Chronic Liver Disease

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Treatment for Chronic Liver Disease

Liver disease, a condition that damages the liver or affects its normal functions, is a broad term that may refer to a large number of specific diseases. Also known as hepatic disease, liver disease is considered chronic after about six months of improper liver function. A number of factors contribute to a person’s risk for chronic liver disease, including personal behaviors, genetic factors, medications, and tumors.

When liver tissue is destroyed by chronic liver disease and replaced by scar tissue, it becomes difficult for the liver to perform its basic functions. This condition is known as cirrhosis, which can be life threatening.

Signs of Liver Disease:

  • Jaundice (yellowish skin/eyes)
  • Weakness/muscle loss
  • Itching
  • Hair loss
  • Kidney failure
  • Gallstones
  • Curling of fingers
  • Spider-like veins
  • Shrinking of testes

Symptoms of Liver Disease:

  • Jaundice (yellowish skin/eyes)
  • Abdominal pain/swelling
  • Mental disorientation/ confusion
  • Swelling of legs/ankles
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite/weight loss

These symptoms can also indicate other serious conditions. If these or any other symptoms occur and persist, seek medical advice. Always report medical concerns to your physician.

Causes

Susceptibility to liver disease is influenced by both genetics and the environment. One of the most common causes of liver disease is heavy alcohol consumption, though other factors like malnutrition and infection can also contribute to poor liver function. In addition, liver disease can be caused by conditions such as hemochromatosis and infectious hepatitis. Because liver disease is progressive and there are many different causes and variations, each patient’s situation must be addressed with an individualized treatment plan.

Treatment

If caught early, inflammation and damage to the liver can be successfully reversed. More serious stages of liver disease require a personal treatment plan by your provider. Treatment plans may include diet management, medications, surgery and/or liver transplantation.

There are 14 providers on staff at Northwest Gastroenterology Clinic, LLC. Each is dedicated to providing optimal treatment and care. Whether you want to learn more about liver disease and your treatment options or you wish to schedule an appointment, contact us for additional information.