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A hepatologist is a specialist in the detection and therapy of liver diseases. However, this definition is not complete, as the scope of activities of this physician is somewhat broader, and requires explanation.
The industry of medicine under the name of "Hepatology" is one of the subsidiary branches of gastroenterology. However, it is more concerned with the study of the liver, gall bladder and his ways.
In addition, there is a separate area of Hepatology, working exclusively with children, i.e., children's Hepatology. This branch recently and currently is actively developed, studying the structure and ontogeny, and pathology of the liver of young patients.
What illness is cured by a hepatologist?Almost any liver disease requires attention of the doctor because therapy is often prolonged and serious. Therefore, not only the doctor but the patient will need to make the effort, so the treatment gave a positive result. In addition to taking some prescription drugs patients have to re-examine your diet and lifestyle in General. In addition to diagnosis, therapy and prevention for the treatment of liver disease, hepatologists also developing similar measures in respect of the gallbladder and bile ducts.
So, the doctor of this specialty confronted almost daily with the following diagnoses:
- Cirrhosis of the liver;
- Hepatitis b acute and chronic phase;
- Alcoholic liver disease;
- Hepatitis provoked by herpes infection;
- Hepatitis provoked by gram-negative organisms;
- Legionnaires ' disease;
- Yellow fever;
- Hepatitis: cytomegaly, toxic, autoimmune, and nonspecific reactive hepatitis C, enterovirus, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis;
- Gilbert Syndrome;
- Infectious mononucleosis;
- Asthenovegetative syndrome;
- Leptospirosis and other diseases.
If the patient is found cancer the liver, you will be redirected to the oncologist. Often, in parallel with the liver and gallbladder are detected comorbidities of organs responsible for digestion of food, in this case, the patient should consult a gastroenterologist.
Reception of Hepatology: what does it include?
Primarily, the specialist will find out from the patient what symptoms cause him anxiety, and then carry out the examination of the patient. The doctor detects a genetic predisposition to those or other diseases of the liver, without attention does not remain a way of life of the patient, his priorities in food. The latter two factors often play a crucial role in the occurrence of liver disease, if we are not talking about viral lesions of the body.
Analyses appointed hepatologist
When taking a history and examination is completed the doctor will decide on the necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis.
A standard set of such studies are of three basic criteria:
- The KLA (overall blood analysis);
- TANK (blood on the study of biochemical parameters);
- OAM (General urine analysis).
If necessary, the doctor will extend this basic set of tests. So, the patient may be asked to undergo ultrasound to pass additional tests to study them in the laboratory, may be applied to radiological methods of examination. This is necessary in order to obtain the fullest possible information about the patient.
More research is appointed by the hepatologist
It is possible that the doctor will recommend the patient to undergo one or more of the following studies:
- Blood to study the level of reticulocytes and red blood cells;
- Delivery of feces to detect it stercobilin;
- Ultrasonography, CT or MRI of the liver;
- Identifying co-infections: herpes simplex virus, Epstein – Barr, cytomegalovirus;
- The passage of electroencephalography;
- Performing liver biopsy, which the patient is injected anesthetic local action, and after the procedure requires hospitalization (hours);
- If there is a suspicion that the patient is infected with hepatitis E, it is necessary to study his blood and urine to determine in these fluids hemoglobin.
The principles on which therapy is based, are as follows:
- The purpose of antiviral therapy. The purpose of such treatment is removal of the causative agent (in this case – virus) from the body. This requires an integrated approach.
- Identifying the patient associated chronic diseases in other organ systems. When detected, it is necessary to conduct additional measures, aimed at achievement of stable remission.
- The appointment diet. Most often people who have liver problems, the recommended dietary table number five. However, it can be changed, depending on the individual characteristics of the disease in a particular patient.
Symptoms which should consult a hepatologistAs the most common liver diseases are hepatitis C and cirrhosis, then it is advisable to elaborate on the symptoms of these diseases.
Liver cirrhosis: symptoms
Depending on the stage of the infection will vary the symptoms of cirrhosis. The onset is usually hidden and the patient may not be aware that he has manifested the pathological process. However, we should pay attention to bleeding gums, pain in the abdomen and increase. People become less attentive, ability to concentrate on a particular activity worsens. A weakness and fatigue.
After a while, if the person is not talking to the hepatologist, the disease progresses, symptoms become more pronounced. The skin acquires a yellowish tint, there are problems with libido. The stool become lighter, and the urine, on the contrary, acquires a darker shade. Its color can be compared with the color of the brew.
For the patient it is important not to miss the first signs of disease and promptly seek the assistance of a hepatologist. The sooner you get started the therapy, the higher the chances that it will be effective. In addition, if treatment is started at an early stage, the processes that destroy the liver are reversible and the body is able to recover in the future. Eventually, cirrhosis can be stopped.
Hepatitis C: symptoms
The disease is quite insidious because people are unaware ofits presence in your body. This is due to the fact that the disease gives almost no symptoms. Even going into the acute phase, and then in the chronic disease itself may not be. Throughout this time the liver will gradually disintegrate, the process can take several decades (25). The man himself is even unaware that he is infected with dangerous virus.
Symptoms sometimes appear, but few of them pay attention: this increased weakness, abdominal pain, weight loss and loss of appetite. The skin may appear rash and itching. In addition, the virus can infect not only the liver, but and other bodies, in particular: circulatory system, endocrine glands, muscles, and joints, nervous system, kidneys, etc.