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Liver Disease Specialist

Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC

Board Certified Gastroenterologists located in Hattiesburg, MS

About 30 million Americans are living with some form of liver disease. Without prompt diagnosis and treatment, liver disease can damage your liver and impact its function. At Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC, with two convenient locations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the team of board-certified gastroenterologists provides safe, effective treatments for liver disease. To schedule an appointment, call the office nearest you or book online today.

Liver Disease Q & A

What is liver disease?

Liver disease is an umbrella term that refers to any condition that negatively affects the liver. The liver is an important organ that's responsible for a variety of tasks, including digestion, converting food into energy, and detoxifying waste.

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

The symptoms of liver disease vary and depend on the underlying cause. Telltale signs include:

  • Dark urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Bruising easily

Some people with liver disease also experience yellowing of their skin and the whites of their eyes, a condition known as jaundice.

What are some common types of liver disease?

Many conditions can affect your liver. The team at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC regularly diagnoses and treats:

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a group of viral infections that inflame the liver. Types of hepatitis include A, B, C, D, and E. When left untreated, hepatitis causes irritation and liver damage. Some types of hepatitis are curable; others require lifetime care.

Fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease occurs due to an excess build-up of fat in the liver. This can occur due to excessive alcohol consumption or other unknown factors. Fatty liver disease causes liver damage, cirrhosis, and in some cases, liver failure. Healthy lifestyle changes can ease symptoms and slow its progression.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a type of scarring that occurs due to liver disease, liver damage, or excessive alcohol consumption. Your liver is incredibly durable, but years of damage often results in the development of scar tissue. As more scar tissue forms, it makes it increasingly difficult for your liver to function.

Liver failure

Liver failure occurs when a large portion of your liver becomes scarred or damaged due to a disease or other issue. Liver failure usually happens slowly, over an extended period.

The team also treats liver cancer and liver disease caused by autoimmune and genetic conditions, such as autoimmune hepatitis and Wilson’s disease.

How is liver disease diagnosed?

To diagnose liver disease, your provider at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, including your drinking and eating habits. 

After gathering this information, they might recommend:

  • Liver function tests
  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • CT scans, an MRI, or an ultrasound to look for tumors or abnormalities
  • A liver biopsy
  • Upper endoscopy
  • SIBO testing
  • FibroScan

These screening procedures can determine the type of liver disease you have and assist in guiding treatment.

How is liver disease treated?

The team at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC believes in treating liver disease with conservative, integrative measures. Usually, this includes a combination of healthy lifestyle changes like cutting back on alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly, with prescription medications.

For example, antiviral drugs can minimize symptoms of hepatitis, and steroids can reduce liver inflammation. You might also benefit from antibiotics or blood pressure medication. Sometimes, surgery is necessary.

If you’re concerned about your risk of liver disease, schedule an appointment at Hattiesburg GI Associates PLLC. Call or book a consultation online today.