Hepatitis Specialist

ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates

Board Certified Gastroenterologists & Hepatology located in Long Beach, CA, Lakewood, CA

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, which can affect how the liver functions. The inflammation may be acute or chronic and develop from a wide range of causes. Mehrdad Saliminejad, MD, at ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates in Lakewood and Long Beach, California, specializes in diagnosing and treating hepatitis. Schedule an appointment by calling the office most convenient to you or booking an appointment online today.

Hepatitis Q & A

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a general medical term for inflammation of the liver. Inflammation causes swelling of the tissue that may result in damage.

Your liver is part of your digestive system and one of the largest organs in your body. It performs many vital functions, such as removing toxins from your blood, processing nutrients from the food you eat, and protecting you from infections.

Hepatitis may affect these vital functions and your overall health. 

What causes hepatitis?

You can develop hepatitis from a number of causes. Causes of hepatitis include:

Viral hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are viruses that cause liver inflammation. Viral hepatitis is the most common type of hepatitis. In the United States, most viral hepatitis cases develop from infections with hepatitis A, B, or C.

Hepatitis A causes acute hepatitis, while hepatitis B and C may cause chronic hepatitis and liver damage.

Alcoholic hepatitis

Excessive alcohol use damages your liver, leading to alcoholic hepatitis.

Toxic hepatitis

Toxic hepatitis is liver inflammation from exposure to toxic substances such as poisons, chemicals, medications, or supplements.

Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your liver, causing chronic inflammation.

How is hepatitis diagnosed?

Dr. Saliminejad specializes in hepatology, which is an area of medicine that focuses on liver diseases, and performs a comprehensive exam when you come in with concerns about hepatitis.

He reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam. He also runs lab work to assess liver function and test for viral hepatitis. He also performs imaging tests such as an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.

Dr. Saliminejad may also take a biopsy of your liver to confirm a diagnosis and assess liver damage.

How is hepatitis treated?

Dr. Saliminejad takes a patient-centered approach to care and customizes your hepatitis treatment plan based on the underlying cause of your condition and the severity of your liver damage.

For acute hepatitis, Dr. Saliminejad monitors your symptoms and liver functions. This type of hepatitis resolves on its own. 

For chronic hepatitis, he may prescribe disease-specific medications (antiviral medications) and suggest lifestyle changes such as abstinence from alcohol, smoking cessation, and eating a healthy diet.

To schedule a consultation with the expert in hepatology, call ProDigest Gastroenterology & Hepatology Associates or book an appointment online today.