Treating Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

There is no one specific treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Your doctor will aim to treat the symptoms you experience as a result of the disease. This may include medications or surgery, or simply a weight loss program if the disease is caused by obesity. They may also recommend that you be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B to prevent additional liver damage.



Treatment for cirrhosis depends on how severely damaged the liver is. While cirrhosis is irreversible, there is treatment available that can help slow down the formation of scar tissue on the liver and reduce symptoms or complication. Your doctor will provide various treatment for any of the causes of cirrhosis such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholism, or hepatitis. If you experience complications of cirrhosis, such as infection, hepatic encephalopathy, excess fluid in your body, portal hypertension, or potential risk for liver cancer, your doctor will aim to treat or manage those as well.

Liver cancer

Treatment for liver cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and how damaged your liver is. Treatment options may include surgery (liver transplant or partial hepatectomy), radiation, chemotherapy, tumor embolization, tumor ablation, or targeted therapy.

Liver failure

Liver failure can be treated when it is diagnosed in the early stages, such as with acute liver failure caused by a virus or acetaminophen overdose. But when liver failure is severe and a result of liver damage that has accumulated over many years, treatment is more difficult. There is no single specific treatment because severe liver damage cannot really be treated. Instead, the doctor will aim to salvage any undamaged part of the liver that still functions properly. If this does not work, your doctor will recommend a liver transplant.


A new medication was approved by the FDA last year called Harvoni, which has been proven to cure Hepatitis C. It is a pill that is taken once a day and is a combination of two medications; Sovaldi and Ledipasvir. It costs about $95,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.

Prior to this, Hepatitis C was treated with antiviral medications, such as interferon or ribavirin. These medications aimed to rid your body of the virus after at least 12 weeks of having completed treatment. However, the side effects were severe - loss of healthy red or white blood cells, depression, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, and itchy skin rashes – and the cure rate with these medications was about fifty percent or lower.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hepatitis A, however there is a vaccination to prevent it. For hepatitis B, you may be given antiviral mediations, Intron A, or need a liver transplant. There is also a vaccination to prevent hepatitis B.