What You Should Know About Liver Disease
Diagnosing liver disease early is very important – unfortunately, people with liver disease rarely look or even feel sick. Here are some facts you should know about liver disease, its causes, and what liver disease treatments are available.
- Most people think that liver disease is caused by too much alcohol, but there are actually many possible causes. Liver disease can be caused by a virus, such as hepatitis A, B, or C; an autoimmune disease; obesity; an overdose of medications or drugs such as acetaminophen; some herbal remedies; excessive amounts of vitamins; a parasite; or genetics.
- The reason that early diagnosis and treatment are so important is that the liver can repair itself if treatment begins before too much damage is done. The liver is the only organ in the body that can replace damaged cells easily.
- There are over 100 types of liver disease, and it affects millions of Americans.
- If someone does have signs of liver disease, they might include chronic fatigue; loss of appetite; leg, ankle, or abdominal swelling; abdominal pain; dark urine color; itchy skin; and a tendency to bruise easily.
- Some risk factors for liver disease include exposure to toxins, sharing needles to inject drugs, unprotected sex, type 2 diabetes, and a family history of liver disease.
- The procedure to diagnose liver disease may involve blood tests, a CT scan, an MRI, an ultrasound, or a liver biopsy.
- The options for treating liver disease may include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery, depending on how severe damage to the liver is.
- The liver performs an amazing amount of functions that are necessary for living. It makes blood clotting factors, amino acids, bile to help digest food, and cholesterol. It converts waste products to be urinated out, and it metabolizes medications so that they can be used by the body. As you can see, keeping your liver healthy is important!
The experts at Park Avenue Medical Professionals in New York specialize in liver disease and its treatment. If you are showing any signs of liver disease, call 212-427-2000 for an appointment right away.