Hepatology is the speciality of medicine that entails the diseases affecting the liver.
A Gastroenterologist is a doctor who specialises in disorders of the digestive tract. A Hepatologist is a doctor who specialises in disorders of the liver.
The Liver stores nutrients and makes building blocks the body needs. It also detoxifies drugs. Bile is made in the liver to help digest fatty foods and are sent via the bile ducts to the gallbladder to be concentrated and released when necessary.
Diseases of the liver can result in acute (short term) or chronic (long term) inflammation (Hepatitis) and can be due to a variety of causes. Uncontrolled inflammation can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) which can lead to serious consequences. The common reasons are viruses (Hepatitis B and C), alcohol and fatty liver. There are also less common causes too.
It is important to see if there is any evidence of scarring as this can lead to cancers of the liver and liver failure.
Common symptoms of liver disease include fatigue, turning yellow (jaundice), confusion, swelling of the body.
Are you worried you have liver disease?
Do you need to a specialist medical opinion because you have Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C?
Make an appointment to see a specialist to discuss this further.