Your liver is an essential organ that helps in digestion and elimination of toxic substances. When it becomes diseased, it risks the health of your entire body. At Gotham Gastroenterology, with locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, the skilled gastroenterologists offer evaluation and treatment for liver disease. They can help you get treatment if you have symptoms of liver disease that need attention. Call today or schedule your consultation online.
Your liver can develop a number of diseases that compromise its primary functions, including protein production, blood clotting, energy production, and iron metabolism. Some of the more common liver diseases include hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is diagnosed when you have a buildup of extra fat in liver cells that’s not caused by alcohol. In severe cases, the liver can swell as a result and suffer damage.
In its earliest stages, fatty liver disease may not cause symptoms. At first, you may just have fatigue and discomfort in the upper right side of your abdominal area.
The following conditions increase your risk of developing fatty liver disease:
The most serious complication of fatty liver disease is cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis develops due to untreated liver disease. Liver disease is infinitely treatable, when detected and addressed early. But, if liver disease goes untreated, hard scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue -- causing cirrhosis.
The most common causes of cirrhosis include:
Untreated cirrhosis can lead to liver failure and increase your risk of developing liver cancer.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Some of the most common forms of hepatitis are hepatitis B, and C. Hepatitis B is transferred through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood or semen, that contain the virus.
Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected fluids — usually through sexual intercourse or when sharing needles during intravenous drug use.
In its earliest stages, liver disease has the potential to cause symptoms such as:
As liver disease worsens, your organs may fail and toxins build up in your bloodstream. If these toxins reach your brain, you may experience confusion, slurred speech, and drowsiness.
People with advanced liver disease can also develop high blood pressure in the portal vein, which causes fluids to build up in your abdomen (ascites) and creates enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus called esophageal varices.
The doctors can treat hepatitis B and C with antiviral drugs or virus-fighting injections. They may also give you vaccines against other forms of hepatitis.
The team uses Fibroscan to help assess if any degree of scarring is present in your liver due to disease. This noninvasive ultrasound technology provides information that informs your treatment plan.
If you’ve experienced cirrhosis of the liver, damage is irreversible. The doctors at Gotham Gastroenterology can help you prevent further damage, however, with interventions such as:
The doctors may help you improve your liver condition with a healthy balanced diet and weight loss, too. Any underlying conditions contributing to your liver damage, such as viral hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and hemochromatosis, will be addressed.
If you have symptoms that suggest liver disease, consult the team at Gotham Gastroenterology. Call for an appointment or schedule using this website.