Tackling treatments for liver disease can be overwhelming at times. This liver disorder is the second most common reason for death related to cirrhosis of the liver. In most cases, an otherwise healthy individual can recover from this disease, but there are some people who will not be as lucky. Understanding more about the treatment options will help you make decisions about your health.
One of the most common treatments for liver diseases is surgery. This is particularly helpful for patients who do not respond well to medication or who have experienced side effects from prescription drugs. Surgery is also used when fatty liver or steatosis do not respond well to diet and other treatments. Surgery is also used when liver failure has become imminent. Unfortunately, the success rate for surgeries is quite low.
One of the most invasive solutions for liver disease is a liver transplant. Before having a transplant, your doctor will take a number of factors into consideration. He will consider your overall health , as well as the severity of your liver disease symptoms. Your health history may play an important role in the success of the surgery, since your doctor will need to know about your family medical history. Your choice of surgical procedure will depend on how far the doctor believes he can go to improve your health and prevent liver failure.
Ultrasound and magnetic resonance scans are common. They often involve the use of an ultrasound or a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI). Both of these imaging procedures can provide an accurate diagnosis of the disease. Once the doctor has diagnosed the problem, he will be in a much better position to begin treating it. Depending on your individual case, your treatment may range from surgical procedures to medication to diet changes.
An ultrasound or MRI examination is usually not sufficient to make an accurate diagnosis of liver disease. In many cases, the imaging tests cannot determine whether or not fatty liver failure is occurring. If blood tests show that fatty liver failure occurs, the doctor may recommend the use of a blood test to determine the levels of triglycerides (fatty substances) in the bloodstream. This test is called triglyceride blood test, or ATBC.
Liver specialists also perform a series of blood tests, called a venipuncture, in order to determine if there is an infection causing the liver disease. The most common infections causing liver disease are Hepatitis A, B and C. There is no cure for any of these infections. Some of the symptoms of each infection include fatigue, nausea, jaundice, fever, loss of appetite and dark urine. If doctors believe that the symptoms are caused by an infection, they will prescribe medications such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or a mixture of doxycycline and penicillin. Doctors treating patients with hepatitis C who fail to respond to initial treatments with doxycycline often switch patients to a course of amoxicillin-clavulanate.
If doctors determine that a patient has hepatitis C, or another infection causing the liver disease, they will treat the infection before moving on to treatments for hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus, and the most common form of treatment is ribavirin (Efficacy and Safety of Registryized Anti-Hepatitis B, Sponsored by Merck, Inc.). However, as hepatitis B is becoming more difficult to detect, more hepatitis B patients are being treated with interferon-based treatments. If your primary care physician does not prescribe an interferon treatment for you, your next choice should be a liver specialist.
When it comes to treatments for hepatitis C and hepatitis B, the earlier your doctor diagnoses you, the better for your health. Your primary care physician may not be able to diagnose your liver disorders or inform you of available treatments, but a liver specialist can provide all of the information you need. A liver specialist can recommend a course of treatment for you, or he may refer you to an interferon-based or other alternative. If you’re already taking medications to treat other liver disorders, you should discuss additional treatments for hepatitis C with your primary care physician. The more options you have, the better equipped you will be to make an informed decision about your health.