Liver Disease

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Arlington Heights, IL & Elk Grove Village, IL

Nearly 2% of adults in the United States suffer from liver disease, which causes more than 40,000 deaths each year. The gastroenterology specialists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elk Grove and Arlington Heights, Illinois, understand the seriousness of liver disease and provide treatment to resolve or manage the underlying cause of your condition. If you have concerns about liver disease, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online and schedule an evaluation today.

Liver Disease Q & A

What is Liver Disease?

Liver disease refers to any disease or infection that damages your liver and impairs its function. Your liver, which is about the size of a football, is situated under your ribs on the right side of your body and is responsible for clearing your blood of toxic substances, as well as supporting the digestion of food.

Damage to your liver can disrupt these functions and affect your overall health. If left untreated, the underlying cause of your liver disease could lead to a condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis refers to permanent scarring of the liver and can result in liver failure and death.

What Causes Liver Disease?

Liver disease can develop from many causes. Some of the most common include:

  • Inherited condition
  • Viral infection (hepatitis A, B, or C)
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Cancer

You could be at risk of liver disease if you abuse alcohol, inject drugs with shared needles, or have unprotected sex. Certain health conditions can also lead to liver damage and liver disease, including diabetes and obesity.

Does Liver Disease Cause Symptoms?

Yes, liver disease causes symptoms. Symptoms that indicate you could have liver disease include:

  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Bloody, dark, or tarry stools
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling around the ankles
  • Abdominal pain or swelling

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Illinois Gastroenterology Group to schedule an evaluation. Early treatment could prevent the scarring that leads to cirrhosis.

What Can I Expect During a Liver Disease Consultation?

The team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group performs comprehensive evaluations when you come to the office with symptoms indicating liver disease. During your evaluation, your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam.

Your doctor might also recommend tests like blood work and imaging to assist in a diagnosis and determining the underlying cause. Your doctor could also suggest a biopsy to assess the degree of liver damage.

The team works one-on-one with you to develop the most effective treatment plan to improve your symptoms, prevent further liver damage, and promote healing of the vital organ. 

Treatment can include lifestyle changes, medications, and/or surgery, depending on the cause and degree of liver damage.

For comprehensive liver care, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group or request an appointment online today.