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Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB

Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB

The liver is the largest solid and internal organ in the body sits on the right side of the stomach, which is protected by the rib cage.

The liver is responsible for many important and complex functions which include:

  • Manufacture (synthesize) proteins
  • Produces and secretes bile (a substance needed to digest fats)
  • Detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins
  • Stores Vitamins and iron
  • Metabolize and store carbohydrates
  • Stores and releases glucose

What Is Liver Disease?

Diseased or damaged liver results in the loss of critical functions and significant damage to the body which causes illness.

Generally, 75% or three-quarters of liver tissue needs to be damaged before a decrease in function takes place.

Liver disease is usually classified as either being acute or chronic.

Acute liver disease occurs when the liver is suddenly damaged. Chronic liver disease continues to affect the liver for 6 months or more.

For more info in liver disease, click here.

 liver disease symptoms - Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB

What Are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease?

Both acute and chronic liver disease can interfere with the functions of the liver and thereby cause symptoms.

The good news is that the liver has a large reserve capacity, meaning it usually takes strong damage to the liver before symptoms appear.

The symptoms of liver disease may look like other health problems, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis just to make sure.

When symptoms do appear, it can be either acute or chronic.

Acute

If your liver gets suddenly damaged, it is “acute.” Symptoms of acute liver disease are:

  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (Jaundice)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dark stools and urine
  • Pain under the ribs on the right side

It’s important to note that up to 50% of people with acute liver disease have no symptoms at all.

Chronic

Your symptoms may vary, depending on how severe your liver problems are.

Chronic but mild disease may not cause any symptoms at all. If symptoms do appear, it can involve but not limited to:

  • Gallstones
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Easy bruising
  • Itching
  • Kidney failure

 

How Is Liver Disease Diagnosed?

If you’re concerned you might have liver disease, it’s best to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to determine the correct diagnosis.

You’ll first be asked about your medical history including a family history of liver problems.

Next, you’ll likely be asked questions about your symptoms. You may also have tests including:

 

Blood Tests

A collection of blood tests called liver function tests can be used to diagnose liver disease and identify how the liver is functioning.

 

Liver Biopsy

Small tissue samples are taken from the liver to help diagnose liver disease and look for signs of liver damage.

 

CT Scan 

X-rays can be used to look at deeper tissues within the liver in detail to diagnose several liver disease conditions.

Other Tests

Other tests can also be used which can include an MRI and ultrasound

 

liver disease tests - Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB

Liver Disease Risk Factors and Causes

Certain causes and risk factors can increase your chances of developing either acute or chronic liver disease. This can include:

  • Heavy alcohol intake
  • Having unprotected intercourse
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins
  • Drug abuse
  • Having diabetes or high cholesterol
  • Sharing needles
  • Having a family history of liver disease
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Harmful supplements
  • Immune disorders
  • Parasites and viruses

Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment in JHB - Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB

 

How Is Liver Disease Treated?

Some types of acute liver disease get better on their own. For many people, liver diseases are chronic, which means it can last for many years and may never go away.

In some rare situations depending on your diagnosis, you may need surgery to remove all or part of your liver, or liver transplant surgery may also be recommended.

However, for most people, chronic liver diseases can be managed and controlled either with medications or through lifestyle changes to help keep symptoms at bay.

These might include:

  • Limiting and cutting out alcohol and smoking
  • Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a liver-friendly diet which includes reducing salt, trans fats and sugar and eating more fiber. Eating a high fiber diet helps the liver to work at an optimal level.

liver disease questions - Liver Disease Symptoms and Treatment JHB 

Liver Disease FAQ

Can Liver Damage Be Reversed?

Depending on the stage and individual, yes it is. The liver is the only organ in the body that is able to regenerate.

 

What Is The Name of Late-Stage Chronic Liver Disease?

Cirrhosis is a late-stage liver disease.

Can Poor Nutrition Cause Liver Disease?

Except for alcohol, poor nutrition is not a cause of liver disease.

How Does Liver Disease Progress To Liver Failure?

If Cirrhosis becomes so severe that the liver can no longer function normally, the condition turns to liver failure, which is life-threatening and you may need a liver transplant.

Can Liver Disease Be Prevented?

Yes

If Someone Has Liver Disease, Are They Immediately Aware Of It?

Most of the times they are not

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

If you or someone you know is living with chronic liver damage, then you know how important it is to receive ongoing care from an experienced and caring gastroenterologist to attend to your medical needs.

Board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider, specializes in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating liver disorders.

With an individualized approach to testing and treatment, we diagnose and address conditions using the latest technologies and advanced methods.

Contact us to book an appointment. We will work with you to address your specific health needs and concerns.

 cirrhosis liver - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a condition that occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver.

The liver is the body’s largest internal organ. The liver does many important things including:

  • Removes waste from the body, such as toxins and medicines
  • Makes bile to help digest food
  • Stores sugar that the body uses for energy
  • Makes new proteins

Scarring impairs the liver’s ability to:

  • Control infections
  • Remove bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • Process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
  • Make proteins that regulate blood clotting
  • Produce bile to help absorb fats — including cholesterol — and fat-soluble vitamins

A person cannot function productively or live an active lifestyle without a healthy working liver, which makes cirrhosis a serious disease to have. To find out more about Cirrhosis, click here.

Cirrhosis Diagnosis

A diagnosis of cirrhosis begins with a thorough personal and family history background and physical exam.

The history may reveal long-term alcohol abuse, exposure to hepatitis C, family history of autoimmune diseases, or other risk factors.

The following tests may also be ordered:

Blood Test

To measure how well the liver is functioning. and to determine if the patient may have hepatitis.

Biopsy

A tiny sample of liver cells is extracted and examined under a microscope. The biopsy can confirm cirrhosis and its cause.

Endoscopy

A gastroenterologist inserts a long, thin tube with a light and video camera at the end that goes through the esophagus and into the stomach.

A gastroenterologist will look out for swollen blood vessels that can be a sign of cirrhosis.

CT scan (computed tomography)

A CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound shows your internal organs as they work. It checks how blood is flowing through different blood vessels.

An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs.

Cirrhosis diagnosis - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis Symptoms

Symptoms don’t appear during the early stages of cirrhosis. You may only start showing symptoms until the disorder has progressed.

When the liver becomes more damaged, some of the symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Weight loss
  • jaundice (yellow discoloration)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Pain or tenderness in the area around the liver
  • itchy skin

More serious symptoms include:

  • Confusion and difficulty thinking clearly
  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Swelling of the legs (edema)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Impotence
  • Vomiting blood
  • Urine is dark
  • Hairloss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Experience walking problems

Cirrhosis Causes and Risk Factors

You are more likely to get cirrhosis of the liver if you:

  • Abuse alcohol regularly over many years
  • Have hepatitis B, C, or D
  • Have liver inherited disease or family history
  • Have diabetes
  • Are obese
  • Inject drugs using shared needles
  • Smoking
  • Have unprotected sex
  • Have diabetes
  • Take drugs or exposed to prolonged exposure of toxic chemicals or parasites.

Cirrhosis treatment johannesburg - Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis and Treatment

Cirrhosis Treatment

Since nothing can be done about scarring that has already occurred, treatment is concentrated on helping patients avoid complications of the disease and blocking further damage.

Treatment options are dependent on the cause and diagnosis of cirrhosis. Options include:

  • Eliminating alcohol intake (in cases of alcohol abuse) and maintaining a healthy diet
  • Medications, including interferon and corticosteroids
  • Endoscopy to treat enlarged blood vessels
  • Diuretics or laxatives to reduce the buildup of fluids
  • Antibiotics
  • Liver transplantation, which should be considered when cirrhosis is severe and the liver is failing to function.

 

Cirrhosis FAQ

What is the outlook for those with liver cirrhosis?

The general health of a patient with cirrhosis is always dependent on the underlying causes of cirrhosis and how successful treatment measures are to halt further liver damage.

There is no cure for liver cirrhosis, and a transplant remains the most effective treatment (when successful) for the best possible quality of life once damage to the organ occurs.

 

Is cirrhosis cancer?

No, cirrhosis of the liver isn’t cancer. However, most people who have liver cancer have cirrhosis. If you have cirrhosis, you have an increased risk of liver cancer.

 

Can liver damage be reversed?

Cirrhosis is generally not considered to be reversible. However, there are different degrees of cirrhosis which range from early to late stage.

If your liver disease or complication is caught early and successfully managed, it may be possible to slow or stop the progression of the disease.

One of the most important factors to ensure you stay healthy and try to lower your risk levels.

  • If you routinely drink alcohol, stop drinking.
  • If you are overweight or obese, lose weight, and exercise more.
  • Eat healthy: A diet full of vegetables and fruits along with foods that provide lean protein is highly recommended. Reduction in fried and fatty food is good.
  • If you have hepatitis C or hepatitis B and are eligible for treatment, get started on medications to try to clear the virus.
  • If you smoke, stop immediately.

How do I know if I have cirrhosis if I don’t show any symptoms?

In the early stages of cirrhosis, symptoms usually don’t appear. The only way to know for sure is to get examined by a medical doctor, such as a gastroenterologist.

Early diagnosis of cirrhosis can help prevent symptoms from developing and make your treatment plan more effective.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

At GIDOCJHB, registered gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider, has been been diagnosing and treating treating liver diseases for over a decade.

GiDOCJHB provides treatment options for chronic liver diseases.

Dr. Schneider evaluates the health and function of your liver, provides diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan that can help in the treatment of fatty liver disease.

 

liver disease treatments - Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

 

What is the Liver’s Function?

Your liver has a lot of responsibility. The liver’s main job is to filter and clean the blood coming from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body.

The liver also stores energy and assists in food digestion.

In short, the liver:

  • Produces bile, which helps with digestion.
  • Makes proteins for the body.
  • Stores iron.
  • Converts nutrients into energy.
  • Creates substances that help your blood clot (stick together to heal wounds).
  • Helps you resist infections by making immune factors and removing bacteria and toxins (substances that can harm your body) from your blood.


What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease (steatosis) is a common condition caused by having too much fat build up in your liver. A healthy liver contains a small amount of fat.

It becomes a problem when fat reaches 5% to 10% of your liver’s weight. There are two types of fatty liver disease: non-alcoholic and alcoholic.

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs in people who aren’t heavy drinkers. Researchers haven’t found the exact cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Several factors, such as obesity and diabetes, can increase your risk.

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Alcoholic fatty liver is the accumulation of fat in the liver as a result of heavy drinking.

To find out more about Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, click here

 fatty liver treatment - Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Why is Fatty Liver Disease Bad?

If fat has developed in your liver, it may not function as well as it should and can lead to other health issues.

For just under 1 in every 3 people who are diagnosed with this disease, it gets worse over time and progresses through three stages:

  • Your liver becomes inflamed (swollen), which damages its tissue.
  • Scar tissue forms where your liver is damaged.
  • Extensive scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. At this point, you have cirrhosis of the liver.

Fatty Liver Disease Causes and Risk Factors

Some people get fatty liver disease without having any pre-existing conditions. The cause of fatty liver disease is not entirely clear.

However, genetics may play a role. These risk factors make it more likely to get diagnosed with fatty liver disease:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistance.
  • Taking certain prescription medications or steroids (check with your gastroenterologist)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Have certain infections, such as hepatitis C
  • Malnutrition

Fatty Liver Disease Diagnosis 

Without accurate, prompt diagnosis and appropriate care, fatty liver disease can cause liver scarring and permanent, irreversible damage or complete liver failure.

However, because there are often no symptoms, it is not easy to find fatty liver disease.

Your gastroenterologist may suspect that you have it if you get abnormal results on liver tests that you had for other reasons.

To make a diagnosis, your gastroenterologist will use:

  • Your medical history = Questions may be asked regarding alcohol consumption, medication use (both prescription and over-the-counter) and past medical history
  • A physical exam = Physical examination may reveal an enlarged liver that can be palpated or felt in the abdomen below the right rib margin. Otherwise, it may require the development of cirrhosis to elicit abnormalities on physical examination.
  • Various tests, including blood and imaging tests, and sometimes a biopsy

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is sometimes called a silent liver disease, usually, because no symptoms occur until the disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver.

However, If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • Severe tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on the skin
  • Long-lasting itching

     

 Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Schneider

Treatment and Lifestyle Changes

There is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease, but lifestyle changes can significantly improve the condition and perhaps even reverse it in the early stages. These changes include:

  • Losing weight. Having a well-designed exercise and eating plan designed by a gastroenterologist or dietitian can be beneficial. Gradual weight loss is the key, as sudden, severe weight loss can actually make the condition worse. A person should try to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, or sugar.
  • Avoiding medicines that may affect your liver, such as some steroids. Do not take medicines that have not been prescribed by your gastroenterologist.
  • Avoiding all forms of alcohol
  • Controlling your diabetes

 fatty liver disease diagnosis - Fatty Liver: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


When to Call Your Gastroenterologist

  • If you have abdominal pain.
  • If you notice any yellow skin color changes.
  • If you have leg swelling.
  • If you notice swelling of the abdomen.
  • If you need a referral to a gastroenterologist (a physician specializing in diseases of the intestines, gallbladder, pancreas, and liver).  

Fatty Liver FAQ’s

Does fatty liver disease only affect obese individuals?

Obesity increases the risk of developing fatty liver disease. Thin people or those of average build can also get fatty liver.

Can children develop fatty liver disease?

Yes, that’s why it’s important to control your child’s weight through a healthy diet and exercise.

How do you prevent fatty liver disease?

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is still the key to protecting your liver.

 

    DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

    The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

    Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

    Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

    At GiDocJHB, our team has the experience and expertise to accurately diagnose and offer cutting-edge medical treatments for the common liver diseases, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, liver cancer, or cirrhosis.

    By preventing or delaying additional liver damage and related complications through innovative therapies and treatment, Dr Schneider is dedicated to working towards improving patients’ health and the quality of life.

    In addition to receiving the most effective therapies, patients receive personalized support and patient education to help them cope with long-term liver illness and treatment.

    liver disease - Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

    What are Liver Diseases?

    Liver disease is any condition of liver function that causes infection, obstruction, illness or inflammation.

    The liver is responsible for many important functions within the body and should it become diseased, the loss of those functions can cause significant damage to the rest of the body.

    Usually, more than 75% or three-quarters of liver tissue needs to be affected before a decrease in bodily function occurs.

    The liver performs numerous functions for the body, including:

    • Helps digest your food, convert it into energy, and stores energy for future use
    • Filtering toxic substances out of your blood
    • Producing proteins and enzymes
    • Maintaining hormone balances
    • Storing some vitamins
    • Making factors that help the immune system fight infection
    • Removing bacteria from the blood
    • Making bile, which is essential for digestion.

     

    causes liver disease - Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

     

    What Causes Liver Disease and Failure?

    • Alcohol-Related Liver Disease: Regularly drinking too much alcohol.
    • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:Being very overweight (obese) – this may cause fat to build up in the liver.
    • Viruses: Viruses including the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus: They lead to liver damage or cirrhosis.
    • Hepatitis B: It makes your liver swell and stops it from working the way it should.
    • Hepatitis C: If you have it long-term, it can lead to cirrhosis.
    • Haemochromatosis: A gene that runs in families and may be passed from parents to offsprings.
    • Reaction to Medication: Reactions to certain prescription and herbal medications: Some kill cells in your liver. Others damage the duct system that moves bile through it.
    • Chemical Toxicity: Exposure to certain toxic chemicals.
    • Septic Shock: This overwhelming infection in your body can damage your liver or cause it to stop working
    • Autoimmune disorders: This is a condition where the body’s infection-fighting system (immune system) attacks healthy tissue.

     

    risk liver disease - Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

     

    Are You at Risk?

    Certain things can make you more likely to develop certain liver diseases. One of the most well-known ones is heavy drinking, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, defines as more than eight alcoholic drinks a week for women and more than 15 drinks a week for men.

    Other risk factors include:

    • Sharing needles
    • Getting a tattoo or body piercing with non-sterile needles
    • Doing a job where you are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids
    • Having sex without using protection against sexually transmitted infections
    • Having diabetes or high cholesterol
    • Having a family history of liver disease
    • Being overweight
    • Exposure to toxins or pesticides
    • Taking certain supplements or herbs, especially in large amounts
    • Mixing certain medications with alcohol or taking more than the recommended dose of certain medications.

    How are Liver Diseases Diagnosed?

    Since there are so many different causes and types of liver diseases, the specific disease can be difficult to diagnose.

    If you are concerned you might have a liver disease, it is best to make an appointment with your gastroenterologist to narrow down what is causing your symptoms.

    Your Gastroenterologist is likely to start with your health history and thorough physical examination.

    The following may be recommended:

    • A complete blood count test. A group of blood tests called liver function tests can be used to diagnose liver disease. Other blood tests can be done to look for specific liver problems or genetic conditions.
    • Imaging tests. An ultrasound, CT scan and MRI can show liver damage.
    • Tissue analysis. Removing a tissue sample (biopsy) from your liver may help diagnose liver disease and look for signs of liver damage. A liver biopsy is most often done using a long needle inserted through the skin to extract a tissue sample. It is then analyzed in a laboratory.

     

    Schedule an Appointment With Dr Schneider

     

    liver disease treatment - Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

     

    How is Liver Disease/Failure Treated?

    Treatment for liver disease depends on your diagnosis on whether it is acute or chronic.

    For chronic liver failure, treatment includes changes to the diet and lifestyle, including:

    • Avoiding alcohol or known medications that can harm the liver
    • Avoiding or eating less of certain foods, such as red meat, cheese and eggs
    • Regular exercise and control of metabolic risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes
    • Reducing or cutting out salt in your diet.

    For acute liver failure, treatment options include:

    • Intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain blood pressure;
    • Medications such as laxatives to help flush toxins out
    • Blood glucose (sugar) monitoring; glucose is given to the patient if blood sugar drops.

    In both acute (sudden) and chronic liver failure, the doctor may recommend a liver transplant. Before transplantation, doctors thoroughly screen transplant candidates to make sure a new organ might help them before placing them on organ waiting lists.

    liver disease causes - Liver Disease – Symptoms and Causes

     

    What are the Likely Causes of My Symptoms?

    • What kind of tests do I need to go through and do these tests require any special preparation from me?
    • Are my liver problems likely acute or chronic?
    • What treatment options are available?
    • Should I stop taking certain medications or vitamins?
    • How much alcohol can I drink?
    • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?

    If you have more question about your liver condition, contact Dr Schneider and book your appointment today. 

    DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

    The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.