Liver disease affects around five million people in the United States each year, and more than 31,000 of them will die. If you have any symptoms of liver disease, you should visit the board-certified gastroenterologists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois for a prompt diagnosis and expert treatment. With their help, you can recover from liver disease or manage chronic liver conditions successfully, so call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Liver disease is a blanket term for conditions that can affect your liver, such as:
The liver is part of your digestive system. It helps break down food and absorb nutrients, and get rid of anything toxic. Your liver is a large organ on the right-hand side of your body, under your ribs. Untreated liver disease can lead to life-threatening organ failure.
One of the tell-tale signs of liver problems is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes. Liver disease can also cause symptoms such as:
You should visit Illinois Gastroenterology Group if you have jaundice, blood in your stools, or any other symptoms of liver disease.
Infections can cause some liver diseases, such as hepatitis. Unhealthy dietary habits or being obese can cause fatty liver disease, and alcoholism or excessive consumption of alcohol can cause cirrhosis.
You’re more at risk of developing liver disease if you engage in high-risk activities like sharing needles with other drug users, or you get a tattoo or body piercing from an unlicensed practitioner. Unsafe sex also leaves you vulnerable to the infections that cause liver disease.
It’s also possible to develop liver disease because of environmental poisoning from toxic chemicals.
Treatment for liver disease depends on what’s causing it. Your provider at Illinois Gastroenterology Group takes blood tests and may perform a liver biopsy to diagnose your condition.
They also use state-of-the-art endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This is a procedure where your provider inserts a flexible tube, the endoscope, into your esophagus.
It travels down to your stomach and the top part of your small intestine and is useful for examining the bile duct and other parts of your upper gastrointestinal tract.
In some cases, you might need to take medications to control the symptoms. Improving your lifestyle by eating a healthier diet and cutting out alcohol helps prevent liver disease from progressing quickly, but in some cases, there’s nothing that can be done to save a badly diseased liver.
If your liver is severely damaged, you might need a liver transplant. However, the expert team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group has the expertise and experience to ensure that most patients recover using less invasive treatments.
Call Illinois Gastroenterology Group today if you’re concerned about your liver, or book an appointment online.