Gastroenterologists located in Avondale, AZ
As the largest organ in your body, your liver is responsible for eliminating toxins, digesting food, and storing energy. At Southwest Gastroenterology in Avondale, Arizona, patients with liver disease can get expert treatment from physicians skilled in treating conditions affecting the gastrointestinal organs. Liver disease can be fatal if left untreated; book an appointment today and begin your journey to recovery.
Liver Disease Q & A
What is liver disease?
Liver disease happens when the organ no longer functions correctly.
Your liver plays a significant role in keeping your body healthy. If it’s continuously overworked or damaged from toxic exposure, obesity, or other factors, scarring, damage, and inflammation can develop.
What causes liver disease?
A variety of illnesses, lifestyle choices, and other factors can cause liver disease. These include:
- Genetics: In some cases, liver disease is inheritable
- Alcohol use: Over time, alcohol consumption can compromise your liver, even if you don’t drink excessively.
- Obesity: Carrying excess fat can tax the liver.
- Viruses and parasites: Viruses like hepatitis and certain parasites can create inflammation in the liver.
- Drugs: High doses of statins or acetaminophen can damage the liver.
Liver disease can also develop if you have specific autoimmune conditions, like autoimmune hepatitis or primary sclerosing cholangitis.
When the liver is damaged, this creates scarring, called cirrhosis, which can cause complete liver failure if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of liver disease?
Liver disease can trigger different symptoms, depending on the cause. Some common symptoms are:
- Chronic weakness or fatigue
- Sudden or unexplained weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Loss of appetite
If you have liver disease, you might also experience pale stool, dark urine, or a tendency to bruise easily.
What are the treatment options for liver disease?
The cause of liver disease determines its treatment. In some cases, lifestyle modifications can be enough to repair liver damage, such as weight loss or ceasing alcohol use.
In other cases, you might need specific medications to help the liver restore its function and support the entire gastrointestinal tract. If liver damage is severe, some patients require a liver transplant.
Your physician at Southwest Gastroenterology develops a plan tailored to your needs, which most likely includes close monitoring of your liver function.
If you’re concerned you might have liver disease, book an appointment today using the simple online scheduling tool.
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