Liver disease is a group of disorders that affect the liver and can impair one or more of its many important functions.
These functions include converting food nutrients into blood components, filtering harmful substances, producing important proteins and enzymes, regulating blood clotting, storing vitamins and minerals, maintaining hormone balances, producing bile for the digestive process, processing fats, and producing substances that assist the immune system.
A wide range of disorders that can affect the liver.
With so many functions, the liver can be impaired in a number of ways, and there are many different liver diseases. These diseases include viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, autoimmune disease, alcoholic liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, fatty liver disease, cystic liver disease, sarcoidosis, liver cancer, porphyria, hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, Budd-Chiari syndrome, Gilbert’s syndrome, liver abscess and many others. Determining the precise disorder — and its extent— is the first step toward treating liver disease.
Symptoms of liver disease can include:
- Dark urine or light-colored stool
- Pain in the upper right of the abdomen
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Fatigue, malaise or muscle aches & pains
- Low blood sugar
- Low-grade fever
- Diminished sex drive
Accurate diagnosis & effective treatment options
At Suburban Gastroenterology, our board-certified gastroenterologists can determine if symptoms, medical history and physical examination are consistent with liver disease. We may also run blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound evaluation, upper GI studies, imaging scans, specialized endoscopy (ERCP) and liver tissue biopsy.
Treatment depends on the type and extent of the disease, but will likely involve lifestyle changes, vitamin and mineral supplements, antivirals and/or antibiotics, medications, and perhaps surgical intervention. Treatment for most liver diseases requires ongoing surveillance of the disease’s progression, the effectiveness of treatment, and monitoring for side effects. It is essential to trust your care to a well-trained specialist with the experience and know-how to treat and manage liver disease effectively.
For the informed, up-to-date and compassionate care you deserve, call Suburban Gastroenterology today: (630) 527-6450. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form too.