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Liver Disorders

Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA

Board Certified Gastroenterologist located in San Antonio, TX

Your liver is an essential organ that performs vital functions, so a liver disorder can have severe consequences for your health. If you have symptoms of a liver problem, board-certified gastroenterologist Muhammad Naeem, MD, at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA in San Antonio, Texas, can help. Dr. Naeem treats all liver disorders, including hepatitis and autoimmune liver disease, and has considerable expertise in managing liver transplant patients. He is also an expert in procedures like hepatobiliary endoscopy. Call the practice today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Liver Disorders Q & A

What are liver disorders?

Liver disorders are conditions that affect the way your liver functions. The liver has many roles, from helping to turn the food you eat into accessible energy, to filtering out toxins. If you have a liver disorder, your whole body can suffer.

Liver disorders can lead to liver failure, which requires a transplant. The Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA team has specialized expertise in managing liver transplant patients.

What liver disorders are due to infections?

The most common type of infection to cause liver disorders is viral hepatitis. Hepatitis A infection is usually due to eating or drinking something that has fecal matter on it. Hepatitis A is often symptomless and typically resolves within six months, causing no permanent harm.

Hepatitis B and C could infect you if you have unprotected sex or share needles when taking drugs. They can cause long-term complications.

What liver disorders are due to autoimmune problems?

Your immune system protects you from infection by attacking invading microorganisms. If you have an autoimmune disorder, it means your immune system is attacking cells in your body by mistake.

Autoimmune hepatitis causes liver inflammation. It makes you more prone to other liver disorders and can cause liver failure. Primary biliary cholangitis develops if your body attacks the bile ducts in your liver. If these ducts are damaged, bile can back up in your liver, leading to scarring.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis creates scarring in your bile ducts, which can cause blockages and a backup of bile. Primary sclerosing cholangitis can also lead to liver cancer.

What liver disorders are due to cancer and inherited conditions?

Most liver cancers start in other parts of your body and spread to your liver. Cancers that can start in your liver include hepatocellular carcinoma and bile duct cancer. Liver cell adenoma is a tumor that usually isn't cancerous but can become malignant in isolated cases.

Inherited liver disorders include:

  • Hemochromatosis: Too much iron in the body
  • Hyperoxaluria: Excess urinary excretion of oxalate
  • Wilson's disease: Too much copper buildup
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: Lack of liver production of a protein that protects the lungs

Lifestyle issues can also cause liver disorders. For example, alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis — scarring that builds up until your liver stops working. Being overweight or obese can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can also lead to cirrhosis.

What are the symptoms of a liver disorder?

Liver disorders don't always cause symptoms, especially in the earlier stages. If you do have symptoms, they could include:

  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen belly
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Yellowish eyes or skin (jaundice)

Your provider at Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA uses advanced hepatobiliary endoscopy interventions such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) to investigate the cause of your liver disorder.

If you're concerned about the health of your liver, call Advanced Gastroenterology Associates of SA today or book an appointment online.