Take Control of Your Liver Health
Over the last decade, the US has seen a rapid increase in liver disease cases and deaths. A recent study published by BMJ, a medical trade journal, reported that cirrhosis deaths have increased by 65%, and liver cancer deaths have doubled since the turn of the century. Researchers noted the greatest increase had been seen in young adults and women due to fatty liver disease.
“Fatty liver disease is an illness that has been growing in incidence in our country, and we know approximately 25%, or one in four, of our patients will have some form of fatty liver disease,” said Michael A. Goebel, MD, a gastroenterologist at Hattiesburg Clinic. “Most patients are unaware they have chronic liver disease because, frequently, the disease presents little to no symptoms.”
Early detection is key to stopping liver disease progression, which is why Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology invested in FibroScan technology. This non-invasive screening tool evaluates the overall health and current state of the liver. FibroScan is quick and painless as it utilizes ultrasound technology to spot fatty liver disease and the potential for fibrosis or cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver.
“FibroScan allows us to determine if there are liver problems that need to be addressed prior to the patient developing end-stage liver disease,” Goebel said. “The most important component is to try to catch liver problems early and, therefore, be able to provide effective treatment before developing cirrhosis.”
Patients currently being treated for diabetes, obesity, or metabolic syndrome may potentially benefit from a FibroScan in addition to patients with elevated liver blood tests. This painless, non-invasive scan is done in the office and typically takes approximately 15 minutes.
Any questions regarding the need for FibroScan or to schedule an appointment, contact Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology at (601) 268-5680 or visit www.hattiesburgclinic.com/gastro.
About Hattiesburg Clinic Gastroenterology
The Gastroenterology department at Hattiesburg Clinic offers clinical services to evaluate diseases of the intestinal tract, liver and pancreas. Some of the conditions they treat include esophageal disease, peptic ulcer disease, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis and cirrhosis. They use a combination of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures for treatment and screening. Gastroenterology is located at Hattiesburg Clinic’s main facility, located at 415 S. 28th Ave. in Hattiesburg. The contact information for the department is (601) 268-5680.
BMJ, 2018, Rapid Rise in Deaths from Liver Disease in the US over the Last Decade: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/rapid-rise-in-deaths-from-liver-disease-in-the-us-over-the-last-decade/