A hepatologist is a doctor who is responsible for diagnosing and treating all kinds of liver diseases in his professional activity. Hepatology is a department of gastroenterology, which is completely focused on the problems of the liver and biliary tract. A separate area of medicine is pediatric hepatology, which is based on the study of the structure of the liver, its development and features in the human body. The objects of the study of pediatric hepatology are, of course, children.
The essence of the work of hepatologists
Consultation with a hepatologist is necessary for patients with a diseased liver. A hepatologist diagnoses diseases (hepatitis, cirrhosis, and others) and treats them by prescribing medical therapy to patients combined with a special diet.
For the most part, all diseases of the biliary tract and human liver are very dangerous and difficult to proceed. The treatment of such diseases, as a rule, is long-term and sometimes life-long. That is why it is necessary to approach the appointments of doctors with all seriousness, not forgetting not only taking the drugs, but also to follow the diet that the hepatologist prescribed to the patient.
Receiving hepatologist must visit patients suffering from diseases such as acute or chronic hepatitis of any kind, cirrhosis, liver disease in alcohol dependence, herpetic hepatitis, yellow fever, Legionnaires' disease, toxoplasmosis, cholelithiasis, cytomegalic hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis, cholangitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, enteroviral hepatitis, non-specific reactive, autoimmune hepatitis, astenovegetative syndrome, toxic hepatitis, hemochromatosis, hepatitis C, leptos pyrosis, syndrome or Gilbert's disease.
When a hepatologist is diagnosed during the diagnosis of liver cancer, the hepatologist gives the patient a direction to visit the oncologist. When identifying other related diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the specialist may recommend that the patient seek additional advice from a gastroenterologist.
Analyzes and treatment by a doctor
Reception of a hepatologist always begins with clarifying the patient's complaints and determining the symptoms of the disease. Hepatologist necessarily takes into account the hereditary factors of disease, when some anomalies can be inherited at the gene level.
Also, the best hepatologist always pays attention to the lifestyle that his patient leads. For example, alcoholism is a clear path to various liver diseases, and the outcome of both the underlying and the underlying concomitant diseases is often sad. To specify his own conclusions about the patient's existing diseases, the hepatologist may prescribe some tests, the results of which will make clear the full picture of the course of the disease.
These analyzes include:
- general blood analysis;
- blood chemistry;
- Analysis of urine;
- analysis of hepatitis C and B markers by ELISA;
- qualitative and quantitative analysis of blood by PCR;
- analyzes of metabolic processes of iron and copper;
- autoantibody research;
- determination of markers of liver tumors.
Ultrasound examinations of the liver, esophagoscopy to determine the pyloric Helicobacter, colonoscopy, radiological diagnostics, blood analysis for the determination of red blood cells and reticulocytes, stool analysis for stercobilin, computed and magnetic resonance imaging, virus analysis Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, electroencephalography, blood and urine tests for hemoglobin.
Liver biopsy is performed under local anesthesia with short hospitalization after the procedure.
A good hepatologist must prescribe the treatment of diseases of his competence, guided by several important principles:
- the need for comprehensive antiviral therapy, which will not only help alleviate the symptoms of the disease, but also eliminate the cause of its occurrence;
- the use of additional treatment, which necessarily takes into account all chronic diseases of the patient (cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the urogenital system and others);
- in treatment it is necessary to adhere to a certain diet, otherwise the therapy will be ineffective. Most often, hepatologists use the No. 5 diet for liver diseases.
Symptoms of diseases
The most common and known liver diseases are cirrhosis and hepatitis C. The symptoms of each of these diseases should be considered separately in order to clearly understand what factors indicate the occurrence of these serious diseases.
Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver varies, depending on the stage of flow. At the initial stage, the symptoms are very weak, but they need to focus on. According to reviews of patients who had been treated by a hepatologist for cirrhosis in the hospital, it becomes clear that an early start of therapy gives much better results in matters of organ preservation and restoration of liver tissue functions. Moreover, with the right approach you can easily stimulate the liver to regeneration processes and self-healing.
Among the main symptoms, hepatologists call soreness in the abdomen, its increase in volume, bleeding gums, a change in a person's moods, a decrease in concentration, drowsiness, and heavy fatigue. With cirrhosis of the liver, sexual function also suffers, libido decreases, and the skin becomes yellow. Cal becomes light, and urine, on the contrary, darker. When these symptoms occur, or even several of them, you should immediately consult a specialist to avoid the development of cirrhosis and disastrous consequences in the future.
The second most serious disease within the scope of treatment of a Hepatologist is Hepatitis C, which may not show any symptoms at all for a long time. The development of hepatitis C and its transition to the chronic form can continue in a latent form for about 25 years, which prevents neither patients nor doctors at the time of detecting signs of the disease and affect its development.
If the symptoms do occur, they are expressed by pain in the abdomen, weight loss, appetite, and general weakness of the body. Itching and rashes may occur. Sometimes it happens that hepatitis C affects not only the liver, but also other vital systems of the body, such as the endocrine, circulatory, central nervous systems, blood vessels, muscles, kidneys, or joints. Therefore, the slightest ailments should be treated very carefully and try to prevent the development of the disease, and immediately contact a doctor to find out the causes of spoiled health.
Specialists draw the attention of those close to them who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver to the behavior of such patients due to the disease. Nervousness and lack of restraint, as well as decadent moods must be taken, since they are caused not only by the awareness of their own illness, but also by its manifestations.
The patient needs to provide more rest, it should not be allowed to do heavy physical exercises, lift weights, because this can provoke gastrointestinal bleeding in case of cirrhosis.
In case of cirrhosis, it is necessary to adjust the nutrition of the patient so that he has a regular stool, he drank enough and urinated. In case of excessive excretory processes, it is worth immediately notifying the hepatologist about this so that the doctor is aware of the course of the disease and can correct the treatment along the way. With the same purpose, the patient is measured daily weight and volume of the abdomen and with a sharp increase in these indicators also turn to the doctor as a matter of urgency.
Hepatitis should be prevented, because the disease can be picked up from the environment. Do not drink boiled water, neglect the washing of products and their heat treatment, regular hand washing. These simple rules will help a person to protect against hepatitis A. Also, to prevent infections with hepatitis B and C, it is necessary to exclude contact with body fluids of other people (blood, urine). Blood, for example, in a microscopic amount can be stored on personal hygiene items, so using other people's razors or toothbrushes is strictly prohibited.
At the hospital, measures are being taken to prevent patients from being infected with hepatitis B from each other. However, 10 years ago, methods of dealing with hepatitis were not so common, therefore, if a person had previously treated a tooth or underwent endoscopy, he should be checked by a hepatologist.
It must be remembered that the use of common syringes or needles, tattooing and piercing in non-sterile conditions is absolutely impossible. Hepatitis is very tenacious, they can persist in the environment for up to 2 weeks.
You can get hepatitis and sexually. This is how hepatitis B is transmitted, but sometimes during intercourse, hepatitis C can be picked up. It is possible that hepatitis C can be transmitted from mother to an unborn baby or to a breastfed baby.
Today, medicine does not know all the ways of infection with this disease, therefore, immunologists and hepatologists strongly recommend vaccination against this terrible disease.