Liver Clinic

Patient Information

 The Liver Clinic 's focus is in the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases.


Living with liver disease requires a partnership that includes you and a team of multidisciplinary experts who understand your condition. 


Our goal is to slow, stop and cure these conditions so they do not become more serious medical illnesses. At our liver disease clinics, liver specialists work with you to closely monitor and manage your condition.


We have comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment programs in:


Fatty Liver 

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis B


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Fatty Liver

  

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the build up of extra fat in liver cells that is not caused by alcohol. It is normal for the liver to contain some fat. However, if more than 5% – 10% percent of the liver’s weight is fat, then it is called a fatty liver (steatosis).

Hepatitis C

Patient Information

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus. There are several types of hepatitis C viruses. Hepatitis C is one type of hepatitis.

Hepatitis is a redness and swelling (inflammation) of the liver that sometimes causes lasting damage. The liver isn’t able to work the way it should.

Hepatitis C can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic):

  • Acute      hepatitis C. When      people first get hepatitis C, this a brief infection that lasts 6 months      or less. Some people are able to fight the infection at this stage and      become cured. But most people go on to develop a chronic infection where      the virus remains in their body.
  • Chronic      hepatitis C. This is a long-lasting      infection that happens when your body can’t get rid of the virus. It      causes long-term liver damage.

It is rare to recover from hepatitis C infection, but some people are able to clear the virus from their body. Most people with hepatitis C have the virus for the rest of their life. Most people with hepatitis C have no or only mild symptoms, so they don't always know they are infected.

If you were born between 1945 and 1965, talk with your healthcare provider about getting tested for hepatitis C. The CDC recommends that all people in this age group get tested.

What causes hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by infection from the hepatitis C virus. Like other viruses, hepatitis C is passed from person to person. This happens when you have contact with an infected person’s blood.

You may get the virus if you:

  • Share needles used for illegal      drugs
  • Share drug-snorting equipment
  • Have unprotected sex with      someone who has hepatitis C
  • Get a tattoo with infected      equipment

Babies may also get the disease if their mother has the hepatitis C virus.

Who is at risk for hepatitis C?

Anyone can get hepatitis C by having contact with the blood of someone who is infected with the virus.

But some people are at higher risk for the disease. They include:

  • Children born to mothers who      are infected with hepatitis C
  • People who have jobs that      involve contact with human blood, body fluids, or needles
  • People who have a      blood-clotting disorder such as hemophilia, and received clotting factors      before 1987
  • People who need dialysis      treatment for kidney failure
  • People who had blood      transfusions, blood products, or organ transplants before the early 1990s
  • People who take IV or      intravenous drugs
  • People who have unprotected      heterosexual or homosexual sex
  • People with HIV
  • People in prison

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Many people with hepatitis C don’t know they have it. In most cases people who are infected with hepatitis C may not show any symptoms for several years.

It is still possible to pass the virus to someone else if you have hepatitis C but do not have any symptoms.  

Each person’s symptoms may vary. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes      (jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Muscle and joint pain

Hepatitis C symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

How is hepatitis C diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will give you a physical exam and ask about your past health. He or she will also do a blood test to see if you have hepatitis C.

If your provider thinks you have long-term (chronic) hepatitis C, he or she may do other tests to see how well your liver is working. These tests may include:

  • More blood tests
  • Special ultrasound or other      imaging test
  • Liver biopsy. For this, the      doctor takes a small tissue sample from your liver. The sample is checked      under a microscope to see what type of liver disease you have and how      severe it is.

How is hepatitis C treated?

Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely and discuss treatments with you. Hepatitis C is usually treated because it often becomes a long-term or chronic infection. Hepatitis C can be cured. Your treatment may include taking one or more medicines for several months. Your symptoms will be closely watched and managed as needed.

If severe liver damage takes place, you may need a liver transplant.

What are the complications of hepatitis C?

Many people with hepatitis C develop chronic liver disease. You could need a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the most common cause of liver transplants in the U.S.

Liver failure can lead to death.

The risk for liver cancer is higher in some people with hepatitis C.

What can I do to prevent hepatitis C?

There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. But you can protect yourself and others from getting infected by:

  • Making sure any tattoos or body      piercings are done with sterile tools
  • Not sharing needles and other      drug materials
  • Not sharing toothbrushes or      razors
  • Not touching another person’s      blood unless you wear gloves
  • Using condoms during sex

Key points about hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is a liver disease      caused by infection from the hepatitis C virus.
  • The virus spreads when you have      contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluid.
  • Anyone can get hepatitis C but      some people are at higher risk. If you were born between 1945 and 1965,      ask your healthcare provider about getting tested.
  • You may not have any symptoms      for years.
  • The risk for liver cancer is      higher in people with hepatitis C.
  • Treatment may include taking      one or more medicines for several months.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit      and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down      questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help      you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the      name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also      write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or      treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side      effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be      treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is      recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do      not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment,      write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your      provider if you have questions.

Hepatitis B

Patient Information

What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis is a redness and swelling (inflammation) of the liver. It sometimes causes permanent liver damage.

There are several types of hepatitis. In hepatitis B, the liver is infected with the hepatitis B virus. This causes inflammation. The liver isn’t able to work the way it should.

The liver is a large organ that lies up under the ribs on the right side of your belly (abdomen). It helps filter waste from your body, makes a fluid called bile to help digest food, and stores sugar that your body uses for energy.

In the U.S., hepatitis B is one of the most common diseases that can be prevented with a vaccine.

Hepatitis B can be short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). It tends to become chronic most often in infants and young children, and less often in people infected as adults.

  • Acute      hepatitis B. This is a      brief infection (6 months or less) that goes away because the body gets      rid of the virus.
  • Chronic      hepatitis B. This is a      long-lasting infection that happens when your body can’t get rid of the      virus. It causes long-term liver damage.

What causes hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. People pass the hepatitis B virus to each other. This happens when you come into contact with another person’s infected:  

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Saliva

Common ways this virus is spread are through:

  • Needle sticks
  • Sharp instruments
  • Shared razors and toothbrushes
  • Unprotected sex with an      infected person
  • Sharing drug supplies

Babies may also get the disease if their mother has the virus. Infected children can spread the virus to other children if they play together often or if a child has many scrapes or cuts. But body fluids need to come in contact to spread the virus. So just playing next to a friend will not give someone hepatitis B. 

Who is at risk for hepatitis B?

Anyone can get hepatitis B by coming into contact with the blood or body fluids of someone who is infected with hepatitis B.

Some people are at higher risk for getting hepatitis B. They include:

  • Children born to mothers who      have hepatitis B
  • People from Asian and Pacific      Island nations
  • People living in long-term care      facilities or who are disabled
  • People living in households      where someone is infected with the virus
  • People who have a      blood-clotting disorder, such as hemophilia
  • People who need dialysis for      kidney failure
  • People who use IV (intravenous)      drugs
  • People who have unprotected      heterosexual or homosexual sex, especially if they have many sex partners
  • People who have a job where      they are in contact with human blood, body fluids, or needles
  • People who work or live in a      prison
  • People who had blood      transfusions, blood products, or organ transplants before the early 1990s
  • People taking medicines that      weaken (suppress) the body’s infection-fighting system (immune system)
  • People with HIV (human      immunodeficiency virus) or hepatitis C infections

Pregnant women should be tested for hepatitis B.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B has a wide range of symptoms. It may be mild, without symptoms, or it may cause chronic hepatitis. In some cases, hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and death.

Each person’s symptoms may vary. The most common symptoms of hepatitis B include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • Fever
  • Muscle soreness
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes      (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Clay colored or light colored      stools
  • Belly (abdominal) pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Confusion
  • Swollen belly from fluid

The symptoms of hepatitis B may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

How is hepatitis B diagnosed?

To see if you have hepatitis B, your healthcare provider will give you a physical exam and do a blood test.

If your healthcare provider suspects chronic hepatitis B, he or she may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) from your liver with a needle. These samples are checked under a microscope to find out the type of liver disease and how severe it is.
 

An ultrasound test is usually done as well to see if the liver looks very diseased. 

How is hepatitis B treated?

Hepatitis B is not treated unless it becomes a long-term (chronic) infection. Then medicines are used to try to slow down or stop the virus from damaging the liver. Most people get medicines they can take by mouth (orally). But some people get an injection. The decision to treat is complicated and based on many things. These include test results and how advanced your disease is.

Your symptoms will be closely watched and managed as needed. If severe liver damage occurs, you may need a liver transplant.

There is no cure for hepatitis B. Treatment is helpful to decrease the amount of virus in your blood and decrease risk of complications. 

What are the complications of hepatitis B?

Long-term or chronic hepatitis B can cause severe liver damage. The most severe liver damage is called cirrhosis. The liver stops working properly. This could lead to the need for a liver transplant.

Liver failure can lead to death.

The risk of liver cancer is higher in people with hepatitis B.

What can I do to prevent hepatitis B?

A vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis B. It is given in 3 shots (injections) over 6 months. The vaccine is suggested for everyone age 18 years and younger, as well as for adults over age 18 who are at risk for the infection.

You can protect yourself and others from hepatitis B by:

  • Using condoms during sex
  • Making sure any tattoos or body      piercings are done with tools that have been cleaned properly and do not      have any germs (sterile)
  • Not sharing needles and other      drug supplies
  • Not sharing toothbrushes or      razors
  • Not touching another person’s      blood or body fluids unless you wear gloves

Key points

  • Hepatitis B is a redness and      swelling (inflammation) of the liver. It sometimes causes permanent liver      damage.
  • Hepatitis B is caused by      infection with the hepatitis B virus.
  • People pass the hepatitis B      virus to each other through infected blood and body fluids such as semen,      vaginal secretions, and saliva.
  • You can protect yourself by      using condoms during sex, not sharing needles, and not sharing      toothbrushes or razors.
  • A vaccine is available to      prevent hepatitis B.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit      and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down      questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help      you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the      name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also      write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or      treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side      effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be      treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is      recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do      not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment,      write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your      provider if you have questions.

Our Locations

 Primary Office:  9731 Prairie Avenue, Highland, IN 46322 

Winfield Woods: 9150 E.  109th Ave., Ste 2D, Crown Point, IN 4630 

Marcotte Medical: 16000 W.101st Avenue, Dyer IN 46311 

Leetsma Healthcare : 519 N. Halleck St. DeMotte IN 46310 

Ph: (219) 922-4900

Fax: (219) 836-9922