Liver Disease in Illinois
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What is liver disease?
Liver disease is a condition that damages and negatively affects the liver. The disease is broken down into chronic and acute types. Chronic disease is a long-term issue, meaning that the damage caused to the liver is unable to be reversed. However, it is possible to slow the damage and accumulation of scar tissue. Once the chronic liver disease reaches a certain severity, a transplant may be recommended.
Acute liver disease is when the onset of liver disease happens suddenly. This condition causes your liver to lose its functionality. While the specific cause can go unknown, it has been traced back to certain medications like acetaminophen. Acute liver disease can also happen when you are dealing with an autoimmune disease, or Wilson's disease (where copper accumulates in your liver). If you believe you're suffering from liver disease and require assistance, reach out to our team of GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois. We can help you get back to the things you love so you can live comfortably.
What are the symptoms of liver disease?
As far as chronic liver disease is concerned, the symptoms you experience can vary depending on how severe the condition is. If you are experiencing mild cirrhosis (scar tissue) your symptoms can be minor, and you may not notice anything out of the ordinary. However, if you do experience symptoms, they are likely to be one or more of the following:
- Fluid buildup in the stomach
- Vomiting blood
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Muscle loss
- Easy bruising
- Spider-like veins in the skin
- Low energy and weakness
- Confusion as toxins build up in the blood
While the symptoms of acute liver disease can be comparable to chronic, there are a few differences. The following symptoms could indicate acute liver disease:
- Discomfort on your right side, just below your ribs
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding easily
- Vomiting blood
- Fluid buildup in the abdomen
You can become increasingly tired and confused as the liver disease progresses. If you've dealt with any of the above symptoms, you can request a consultation with our GI specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois. We are proud to offer assistance so you can properly manage your symptoms.
What treatments are available for liver disease?
The treatment provided for liver disease will vary based on the type that you have. For chronic liver disease, it is important to pinpoint what is causing it. In doing so, you can sometimes reverse the damage, or improve the condition. The treatments can include stopping the ingestion of alcohol, or treating a virus if it is found that those are the cause. Our GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois might recommend consuming a diet low in sodium, limiting alcohol use (or eliminating it completely depending on the severity), and stopping the use of illegal drugs. Additional treatments include controlling iron and copper levels in the body and using medication that suppresses the immune system.
The treatment for acute liver failure will vary greatly on the cause of the disease. Activated charcoal will likely be given if you've ingested too much acetaminophen. This helps reduce how much of that medication is absorbed into your GI tract. We may also provide you with medications that can assist in decreasing your body's absorption ability.
In the event that viral hepatitis is the cause of your acute liver failure, we will provide medicine. If we're unable to find the specific cause, a liver biopsy may be required. Once the results of the biopsy are available, we will understand how to approach your treatment. For additional information on the different treatments available to you, request a consultation with our GI providers in our Illinois location.
Treatment to get you on the right track
Once you schedule a consultation with our team at GI Alliance of Illinois, we will create a treatment plan to assist you. Whether you have long-term chronic liver disease or an acute case, our experience and knowledge will help you deal with the condition. Stop by our Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, locations today to receive the help you need. Request an appointment with our gastrointestinal specialists today to get started.
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The staff is always welcoming & professional. PA Amy takes time to listen to my issues, ask questions and offer possible solutions. She orders appropriate diagnostic tests at a convenient location for me. They follow up with results.
Dr.Arndt is an excellent physician who provides great care for his GI patients. His interpersonal skills and ability to explain causes and solutions for conditions in easy to understand terms are fantastic. Thank you for all your great care.
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