Are Liver Diseases Common?

Overall, almost one in every ten Americans (30 million people) has some form of liver illness. Cirrhosis affects around 5.5 million people in the United States. Some kinds of liver disease Anchorage are becoming increasingly widespread in the United States as obesity rates rise. An estimated 20% to 30% of individuals have extra fat in their liver, a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFD). To represent its connection to metabolic syndrome and illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, this may be termed metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD).

How to diagnose liver diseases

Arrange a meeting with a healthcare expert if you are concerned about liver disease. They will begin by reviewing your medical history and inquiring about any family history of liver disorders. Next, they will probably ask you questions about your symptoms, such as when they started and whether certain things make them worse or better. They will most likely inquire about your drinking and eating habits based on your symptoms. Tell them about any medication or over-the-counter drugs you use, as well as vitamins and supplements. Your clinician will also prescribe one or more tests to correctly diagnose and determine the cause of liver illness. These might include:

  • Blood tests: The amounts of liver enzymes in your blood are measured by liver enzymes. Another test for liver function is the international normalized ratio (INR), which measures blood coagulation. Abnormal levels may suggest liver function issues.
  • Imaging examinations: Your clinician may employ ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan to search for symptoms of liver damage, scarring, or tumors. The degree of scarring and fat buildup in the liver may be determined using a particular form of ultrasonography called fibroscan.
  • Liver biopsy: Your clinician will use a fine needle to extract a small sample of liver tissue during a liver biopsy. They examine the tissue for symptoms of liver disease.

Dire complications of liver disease

  1.     Acute liver failure occurs when you do not have chronic liver disease, yet your liver stops operating in a matter of days or weeks. This can occur due to an acetaminophen overdose, infections, or pharmaceutical medicines.
  2.     Cirrhosis is a scarring of the liver. The more scars that replace healthy components of your liver, the more difficult it is for your liver to function. It may stop working correctly over time.

Bottom line

Many liver diseases are treatable if detected early. They can, however, cause irreversible harm if not treated. Cirrhosis, severe scarring that cannot be reversed, can result from untreated or uncontrolled liver disease consequences. If cirrhosis has progressed to no return, a liver transplant may be your last alternative. Since certain liver disorders can develop without symptoms, scheduling annual physicals and the standard physical blood testing can help you, and your doctor keeps one step ahead. Several forms of liver disease can be caused by infections, hereditary disorders, obesity, and alcohol abuse. Scarring and more severe problems may result from the liver disease over time. Early therapy can aid in the healing process and avoid liver failure. Call Pioneer GI Clinic or book a meeting online to learn more about different forms of liver disease treatments. 

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