The hepatobiliary system comprises of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. The pancreas is a gland that is located behind the stomach and produces enzymes that aids in digestion. These two systems work together to carry out several important functions in the body.
The liver produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps to break down fats in the digestive process. The pancreas produces enzymes that help to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids. These enzymes are secreted into the small intestine where they help with digestion. The liver also plays an important role in detoxification of the blood supply by removing toxins and metabolic waste products from circulation.
There are many different diseases and disorders that can affect the hepatobiliary system, which includes the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Some of the more common conditions include hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), fatty liver disease, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and cancer of the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
The symptoms of hepatobiliary disorders can vary depending on the specific condition, but may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or swelling, unintentional weight loss, and/or itching.
The liver is responsible for many crucial functions in the body, including metabolism of nutrients, detoxification of poisons, and production of bile. Liver diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, including viral infections, alcohol abuse, and autoimmune disorders.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be caused by a number of different factors, including alcoholism,gallstones, and certain medications. Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Pancreatitis can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in the gallbladder.