Constipation, the most common digestive complaint in the U.S. population, can make life miserable. Not only does constipation make you feel bloated, headachy, and irritable, but relieving constipation -- especially long-term or chronic constipation -- is time consuming and expensive. Each year in the U.S., chronic constipation leads to around 2.5 million doctor visits -- and medication costs of many hundreds of millions of dollars.
Makes bile, a compound needed to digest fat and to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K
Makes most of the substances that regulate blood clotting
Helps the body fight infection by removing bacteria from the blood
Removes potentially toxic byproducts of certain medications
When Is a Liver Transplant Needed?
A liver transplant is considered when the liver no longer functions adequately (liver failure). Liver failure can happen suddenly (acute liver failure) as a result of infection or complications from certain medications, for example. Liver failure can also be the end result of a long-term problem. The following conditions may result in chronic liver failure:
Specialists from a variety of fields are needed to determine if a liver transplant is appropriate. Many health care facilities assemble a team of such specialists to evaluate (review your medical history, do tests) and choose candidates for a liver transplant. The team may include the following professionals:
Liver specialist (hepatologist)
Transplant coordinator, usually a registered nurse who specializes in the care of liver-transplant patients (this person will be your primary contact with the transplant team)
Social worker to discuss your support network of family and friends, employment history, and financial needs