What is liver disease?
Liver disease is damage to the liver caused by genetic factors or a variety of other factors, including alcohol abuse, obesity and viruses. The liver is an organ that is located under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. It is essential for removing toxic substances from the body and is essential for digesting food. Over time, damage to the liver results in cirrhosis (scarring), which can result in liver failure, a life-threatening condition.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common signs and symptoms involving liver disease include:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Jaundice (a yellowish appearance of the eyes and skin)
- Itchy skin
- Swelling in the ankles and legs
- Chronic fatigue
- A dark urine color
- Pale stool, or bloody or tar-colored stool
- Loss of appetite
- A tendency to bruise easily
- Vomiting or nausea
If your symptoms are persistent and worry you, please schedule an appointment immediately. This is recommended especially if you have abdominal pain that is so severe that you cannot stay still.
What are the causes?
There are many causes of liver disease. The most common causes include:
- Genetics (Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis, hyperoxaluria and oxalosis, which are inherited from one or both of your parents)
- Immune system abnormality (primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, which cause your immune system to attack certain parts of the body that affect the liver)
- Cancer and other growths (liver cancer, liver adenoma and bile duct cancer)
- Infections (hepatitis A, B and C, which cause inflammation and reduce liver function)
Chronic alcohol abuse and fat that accumulates in the liver can also contribute to liver disease. Eating fatty foods and drinking alcohol in moderation is always recommended and will benefit your liver in the long-run.
Schedule an appointment in Fairbanks, Alaska
If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, or if they do worry you, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Nick Sarrimanolis. From our clinic in Fairbanks, we specialize in the management and treatment of liver disease. If your weight is contributing to liver issues, we also provide weight management services. To find out how we can help you and improve your long-term health, give us a call at (907) 451-1174 or request an appointment using the form on our website.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.