The largest internal organ in the human body is the liver. The liver has four lobes and many functions, such as processing harmful substances – like alcohol – from the blood. The liver also stores vitamins and glycogen, maintains proper levels of glucose in the blood, and synthesizes plasma proteins. In addition, it makes chemicals needed for digestion as well as cholesterol, hormones, and urea.
There are a variety of factors that can lead to liver diseases, such as infection, immune system abnormalities, genetics, cancer, and alcohol abuse. NYC gastroenterologist and liver specialist Dr. Anthony Borcich is fellowship-trained in hepatology and has extensive experience in treating all liver diseases, including hepatitis. Under Dr. Borcich’s meticulous care and using the newest oral drugs for hepatitis C, 98% of his patients have been cured of their infection. Among the most challenging to treat genotype 1 hepatitis C patients, only one patient thus far has failed to be cured and the patient admitted that they forgot to take the medication on multiple occasions. If you are suffering from liver disease or hepatitis A, B, or C, contact our hepatologists immediately for treatment and relief.
What are some major liver diseases?
- Hepatitis A, B and C
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Hemochromatosis (iron overload)
- Wilson’s disease (copper overload)
- Liver cancer
- Bile duct cancer
- Liver adenoma
- Cirrhosis (from chronic alcohol abuse)
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of viral hepatitis (caused by viruses): hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E. The most common and damaging hepatitis infections are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, which can cause the liver to swell and lead to serious liver damage and, after many years, even liver cancer. If you suspect that you may have hepatitis, it’s important that you immediately consult an experienced hepatologist like Dr. Borcich for diagnosis and treatment.
What causes hepatitis?
Viruses that cause liver damage can be spread through blood or semen, contaminated food or water, or close contact with a person who is infected. Non-viral causes have widely-varied biology.
Hepatitis A virus is commonly spread when a person ingests small amounts of contaminated fecal matter, which can be transmitted in numerous ways – drinking contaminated water, eating food handled by an infected person who doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom or from being in close contact with a person who is infected.
Hepatitis B virus is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other bodily fluids, which can be transmitted in various ways – sexual contact, needle sharing, accidental needle sticks or during childbirth.
Hepatitis C virus is spread through contact with blood contaminated with the virus. It may result from a number of situations, including accidental needle sticks, drug use, blood transfusions or organ transplants.
Autoimmune, drug-induced and fatty liver hepatitis are other important liver diseases not caused by viruses.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis and liver disease?
While liver disease symptoms differ from person to person, they commonly include:
- Jaundice (skin or eyes that appear yellow in tone)
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Chronic fatigue and weakness
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine color
- Pale stool color
- Bloody or tar-colored stool
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Bruising easily
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact our gastroenterologists and hepatologists immediately.
How is hepatitis treated?
The first step to learning about your hepatitis treatment in New York City is an examination with an NYC gastroenterologist and hepatologist to properly diagnose your condition. Our hepatitis specialist Dr. Borcich will start with a thorough evaluation, including a review of your medical history and your symptoms. Hepatitis is commonly diagnosed using blood tests, but in some cases, a liver biopsy may be necessary.
Once a diagnosis has been made, Dr. Borcich will be able to recommend a hepatitis treatment plan tailored to your needs. Depending on the type of hepatitis you have, conservative treatments may be the only treatments necessary. With hepatitis A, most patients can fight the disease by drinking plenty of fluids and getting adequate rest. With hepatitis B and C, you may only need medications to help manage your symptoms. However, in more chronic or severe cases, antiviral medications or a liver transplant may be needed. Treatment of autoimmune or toxic hepatitis is complex and always determined based on the specifics of each case.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of a liver disease or hepatitis, an evaluation with an experienced Manhattan gastroenterologist and hepatitis specialist is the first step to finding relief. Anthony Borcich, M.D. is fellowship-trained in liver diseases and has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating hepatitis with compassionate care and a personalized approach. Schedule an appointment with our liver specialists and hepatologists today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.