Liver Disease Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
Have you been losing your appetite lately? Feeling nauseous? Has your urine become darker recently? You may want to get checked for liver disease.
Your liver is the most resilient and complex organ in your body, working tirelessly to filter toxins, convert food into energy, and contribute to hundreds of other bodily functions. Genetic or lifestyle factors can damage your liver though, with some of the most common types of liver disease being inflammatory-based conditions like hepatitis and cirrhosis. Left untreated, these conditions can ultimately cause severe scarring and liver failure.
If you have symptoms of liver disease, meet with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with a practitioner in Santa Monica who specializes in liver disease treatment, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
What Are the Symptoms of Liver Disease?
Symptoms of liver disease vary depending on the specific illness causing liver damage. However, the most common liver disease symptoms include:
- loss of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- weight loss
- abdominal pain or swelling
- extreme fatigue
- darkly-colored urine
- unusual colored stools (e.g., pale, black or bloody)
How Do You Get Liver Disease?
The chart below explains the different types of liver disease and their causes:
Types of Liver Disease
hepatitis A, B, and C
fatty liver disease
accumulation of fat in the liver
medication or drug use
parasitic liver infections
parasite infections like liver flukes
liver adenoma (benign tumor)
non-cancerous growths like hemangiomas
biliary disease, blood infection, colon cancer
Severe-enough liver damage can increase your chances of bile duct or liver cancer .
Your risk of developing liver disease increases if you have:
- exposure to certain toxins
- unprotected sex
What Is Chronic Liver Disease?
Chronic liver disease is a persistent inflammatory condition that affects the liver over a long period of time. When the liver is damaged, scar tissue slowly replaces healthy tissue, a process known as fibrosis of the liver. When scar tissue has replaced most of the organ, the condition is known as cirrhosis of the liver , or cirrhosis. Cirrhosis affects blood flow in the liver and reduces its overall function.
Symptoms of cirrhosis vary based on the severity of the condition, but may include:
- vomiting or coughing up blood
- hair loss
- jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- easily bleeding or bruising
- water build-up in your legs
- itchy skin
Causes of cirrhosis include many of the same causes of other liver diseases:
- alcohol abuse
- autoimmune diseases
- bile duct obstruction
- certain drugs and chemicals
As well as others like:
- obstruction of outflow of blood from the liver (Budd-Chiari syndrome)
- glycogen storage disease
- high blood galactose levels
- too much copper in the blood (Wilson's Disease)
- too much iron in the blood (hemochromatosis)
How Is Liver Disease Treated?
A physical examination—together with your medical history and symptom review—will help diagnose liver disease. To pinpoint exact types of liver disease additional diagnostic tests may be necessary, including urine and blood tests, imaging tests like a CT scan or ultrasound, or a liver biopsy. Research also suggests that early testing for diabetes may be a good indicator of cirrhosis, as the survival rates of cirrhotic patients with and without diabetes were 18% and 58%, respectively.
Lifestyle modifications to delay or prevent further damage can include:
- stopping alcohol consumption
- losing weight
- vitamin supplementation
- minimizing or eliminating sugar, sodium, processed foods, and carbohydrates from the diet
- eating a whole foods diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats
- avoiding household chemicals, insecticides, aerosol sprays, and other toxic exposures
Depending on the type and severity of your liver disease, your practitioner may prescribe a range of medications or procedures, including:
- diuretics to control fluid buildup or
- anti-viral medications to treat hepatitis
- paracentesis: removal of liver tissue fluid buildup with a needle
- endoscopic variceal banding (ligation): cessation of the bleeding caused by certain liver disease
- liver transplant: treating liver failure
As liver disease can cause vitamin B deficiency, B-1, B-6, and B-12 supplements may be able to treat cirrhosis, anemia, as well as symptoms like confusion, numbness and tingling from nerve damage.
The 8 types of B vitamins support a wide variety of body functions:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): helps convert food into energy, plays a role in muscle contraction, and supports your nervous system
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): important in body growth, red blood cell production, and breaking down and using carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
- Vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide): supports cellular energy production, increases good cholesterol levels, and helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): helps the body turn fats and carbohydrates into energy, and also creates hormones
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): induces over 100 cellular reactions throughout the body, such as creating serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): supports healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid): plays an important role in fetal health and development
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): helps create red blood cell and hemoglobin and maintains a healthy nervous system
As with any supplement or medication large amounts of one type of B-vitamin can create an imbalance of the others. Overdosing on vitamin B-6, for example, may cause nerve damage. Consult your healthcare provider to craft a custom treatment plan.
Reserve Your Appointment Now
If you suspect liver disease may be causing your symptoms, seek medical care to prevent further complications. Schedule a consultation with a liver specialist in Santa Monica who can diagnose your condition and craft a custom treatment. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Dr. Jeremy Fischer online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm