Cirrhosis is associated with alcohol abuse, but you can develop this liver disease from problems that don't have anything to do with alcohol. The board-certified gastroenterologists and advanced nurse practitioners at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc offer in-house cirrhosis testing and personalized treatment that helps protect your liver from progressive damage. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the nearest office today. They have four offices located in La Porte and Plymouth, Indiana, as well as two locations in South Bend, Indiana, on Generations Drive and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street.
Cirrhosis is an advanced stage of liver disease that occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. As a chronic disease, cirrhosis gradually progresses, eventually leading to liver failure.
Cirrhosis may develop from several health conditions, including:
No matter what causes the problem, liver disease goes through progressive stages, beginning with inflammation.
Inflammation develops as your body fights the underlying condition. Ongoing inflammation causes scarring, a condition called fibrosis. Fibrosis progresses to cirrhosis as hard scar tissue expands and replaces healthy tissue.
If you have risk factors like drinking too much alcohol, being overweight or obese, or having hepatitis B or C, protect your health by scheduling a screening at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc.
The early stages of liver disease and mild cirrhosis seldom cause symptoms. As more scar tissues take over, you start having symptoms such as:
Advanced liver disease often causes enlarged veins in the esophagus. These veins may bleed, resulting in black or bloody stools and vomiting blood.
Your Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc provider reviews your medical history and symptoms, performs a thorough physical exam, and runs blood tests.
You may need diagnostic imaging such as an ultrasound, upper endoscopy, or MRI or CT scan. However, Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc typically does in-office testing using the innovative FibroScan®.
The FibroScan device accurately diagnoses liver disease by measuring the amount of fat and scarring in your liver. Your provider also uses the device to monitor the progression of cirrhosis.
You can slow down or stop ongoing liver damage by getting treatment at an early stage. However, the liver damage is permanent after cirrhosis develops.
Since there's currently no cure for cirrhosis, your provider treats any underlying diseases that cause cirrhosis and focuses on stopping the disease from getting worse.
Your treatment may include:
Without early treatment, cirrhosis may progress to cause liver failure. At that stage, your only treatment option is a liver transplant.
If you have questions about liver disease or need ongoing treatment, call Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, or book an appointment online today.