Your liver, pancreas and gallbladder are all connected and function together as a system. If any of these organs are not working properly, it can lead to a wide variety of health problems. Fortunately, a physician who specialises in the human body called a hepatologist can diagnose and treat any of these issues. Here are some reasons why you may need to see a hepatologist.
What Is A Hepatologist?
A hepatologist is a type of physician who can diagnose and treat liver, pancreas and gallbladder conditions. They work closely with physicians in other fields to help diagnose and treat any of these issues. For more information on hepatologists or to book your appointment with one to look into symptoms, you may have, check out the private hepatologist at the Birmingham HPB Clinic.
Symptoms Of Liver Problems
Your liver can be affected by many different conditions. Some of the most common are alcoholism, cancer, viral hepatitis and fatty liver disease. A person with liver problems may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Excessive fatigue.
- Nausea, dizziness or light-headedness.
- Abdominal pain.
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
- Fever or chills.
Development Of Jaundice
One of the most common reasons to see a hepatologist is symptoms of jaundice. Jaundice is caused when a person’s liver is not functioning properly, and their bile cannot be excreted properly. When this happens, bilirubin builds up in the liver and spills over into the bloodstream. This can lead to skin discolouration, ranging from yellow to brown or even greenish in colour. It may also cause darkening around your eyes or sclera and yellowing of the whites of your eyes.
Jaundice has many different causes that you would need a professional to determine for you, such as an infection, obstruction, cirrhosis or excess alcohol consumption. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important that you visit your doctor immediately.
Deep Yellow Or Brown-Coloured Urine
One of the first signs that something is wrong with your liver is deep yellow or brown-coloured urine. Urine should be a pale yellow colour, but if it’s darker than that, it could be an indication that your liver is not functioning properly. The dark urine could also indicate a problem with the bile ducts, which help to break down fats and change them into bile acid in the gallbladder. When they are not working properly, they can cause problems like kidney stones or cholesterol deposits.
If you are noticing dark urine, it is important to see a hepatologist to determine the cause. This could be due to a number of issues, such as:
- Liver conditions like hepatitis or cirrhosis.
- Pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis.
- Kidney stones.
- Urine retention (caused by diabetes).
Sudden Gastrointestinal Bleeding
If you have sudden gastrointestinal bleeding and your physician cannot find the source of the bleeding, it may be due to a liver condition. If this is the case, they will send you to see a hepatologist. The most common cause of sudden gastrointestinal bleeding is a condition called portal hypertension, which is when there’s an abnormal narrowing or blockage in the vessels that carry blood away from the liver.