No one wants to get sick, but many Americans suffer from chronic liver disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s latest National Vital Statistics Report, in 2010 chronic liver disease and cirrhosis ranked 12th in the top 15 causes of death in the United States.
Fortunately, there are many treatments available for chronic liver disease; however, the condition is progressive, and when your illness makes it impossible to work, you may find yourself in need of financial aid to continue to pay the bills and support your family. That is where the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability program can step in and help.
What Is Chronic Liver Disease?
The largest organ in the human body, the liver has many important functions. It changes food into energy, cleans alcohol and contaminants from the blood, and produces bile, which aids in digestion. When the liver is compromised, so are these functions.
There are many types of liver disease, and many causes. Viral hepatitis infections cause inflammation of the liver. Contaminating poisons, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver, and so can cancer. In addition, some forms of liver disease are inherited, such as hemochromatosis.
Liver disease is diagnosed when damage causes the liver to form scar tissue. This is called cirrhosis.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Liver Disease?
Usually, the symptoms of chronic liver disease develop gradually, and some people with chronic liver disease do not experience any symptoms at all. Some of the more common symptoms are:
- Pain in the abdomen, or indigestion
- Bleeding gums or nosebleeds
- Stools that are pale, clay-colored, or contain blood
- Tiny red spider-web patterns on the skin
- Loss of weight
- Sexual problems, including loss of interest and breast development in men
- Edema (swelling) in the legs and abdomen
- Jaundiced skin or eyes
- Cognitive problems, such as confusion or difficulty processing information
If you have received a diagnosis of chronic liver disease, you may want to look into applying for New England SSA disability benefits. As a leading New England disability attorney, John Keefe, of Keefe Disability Law, has been assisting residents of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont for more than 17 years. Call our toll-free number today—888-904-6847—for a free case consultation.