Hepatitis C Infection

Hepatitis C is caused by a RNA virus. The virus is spread through blood and blood products and the common ways of acquiring infection are intravenous drug use, needle stick exposure, tattoos, sexual promiscuity (multiple partners, gay population), sharing razors and toothbrushes etc. Blood transfusion was an important route of transmission before 1993 when serological testing was not available but now this is not a method of transmission. In about 20% of patients no risk factor can be identified.

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Hepatitis B Infection

Hepatitis B is caused by a DNA virus. The virus is spread through blood and blood products and the common ways of acquiring infection are intravenous drug use, needle stick exposure, tattoos, sexual promiscuity (multiple partners, gay population), sharing razors and toothbrushes etc. In Asia, where the virus is very common vertical transmission from mother to fetus during childbirth is common. Such infection causes high viral load as the child’s immune system is not developed to mount a response to clear the virus. Due to excellent blood screening techniques, blood transfusion is not a method of transmission.

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Alcoholic Liver Disease

Inflammation of the liver caused by excess alcohol intake is known as Alcoholic hepatitis. Normally ingested alcohol is rapidly absorbed and metabolized in the liver. When alcohol intake in excess, in susceptible patients, it can damage the liver cells. This inflammation can lead to scarring (fibrosis) and cirrhosis (formation of nodules).

The big question remains – what is excess alcoholic intake? The rate of alcohol metabolism is variable from individual to individual. A genetic predisposition to develop alcoholic liver disease exists. Among people who drink, women are more likely to develop liver disease due their differential metabolism of alcohol.

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Gallstones

Stones that form in the Gallbladder are mostly cholesterol stones. The liver makes bile that contains cholesterol, a form of fat, that is kept in solution by bile salts. In the gallbladder, in some patients the amount of cholesterol far exceeds the bile salts resulting in crystallization of cholesterol as Gallstones. Some patients form pigment stones that are dark and hard (calcium bilirubinate).

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Clear Lake Office

Coastal Gastroenterology Associates

1015 Medical Center Blvd
Suite 1300
Webster, TX 77598

Phone: (281) 557-2527

Texas City Office

Coastal Gastroenterology Associates

7111 Medical Center Drive
2nd Floor 
Texas City, TX 77591

(by appointment only)

Baytown Office 1

Coastal Gastroenterology Associates

Jacinto Medical Group
2800 Garth Road
Baytown, TX 77521

(by appointment only)

Baytown Office 2

Coastal Gastroenterology Associates

1113 W Baker Rd.
Baytown, TX 77521

(by appointment only)

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