Digestive Liver Specialist & Hepatologist in North Houston

What does the liver do?

Your liver is an important part of your body that performs a number of critical digestive functions, including:

  • Producing bile needed for digestion
  • Breaking down protein, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Filtering out toxins from your system
  • Activating protein enzymes for your body’s use
  • Storing vitamins

What are hepatitis B & C?

The viral infection called hepatitis is known for causing swelling and inflammation of the liver, which can cause serious problems for your digestion. The infection comes in several different forms, known as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A causes acute swelling of the liver and generally only lasts for a matter of weeks before a person completely recovers. However, with hepatitis B and C, the infection is more serious and longer-lasting.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, the most common liver infection, often resolves over a relatively short period of time; however, in some cases, hepatitis B can lead to chronic hepatitis, liver scarring/cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.

Hepatitis C

This form of hepatitis is the least likely to resolve over time and is often the most damaging to the liver. Most hepatitis C infections do not go away and eventually lead to chronic liver disease. Like hepatitis B, this form of the virus can also lead to chronic hepatitis, liver scarring/cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.

What causes hepatitis B & C?

Hepatitis B is most commonly transmitted to a person through one of the following:

  • Sharing needles with an infected person
  • Blood contamination with an infected person
  • Childbirth, where an infected mother passes the infection on to the newborn
  • Unprotected sex with an infected person

Hepatitis C is generally only transmitted through blood contamination, commonly when a person shares needles with an infected person.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B & C?

The signs and symptoms of hepatitis that warrant a visit to Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston include the following:

Hepatitis B Symptoms

  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice)

Hepatitis C Symptoms

  • Bruising more easily than usual
  • Bleeding more easily than usual
  • Decreased appetite
  • Itching skin
  • Leg swelling
  • Lack of energy
  • Weight loss
  • Dark colored urine
  • Yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice)

Hepatitis B & C Diagnosis from a Houston Hepatologist

At Allied Digestive Disease Center, we have the background and knowledge to accurately provide a diagnosis of hepatitis B & C so that you can begin on the road to recovery or managing your symptoms.

Hepatitis Screenings in Houston

Hepatitis screenings are available at Allied Digestive Disease Center in Houston for any patient who experiences symptoms of the infection or who believe they may have been exposed to the virus. A hepatitis screening might be appropriate for you if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have HIV
  • Have abnormal liver testing results
  • Have had many sexual partners
  • Share needles
  • Are taking immune system suppressants
  • Live in a place where hepatitis B or C is common
  • Live with someone who has hepatitis

Liver Damage Testing in Houston

One or more of the following liver tests might also be conducted at Allied Digestive Disease Center to assess the level of damage to your liver:

  • Liver biopsy
  • Liver ultrasound
    • Transient elastography
    • Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)

Can hepatitis B & C lead to complications if left untreated?

Leaving hepatitis untreated long-term can have serious complications, so it is very important to take preventative measures, such as avoiding sharing needles and getting hepatitis screenings if you believe you might have been exposed. A hepatologist can help you diagnose hepatitis and begin treatment to avoid significant future complications, including:

  • Liver scarring/cirrhosis
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cancer

Hepatitis B Treatment & Hepatitis C Treatment in Houston, TX

Visiting a certified liver specialist for hepatitis B or C is the first step of gaining control of the illness and minimizing long-term damage to your liver. Depending on the form of hepatitis you are suffering from, your current symptoms, and how long you have had the condition, Dr. Adeyefa might recommend one of the following hepatitis treatment options:

  • Vaccination against other forms of hepatitis
  • Antiviral medications
  • Virus-fighting Interferon injections
  • Liver transplant

If you are experiencing symptoms of hepatitis, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston. Our team strives to provide excellence in gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition services for patients in North Houston and the surrounding areas. We believe quality care begins with a patient-centered approach to diagnosing and treating both minor and chronic GI conditions. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.

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