Hepatitis may damage the liver and affect liver function when left untreated. Tahmina Haq, MD, at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute in Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Huntington Beach, California, specializes in diagnosing and treating hepatitis. The skilled gastroenterologist customizes care so you get the best outcomes. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Your liver is one of the largest organs in your body. It performs many essential functions, like removing toxins from your blood, storing energy, and making specialized proteins.
Inflammation of the liver may affect these vital functions. Unlike other organs, the liver can repair itself after an injury. However, when left untreated, hepatitis may cause scarring of the tissue (cirrhosis) that permanently affects liver function, putting you at risk of liver failure.
Hepatitis can develop from many causes. Some of the more common include:
Certain viruses attack the liver and cause inflammation. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are the most common causes of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis A causes an acute infection, while hepatitis B and C may cause chronic hepatitis.
Alcohol is toxic to the liver. Overconsumption of alcohol may cause liver inflammation. Continuing to consume alcohol with hepatitis leads to cirrhosis.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which your immune system attacks your own body. Some autoimmune diseases attack the liver, causing inflammation.
If you have symptoms of hepatitis, you should schedule a consultation at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute. There’s no cure for hepatitis, but treatment can prevent liver damage and support the healing process.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis include:
Not everyone with hepatitis develops symptoms until they have permanent liver damage.
Treatment for hepatitis depends on the underlying cause. For acute hepatitis, you may not need any treatment. For chronic hepatitis, treatment may include:
There’s no cure for hepatitis B, but medications can slow down replication of the virus and damage to the liver. You can cure hepatitis C, however. Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute can prescribe a combination of medications to eliminate the virus, preventing permanent damage to the liver.
Hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage and liver failure. Call Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute or book an appointment online to get expert help with hepatitis.