Our Services / Liver Disease

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Liver Disease services offered in Chesterfield, MO

The specialists at Gateway Gastroenterology, which has locations in Chesterfield, Missouri, know that few conditions are more serious than liver disease. In fact, almost 5 million Americans currently suffer from liver disease, and over 31,000 Americans die from liver failure each year. Liver disease may seem terrifying, but with the right treatment and lifestyle choices, your physician can help guide you back to health. If you believe you might suffer from a disease of the liver, call Gateway Gastroenterology or request an appointment online today.

Liver Disease Q & A

What is liver disease?

Your liver is a large internal organ that helps your body digest food and expel toxic substances. About the size of a football, the liver sits beneath your ribcage on the right side of your body. Many different conditions can negatively affect the performance of your liver, such as viruses and alcohol abuse. Obesity has also been linked to damage in the liver.

If left untreated, these conditions result in scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure and even death.

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

If you suffer from liver disease, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Yellowish-looking skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Leg and ankle swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine
  • Dark, bloody, or tarry stools
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Bruising more easily

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with the experts at Gateway Gastroenterology.

What causes liver disease?

Many different conditions can damage your liver and lead to liver disease. From viral infections to cancer, these conditions are very serious, and you should make an appointment with your doctor right away if you believe you may be suffering from liver disease. Some causes of liver disease include:

  • Viral infections such as hepatitis A, B, and C
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Genetic disorders
  • Cancer
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Obesity
  • Engaging in heavy alcohol abuse
  • Injecting drugs using shared needles
  • Getting tattoos or body piercings
  • Having gotten a blood transfusion before 1992
  • Having been exposed to other people’s blood or other bodily fluids
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Being exposed to certain toxins or chemicals
  • Having diabetes

If left untreated, these conditions can cause irreversible damage to your liver and even lead to death in some cases.

How is liver disease treated?

After a consultation that includes a detailed examination of your symptoms and personal and family medical histories, as well as any necessary diagnostic testing, your provider discusses the best treatment options for your situation that includes addressing any underlying problems causing your liver disease.

The team at Gateway Gastroenterology is well-versed in treating patients that have hepatitis and cirrhosis.

If you experience one or more of these risk factors, call Gateway Gastroenterology or request an appointment online today.