Managing chronic liver disease is a long term proposition. So, finding a care team you trust is crucial.
The liver disease professionals at University of Colorado Hospital are more than just a team, they are family for many of our patients. From long-term management of chronic liver disease to post-transplant care, our “family” takes care of your family in every aspect that touches the disease including clinical care, financial counseling, nutrition guidance and psychiatric support.
Liver Disease Specialists
Hepatologist – a doctor who specializes in the functions of the liver.
Other Liver Disease Staff
- Clinical nurse specialist – an advanced practice nurse whose care focuses on liver disease patients.
- Registered nurse – a nurse licensed by the state who conducts medical evaluations, takes patient histories and provides after care for patients with liver disease
- Dietitian – a specialist in the effects of nutrition and food preparation on the body.
If transplantation is required, an even more extensive team is involved in your on-going care.
Several liver tests are performed routinely as part of general health screening in a comprehensive metabolic panel. If abnormal results come back, further testing may be performed such as enzyme testing or biopsy.
Liver disease may not cause any symptoms at first or the symptoms may be vague, like weakness and loss of energy.
In acute liver disease, symptoms related to problems handling bilirubin, including yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, and light stools, along with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common.
Chronic liver disease symptoms may include jaundice, dark urine, abdominal swelling (due to ascites), pruritus, unexplained weight loss or gain, and abdominal pain; these symptoms may not be present until the disease has reached an advanced stage.
The body cannot survive without a functioning liver, so it is important that you take care of it through a prudent lifestyle and preventative measures.
Treatment of liver disease involves protecting and supporting remaining liver function, minimizing further damage and complications, and addressing the underlying cause of the damage. It may range from taking specific medications to surgery to, in severe cases, liver transplantation.
Patients who are diagnosed with liver disease will often require long-term monitoring and should talk to their doctors to determine the best treatment options for their condition. Your doctor may treat your liver disease with medication, diet and exercise.
Find out about "triple therapy" at UCH