The liver is the largest internal organ and one of the most complex. It produces chemicals to cleanse the body of waste and purifies the blood that passes through it. Diseases that compromise the liver's function, then, can have a huge impact on your quality of life.

The good news is that MedStar Health's gastrointestinal specialists offer comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for all types of acute and chronic liver disease, including:

  • Acute hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E
  • Chronic hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E
  • Metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease)
  • Drug-induced liver injury
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL)
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Chronic cholestatic syndromes and other causes of jaundice
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)

Symptoms

  • Itching: bile does not drain appropriately, so left over bile salts can lead to itching
  • Fatigue: liver can no longer convert nutrients or store vitamins, leaving your energy level low
  • Fluid retention: the diseased liver cannot use protein in the body, leading to fluid buildup
  • Bleeding problems: the diseased liver cannot make those materials needed for blood clotting

Treatment

Developing and maintaining a healthy diet that supports healthy liver function is critical to managing liver disease and perhaps even regenerating new, healthy liver cells. Medstar Health can offer nutritionists with expertise in designing a diet for those with liver disease. However, if your liver is damaged to the point where regeneration is not an option, also known as end-stage liver disease, your doctor may recommend a liver transplant.

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