If you have or think you might have hepatitis, you can get help here at Vanguard Gastroenterology. We offer hepatitis diagnosis and treatment in New York NY, and our professionals are gastroenterologists who understand hepatitis especially well. We’d like to help you understand hepatitis better, so if you have any questions about it, we encourage you to reach out to us at our clinic. You can also keep reading to learn more about hepatitis diagnosis and treatment.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver, and it can be caused by a viral infection, medication, drug, alcoholic substance, or toxin. Autoimmune hepatitis is caused by the body producing antibodies against the liver’s tissue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.4 million Americans live with chronic hepatitis B and C. Additionally, many other people may not even know that they have hepatitis. If you think you may have hepatitis, then you might be experiencing the common symptoms of the condition.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?
If you have hepatitis B or C, then you may not have symptoms in the beginning. In fact, symptoms may not occur or show until liver function is affected, and this is because hepatitis B and C can develop slowly. However, the symptoms of acute hepatitis can occur quickly, and they can be:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Urine that looks dark
- Stools that look pale
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss that can’t be explained
- Yellow skin and eyes (these may be signs of jaundice)
How is hepatitis diagnosed?
In order to diagnose hepatitis, a medical professional like a gastroenterologist will likely look at your medical history to try to determine whether you have any risk factors for hepatitis. The professional will also likely perform a physical examination. During this exam, the professional may press down on your abdomen to check for tenderness or pain. The professional may also feel to see whether your liver is enlarged.
Additionally, the professional may suggest certain liver function tests. These tests use blood samples to determine how well your liver is functioning. If there are abnormal results, this could indicate a problem. There are other blood tests the professional can suggest, and these tests can check for the viruses that cause hepatitis. The tests can also help check for the antibodies that are common in conditions like autoimmune hepatitis. Finally, the professional may suggest another test like an ultrasound or a liver biopsy.
How is hepatitis treated?
To treat hepatitis, a professional will need to consider the type of hepatitis you have. With hepatitis A, treatment may not be necessary because it’s a short-term illness. You might just need to rest and get proper hydration and nutrition. With hepatitis B or C, antiviral medication may be necessary. In fact, with hepatitis C, a combination of antiviral drug therapies can help. It may also be possible to help you if you have hepatitis D, hepatitis E, or autoimmune hepatitis. For example, a corticosteroid can help with autoimmune hepatitis. We can provide many of the treatments we mentioned here at Vanguard Gastroenterology!
If you’d like to learn more about hepatitis diagnosis and treatment, connect with us here at our clinic. You can also connect with us if you’d like to have an appointment for diagnosis or treatment. For your appointment, you’ll be able to speak with a fully qualified professional like one of our gastroenterologists here at Vanguard Gastroenterology.
We serve patients from New York NY, Midtown NY, Queens NY, Brooklyn NY, The Bronx NY, East Elmhurst NY, Ridgewood NY, Valley Stream NY, and Staten Island NY. We hope to hear from you soon!