About 4.5 million adults, nearly 2% of the population, have been diagnosed with liver disease in the United States. Your liver is your largest internal organ, located in the upper right part of your abdomen.
Your liver regulates chemical levels in your blood, excretes bile, and helps your body metabolize major nutrients. If you have liver disease, your health can be impacted in significant ways.
If you’re showing signs of liver disease, Dr. Sreelatha Reddy and our team here at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, can help. Read on to learn about the signs of liver disease and what to do once you notice them.
Liver disease is an umbrella term for conditions that damage your liver and interfere with its function. These diseases can stem from a range of factors, such as genetic conditions, viruses, cancer, drug overdoses, and alcohol dependency.
Examples of liver disease include:
If you have a form that lasts six months or longer, it’s considered chronic liver disease.
Liver disease impacts people differently, but there are commonalities. The most common liver disease symptoms include:
If you develop acute, or sudden, liver disease, you may also experience weakness, nausea, vomiting, fever, and pain below your ribs on the right side of your body. Roughly half of people with acute liver disease show no symptoms at all, however.
If you’ve developed symptoms that indicate liver disease, seek medical care as soon as possible. Many forms of liver disease are treatable. And because liver disease can be progressive, treatment early on can help prevent severe complications.
To diagnose or rule out liver disease, Dr. Reddy reviews your medical history and performs a physical examination, likely including blood tests and imaging tests. She may also test a sample of tissue from your liver to check for damage.
If you’re diagnosed with liver disease, your treatment may involve lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and losing excess weight. In some cases, medications, nutritional supplements, or treatment programs for alcohol dependency are needed.
The most severe cases of liver disease require liver transplant surgery.
To learn more about liver disease or get the care you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. today or request an appointment through our website.