Liver Diseases

The liver is probably the most underappreciated organ of the human anatomy. It is only the size of a football and sits right under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. The liver continuously works to keep the body healthy and work by ridding the body of toxic substances after digestion.

Liver disease can be genetic as well as caused by a factor that can damage the organ. By consuming a huge amount of junk food can lead to obesity, this puts pressure on the liver to filter out toxins but once the level of toxins increases beyond what is normal, it can lead to a liver problem. Substance abuse and viruses are also causes of liver failure.

Liver failure, if not treated for a long time can result in liver cancer, a life-threatening condition. Most people aren’t aware of the cause or symptoms of liver failure until something major happens. But early diagnosis may give time for the liver to heal.

Causes

As we said earlier there are many causes for liver disease:

Infection

The most common cause of the liver disease is through a virus when it enters the blood or semen by contaminated food or water or close contact with a person infected. The virus causes inflammation that reduces the function of the liver. The Hepatitis virus is most common among liver infection:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Immune system abnormality

Some diseases cause the immune system to attack parts of the body, including the liver, and is called autoimmune liver disease. Their types are:

  • Autoimmune Hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis 

Genetics

An abnormal gene can be inherited from one or both the parents can cause various substances to build up in the liver, resulting in liver damage. Types of genetic liver disease:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Symptoms

Many common symptoms can be noticed when liver damage happens:

Jaundice 

The most common symptom is when the urine gets darker and the whites of the eyes turn yellow because of the high level of toxins in the blood. This is very common for other diseases also. When a person has jaundice, the liver is weakened and starts forming bilirubin. Bilirubin is a pigment that forms when red blood cells break down to build up in the bloodstream.

Itchy Skin

When the liver is damaged then the level of bile salt under the skin increases, causing itchiness. Though everyone doesn’t necessarily show this symptom or having itchy skin means liver damage, therefore its best to do a thorough diagnosis before concluding. 

Bleeding

Another common symptom is blood in vomit or stools, but there is nothing to panic, the best thing is to see a doctor. This happens due to increased pressure on portal vein, that carries blood from the digestive system to the liver, which results in excessive bleeding.

Loss of Appetite

The liver plays a very important role in the digestive system and, once the liver is damaged then one loses their appetite resulting in weight loss. People with chronic liver damage also suffer from abdominal pain and nausea.

Memory Problems

When the liver is not able to filter out bodily toxins, then these toxins build up and affect the brain, resulting in confusion and memory loss. Some also experience mood swings, problems in concentrating, and personality changes.

Menstrual Problems

A weakened liver may fail to regulate the production and breakdown of hormones, leading to abnormalities in the menstrual cycle and reproductive organs in both women and men. It can result in enlarged breasts and shrunken testicles in men.

Prevention

Moderate consumption of Alcohol

For healthy adults, the maximum number of drinks in a day, for women is one drink and for men, it is two. More than eight drinks for women and, more than 15 drinks for men can result in problems.

Avoid risky behavior 

Use protection during sex. Be conscious of cleanliness while using a needle on the body, whether for tattoo or injection. 

Get vaccinated

Prevention is always better than cure, therefore if you are at risk of contracting hepatitis, then its best to consult the doctor and get vaccinated.

Use medication properly

Get a proper diagnosis from the doctor and, take prescription and non-prescription drugs when needed. Do not mix medicines with alcohol.

Avoid contact with other’s bodily fluids

Hepatitis can also spread through uncleaned needles or improper clean-up of blood or bodily fluids.

Protect skin

When using insecticides, fungicides, paint, and other toxic substances wear gloves, long sleeves, a hat, and a mask so that the chemicals are absorbed into the body. Make sure to use these products in a ventilated area. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using it for the first time.

Food habits

Maintain body weight to avoid non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Wash your hands before eating or cooking food. And use bottled water when outside of the house. Maintain a proper diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Treatment

Treatment of liver diseases depends on the diagnosis. If the damage isn’t very serious then changes in lifestyle, such as stopping alcohol use or losing weight. For such problems sometimes medical programs with effective monitoring are more efficient. Other liver problems may be treated with medication or even surgery. In some rare cases, liver transplant is necessary. HaloHealthApp services provide for a 40% off on liver test, to ensure good health for you and your loved ones.

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