There are many different risks factors
- Alcohol abuse: Drinking too much alcohol can lead to liver disease.
- Hepatitis: Some types of hepatitis make patients sick temporarily but in some cases hepatitis can turn into a chronic problem. Different types of hepatitis are spread via ingesting contaminated food, sexual contact, or blood exposure/sharing needles.
- Chemical exposure: Exposure to some chemicals can lead to liver disease.
- Over-using acetaminophen (Tylenol): Overdose of certain over-the-counter drugs, such as Tylenol, can lead to liver failure. Seek medical care immediately if you have taken an accidental or intentional overdose of Tylenol.
Liver Disease Can Develop Slowly
Liver disease can have few or no symptoms at first. Liver disease symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain (upper right side)
- Fever that won’t go away
- Yellowing of the skin (called jaundice)
- Feeling overly tired and weak
- Weight loss
Testing for Liver Disease
The initial evaluation of liver disease includes screening tests and a physical exam. Testing may also include:
- CT scan
- Liver biopsy
Ongoing Care Is Needed for Liver Disease
Keeping the disease from getting worse or to slow its progress often requires ongoing care. Treatment includes medication and medical procedures to control the effects of liver disease. Liver transplant may be recommended for patients when other treatments have not worked.
Maine Medical Partners Virology Treatment Center (VTC)
Patients with acute and chronic liver disease can receive treatment and referrals through the Maine Medical Partners Virology Treatment Center, or VTC. Patients have access to new treatments through clinical trials. The VTC evaluates and treats the following liver problems:
- Hepatitis A, B, C
- Liver cancer
- Cirrhosis of the liver