Prior to Treatment
Who treats HE?
If you’ve been given a diagnosis of HE, it’s likely you’ve had liver disease for many years that progressed to cirrhosis, which means you’ve probably been under the care of a liver specialist. Liver specialists can include the following healthcare providers:
- Hepatologists: Physicians who specialize in the treatment of people with liver diseases.
- Gastroenterologists or GI: Physicians who specialize in the treatment of people with disorders of the digestive organs, including the liver.
- Nurse Practitioners (NP) whose practice concentrates on people with liver disease. NPs are registered nurses who are prepared – through advanced education and clinical training – to assume some of the duties formerly assumed only by physicians. They can provide a wide range of healthcare services, including the diagnosis and management of common, as well as complex medical conditions.
- Physicians Assistants (PA) whose practice concentrates on people with liver disease. PAs practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They take medical histories, provide diagnostic screenings, order and interpret tests, prescribe medication and perform medical procedures.
Additionally, you may be followed by a primary care physician (PCP). These are internists or family physicians that provide preventative care and disease management, often in consultation with your liver specialist.
At times, you may be referred to other members of the healthcare team such as a:
- Nutritionist or dietician for information about food intake and meal planning
- Mental health therapist to help you deal with emotional issues such as depression and anxiety
- Social worker or case manager to assist you in accessing health and social services such as Medicaid, disability and financial assistance
Because HE is a complicated condition, a multidisciplinary approach is often required to manage it.
For more information about healthcare providers, visit resource section, call our helpline at 1-800-465-4837 or consult your healthcare provider.