damage.


Even though hepatitis A is seldom dangerous, it is possible. Usually, people recover fully after a few weeks of mild illness. Since there are no medications that eliminate the virus, it must run its course. However, your doctor can treat the symptoms. Rest and avoidance of alcohol are important in recovery. Hepatitis A is accompanied by nausea, which can make it difficult to keep food down. Plenty of fluids will help you keep hydrated and snacking during the day rather than eating large meals may help keep you nourished.

Hepatitis B can be treated within the first 12 hours of exposure by an antibody injection if you have not had a vaccination. This is a short-gap prevention, and patients are advised to get vaccinated for the virus at the same time if they have not received one before.

Acute hepatitis B infection can be short-lived, and treatment may not be necessary. Rest, proper nutrition and staying hydrated are usually enough to get through while your body fights the infection. If you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, you will most likely need a lifetime treatment regime. Here are some of the options:

  • Antiviral medications help fight the virus and slow it down from causing damage to the liver. These are oral medications, and your doctor will determine the best one for you.
  • Interferon injections are often used for younger people who do not want long-term treatment. They are also used for women with the virus who are considering pregnancy within a few years. Your doctor will explain the pros and cons of these injections.
  • A liver transplant may be advised if the virus has severely damaged your liver.

Currently, there are other drugs in development for treating hepatitis B.

Contact Dr. Michael today to schedule your consultation.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM