Helping you prevent or cope with liver damage
Your liver plays a vital role in your overall health. It is the organ that stores the vitamins, sugar, and iron you need for energy. It filters your blood from harmful toxins and waste. It also controls cholesterol, removes harmful bacteria, and metabolizes some of the medications you take. When your liver is injured, diseased or exposed to harmful toxins, your body cannot function properly. You may experience fatigue, weight loss, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
When you drink responsibly, enzymes in your liver break down alcohol and eliminate it from your body. But the liver can only metabolize a limited amount of alcohol each hour. When you consistently consume more than your liver can process, you risk damaging this important organ, gradually killing its cells.
You do not have to get drunk to harm your liver. You may also not experience any symptoms until the damage has begun.
Therefore, we recommend that if you do drink excessively, you should regularly have your liver checked. The specialists at Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates will treat you with compassion and dignity and provide the most advanced tests to determine the health of your liver or the extent of damage.
If a problem is detected in time, we can help you manage your liver disease, so it does not progress. The liver is resilient and can regenerate as long as the damage is not too excessive.
Diagnosing alcohol-related liver disease
There are three different types of alcohol-related liver disease. We perform liver function tests to determine the extent of damage and the best course of treatment for the disease.
Fatty liver disease:
When excess fat builds up in your liver, you have the earliest stage of alcohol-related liver disease and may have no symptoms. Potential symptoms can include fatigue, weakness and weight loss. You can resolve fatty liver disease if you stop drinking.
This form of hepatitis can occur from drinking too much alcohol. It ranges from mild to serious. It causes the liver to swell and, when severe, can lead to serious complications. A mild case can be treated.
In this form, the liver becomes scarred and the damage may not be reversed. Unable to regenerate itself, the liver begins to fail. We can work with you to manage the progression of the disease. If you stop drinking, you may prevent and reverse damage.
You can trust Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates to provide the most complete and accurate diagnosis of your condition — the first critical step toward appropriate treatment. Your board-certified physician will answer all your questions and make sure you have a full understanding of the testing — what they measure and what the results mean for you. If further evaluation is necessary, we provide onsite laboratory services for your convenience.
If you or someone you love is suffering from potential alcohol-related liver disease, please contact us immediately for diagnosis and management at 908-483-4000.