Ask the Experts: Liver-related Questions and Answers with Liver Specialist in Singapore

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The liver plays a key role in digestion. It also helps in the filtering of toxins, and storing energy. Liver specialists are also known as hepatologists.

They help with liver conditions like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease. They diagnose issues through tests, and design personalized treatment plans.

If you’re facing liver problems, these experts can guide you on lifestyle changes, medications, or potential surgeries. Their aim is to manage liver conditions, prevent complications, and improve your overall well-being.

In this post, we provide answers for some of the key questions you may have for/about your liver doctor in Singapore. Keep reading!

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What are Three Common Diseases of the Liver and their Causes?

There are several diseases that are known to affect the liver. However, the three most notable ones include; hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. These ailments can seriously impact your liver function.

In extreme cases, they may even lead to death. Hepatitis, often caused by viruses (like Hepatitis A, B, or C), inflames the liver.

It spreads through contaminated food, water, blood, or sexual contact. Hepatitis weakens the liver’s ability to process toxins and produce proteins, affecting digestion and immunity.

Fatty liver disease is linked to lifestyle factors. Major culprits include; obesity and excessive alcohol consumption.

Accumulation of fat in the liver impairs its function. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can also be due to unhealthy diets.

Over time, this condition can escalate. And, when this happens, it may cause inflammation and scarring.

Cirrhosis is advanced liver damage, typically resulting from long-term alcohol abuse or hepatitis. Continuous injury triggers scar tissue formation, hampering liver function.

As cirrhosis progresses, the liver struggles to detoxify blood and produce vital proteins. This can lead to fluid buildup, bleeding, and mental confusion.

Preventive measures can curtail these diseases. Vaccines safeguard against certain hepatitis strains.

Balanced diets and exercise combat fatty liver disease, while alcohol moderation helps prevent cirrhosis. Early detection and lifestyle adjustments are key.

How are Liver Disease Symptoms Diagnosed?

Before recommending any treatments or lifestyle adjustments, your liver specialist in Singapore will first want to have a clear picture of what is really causing the symptoms. Liver disease symptoms are identified through a series of diagnostic steps.

When you face fatigue, jaundice, or abdominal pain, the doctor may suspect liver issues. To confirm, blood tests can be used to measure liver enzymes and bilirubin levels, indicating liver function.

Ultrasound may also be used to create images of the liver’s condition. It’s non-invasive and safe. Further checks include CT scans, using X-rays to form detailed liver images, and MRIs that use magnetic fields and radio waves for a clearer view.

If needed, a biopsy may follow, where a tiny liver sample is studied under a microscope. It reveals inflammation, scarring, or other problems.

Liver disease’s specific cause is found through tests. Hepatitis viruses’ presence is identified with blood tests. Alcohol-related damage is gauged by asking about drinking habits.

Also, imaging methods expose fat accumulation and scar tissue. Doctors evaluate all these findings to reach a diagnosis.

For more complex cases, additional tests might be necessary. Fibroscan measures liver stiffness, indicating fibrosis or scar tissue buildup.

Endoscopy may also be used. This involves using a tube with a camera inserted to inspect the digestive tract’s veins, searching for signs of cirrhosis complications like bleeding.

A holistic picture is gotten by combining symptoms, medical history, and test outcomes. Early detection is key.

Detecting liver issues at the symptom stage aids timely management, preventing severe damage. Liver specialists tailor treatments to the specific diagnosis – medication, lifestyle changes, or even surgery for advanced cases.

What are Three Ways to Avoid Liver Disease?

Avoiding liver disease is crucial for maintaining overall health. Here are three simple yet effective ways to protect your liver;

  1. Healthy Eating Habits: The health of tour liver is linked to your diet. Opt for a balanced mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Keep processed foods, sugary drinks, and excess fats in check. Fiber-rich foods aid digestion and fight harmful buildup. Tame alcohol intake; too much can harm your liver.
  2. Regular Exercise: Keep your liver healthy with regular exercise. Regular exercise is key as obesity ups fatty liver risk. Exercise boosts blood flow, aiding toxin removal. Aim for 150 mins weekly of moderate activity, like brisk walks.
  3. Practice Safe Behavior: Maintain a healthy liver with safe choices. Say no to sharing needles or using drugs—these cause hepatitis. For tattoos/piercings, pick sterile places. Be wary of meds and herbs; some mix badly with alcohol, hurting your liver. Safe sex blocks liver-affecting infections.

What are the First Signs Something is wrong with your Liver?

The liver can signal trouble through noticeable signs. The good thing is that it isn’t easy to miss these signs. Here are twelve first signs something could be wrong with your liver;

  1. Fatigue: Feeling extremely tired even after adequate rest can be a sign of liver trouble. So, its dysfunction can lead to persistent fatigue.
  2. Jaundice: This is the yellowing of the skin and eyes. It occurs when the liver struggles to process bilirubin, a waste product. It suggests a problem with liver function.
  3. Digestive Issues: Your liver might be struggling to produce bile needed for digestion if you’re experiencing frequent bloating, nausea, vomiting, or changes in bowel movements.
  4. Abdominal Pain: Persistent pain or discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen could indicate an inflamed. It could also be a tell tale sign of an enlarged liver.
  5. Swelling: Swelling in the abdomen and legs can signal fluid retention due to the liver’s diminished ability to produce necessary proteins.
  6. Dark Urine: Urine that appears darker than usual might be a result of excess bilirubin, indicating liver issues.
  7. Pale Stools: Light-colored stools may result from improper bile flow, signaling a potential liver problem.
  8. Itchy Skin: Bile buildup due to liver dysfunction can lead to itchy skin, as bile salts accumulate in the bloodstream.
  9. Appetite Changes: Sudden weight loss, lack of appetite, or nausea could point to liver problems affecting nutrient absorption.
  10. Bruising: A liver struggling to produce enough proteins may lead to reduced blood clotting, causing easy bruising.
  11. Confusion or Cognitive Issues: When the liver fails to remove toxins from the blood, they can affect brain function. This may lead to confusion, memory problems, or difficulty concentrating.
  12. Increased Sensitivity to Medications: If you notice unusual reactions to medications, it could be due to the liver’s reduced ability to break them down.

It’s a Wrap!

In matters of liver health, timely action speaks volumes. When concerns arise, seeking guidance from your trusted liver specialist in Singapore is paramount.

Swift intervention can make all the difference in preserving well-being. Don’t hesitate; prioritize your liver health today.