Liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis could cause severe liver damage unless you get timely treatment. If you have symptoms of liver disease, board-certified gastroenterologist Oforbuike Ewelukwa, MD, MSc, of Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC in Katy, Texas, can help. Dr. Ewelukwa and his team can diagnose and treat a comprehensive range of liver diseases, relieving your symptoms and improving your quality of life. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

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What is liver disease?

Liver disease isn’t a single condition but a group of disorders that all affect your liver. This large organ sits between your lungs and stomach. It plays an essential role in digestion and helps detoxify your body. Some of the more common liver diseases include:

Hepatitis

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. While it has various causes, the most common are viral infections known as hepatitis A, B, and C.

Fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease occurs when your liver has excessive fat stores that limit the organ’s ability to function as it should. One form affects people who have alcoholism, while the other is nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Both diseases cause liver inflammation and scarring.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is severe, irreversible scarring of the liver. Long-term, excessive alcohol consumption is a well-known cause, but advanced hepatitis and fatty liver disease can also cause cirrhosis.

What symptoms can liver disease cause?

Liver disease sometimes causes no noticeable symptoms in its earlier stages. You could have liver disease and not know it until your liver has sustained serious damage. When liver disease symptoms start to appear, they can include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen ankles
  • Pale-colored stools
  • Nausea and vomiting

One of the more apparent liver disease symptoms is jaundice. This is where your skin develops a yellowish discoloration that’s especially obvious in the whites of your eyes. However, if you haven’t got jaundice, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free of liver disease.

What treatment would I need for liver disease?

The treatment you need depends on the type of liver disease you have and how advanced it is.

Fatty liver disease benefits from lifestyle changes such as quitting alcohol and losing weight. The earlier you get a diagnosis, the more liver damage you can prevent. Avoiding alcohol is also an essential element of treating all liver diseases.

There are effective medications for treating hepatitis B and C, and you can protect yourself from infection with immunization against hepatitis B. If your liver is too badly damaged, it could fail, in which case you would need a transplant.

Liver disease typically requires long-term management, but with the right care, you could avoid the complications it can cause. Access expert treatment of your liver disease by calling Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC today, or you can book an appointment online.