Liver Disease/Hepatitis Diagnosis
A GI doctor may review results from a special group of blood tests called liver function tests in order to identify specific liver issues or rule out other possible problems. It’s not unusual for images tests and tissue samples to be part of the diagnostic process as well with liver disease and hepatitis.
Treatment and Symptom Management
Some types of liver disease respond well to lifestyle adjustments, such as losing weight and getting treatment for alcohol-related issues. Hepatitis A and acute hepatitis B usually don’t require significant treatment efforts, but antiviral medications may help with chronic hepatitis B and C.
A medication called alpha interferon is sometimes recommended for hepatitis D. Because hepatitis E is usually acute, the resulting infection typically goes away on its own. Patients with autoimmune hepatitis may benefit from corticosteroids and immune suppressing drugs. With some types of liver disease, surgery may be necessary.
Liver disease could result in the need for a liver transplant, although this is usually a last resort if other treatments aren’t effective. Certain types of hepatitis are sometimes preventable if you avoid raw or under-cooked shellfish and oysters and the consumption of local tap water that’s known to be unsafe. It’s also best to avoid touching spilled blood and sharing needles. Even a simple act like not using another person’s toothbrush could prevent the blood contamination that sometimes causes hepatitis.