Liver Disease Causes and Symptoms
Health & Fitness

Liver Disease: Causes and Symptoms

Spread the love

Our liver is the largest solid organ in our body. It is about the size of a football weighing on average about 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg).  It measures on average, about 8 inches (20 cm) horizontally (across), 6.5 inches (17 cm) vertically (down), and is 4.5 inches (12 cm) thick. The Liver sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is actually two different types of gland. It is a secretory gland because it has a specialized structure that is designed to allow it to make and secrete bile into the bile ducts. It also is an endocrine gland since it makes and secretes chemicals directly into the blood that have effects on other organs in the body. Bile is a fluid that both aids in digestion and absorption of fats as well as carries waste products into the intestine. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances.

What Does the Liver Do?

The liver plays an important role in our body. It has a multitude of important and complex functions which many if people doesn’t know. The main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. Some of these functions are to:

  • Bile production and excretion
  • Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
  • Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Enzyme activation
  • Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals
  • Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors
  • Blood detoxification and purification

You can read related blogs also:

There are many kinds of liver diseases:

  • Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
  • Liver cancer
  • Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease
  • Obesity

Causes of Liver Diseases:

  • Viruses
  • Drugs – prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), herbal supplements, vitamins, and dietary supplements (for example, acetaminophen [Tylenol and others]
  • Alcohol
  • Metabolic problems
  • Immune (defense) system
  • Genetic (hereditary) abnormalities

You can read related blogs also:

Signs and symptoms of liver disease:

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily

How are liver diseases diagnosed?

If you feel any liver problem, contact your doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will start by looking over your medical history and asking about any family history of liver problems. Depending on your symptoms, you’ll likely be asked about your drinking and eating habits. Once they’ve collected all this information, they may recommend:

  • Liver Function Tests (LFT): A liver function test checks how well the liver is working.
  • A complete blood count test: This test consists of many different blood tests.
  • CT Scans: A CT scan of the abdomen gives detailed pictures of the liver and other abdominal organs.
  • MRI: A MRI scan provides complete detail of liver and other organs.
  • Ultrasounds: An abdominal ultrasound can test for many liver conditions, including cancer, cirrhosis, or problems from gallstones.
  • Liver Biopsy: A liver biopsy is most commonly done after another test, such as a blood test or ultrasound, indicates a possible liver problem.

These tests will confirm the disease.

You can read related blogs also:

How are they treated?

The main cause of liver disease is a lifestyle. For some people, lifestyle changes are enough to keep symptoms as bay. Many liver diseases are chronic also, meaning they last for years and may never go away. But even chronic liver diseases can usually be managed. These might include:

  • Limiting alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Drinking more water
  • Adopting a liver-friendly diet that includes plenty of fiber while reducing fat, sugar, and salt

Just to follow these points, you can make your liver healthy otherwise, there is a possibility of liver failure which is a life-threatening condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top