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Liver diseases: what are its symptoms and how to treat them?
February 10, 2021
Among the most important organs of the human body is the liver, since it is involved in various vital processes. One of its functions is to keep the body clean, but it also breaks down the nutrients that come from the food you eat. If the liver is damaged, it could be harmful to the rest of the body. For this reason we will talk about liver diseases, what symptoms they produce, causes and how to treat them.
What are liver diseases?
The size of the liver is very similar to that of a soccer ball. It is located below the rib cage, towards the right side of the abdomen. This organ is of great importance when it comes to digesting food. As is important in the elimination of toxins, which are within the body.
The liver diseases or liver diseases could be inherited through genetics. These problems can also be caused by a wide variety of factors that cause liver damage. Some examples of these factors are viruses, obesity, or excessive alcohol consumption.
Over time, these diseases significantly damage the liver and could lead to cirrhosis. In the presence of this can cause liver failure, this being a deadly problem for anyone. However, when the treatment is applied early, it is possible to heal the liver.
Symptoms of liver disease
These types of diseases do not all the time cause symptoms that are simple to perceive. And if there are some symptoms, these could be the following:
– Presence of yellow color both in the eyes and on the skin, also known as jaundice.
– Swelling and pain in the abdomen.
– Swollen legs and ankles.
– Itchy skin.
– Dark color in the urine.
– Stools with pale colors.
– Vomiting or nausea.
– Lack of appetite.
– Chronic fatigue.
– Tendency to bruise more easily.
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Causes of liver disease
Among the most common causes of illness are:
Abnormalities in the immune system
Many of the autoimmune diseases can affect various parts within the body, such as the liver.
Both viruses and parasites can cause serious liver infections. Generating inflammations that reduce liver functions. Viruses can be transmitted through blood, any body fluid, contaminated food and water, or through contact with infected people.
Abnormal genes that have been inherited by the parents could cause various substances to progressively accumulate in the liver, causing damage over time.
The presence of tumors such as liver adenomas and cancer severely affect the liver. On the other hand, abusing alcohol consumption, the accumulation of fat inside the liver and the intake of certain medications, could also cause liver disease.
Most common liver diseases
There are several diseases that seriously affect the liver, and among the most common are the following:
This is a term used to describe liver swellings, and these are caused by different factors, such as viruses or alcohol intake. Usually a letter is written after the word hepatitis, which is used to indicate the kind of virus that causes the infection. The first 5 letters indicate various types of hepatitis, and these are of great concern, due to the large number of deaths they have caused.
It is a virus that is transmitted through water, and is often found in feces. A liver disease like this appears, due to the consumption of water or food that is contaminated with this virus. In countries such as Africa, Central America, the Middle East or the Indian Subcontinent, hepatitis A affects more people due to hygienic and sanitary conditions.
Normally this disease passes in two months, and does not produce long-term effects. When the disease has passed, a kind of immunity to it is created. Although this disease is not very serious, certain tests will be necessary to rule out complications.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C
Both viruses are normally transmitted through the blood, and are carried through the bloodstream until they reach the liver. Collectively, these diseases cause more deaths than tuberculosis and AIDS.
It only produces effects in people who are infected with hepatitis B, since it requires this virus to survive inside the body. In the same way that it happens with hepatitis B, this disease that affects the liver is transmitted through the blood or also through sexual contact. South America, eastern Mediterranean regions, and elsewhere in Europe are most affected by hepatitis D.
There is no set vaccine for this case of hepatitis, although the hepatitis B vaccine could be of great help.
As with hepatitis A, it is transmitted through feces and appears due to lack of hygiene or sanitation. If you travel to a country where sanitation is poor, there is a high probability of contracting hepatitis E. The risk can be reduced by maintaining good hygiene measures in water and food.
It should be noted that in some parts of the world, cases of hepatitis E have increased. This virus is very easily found in animals such as wild boar or pig. It does not cause disease in animals, but the virus sometimes passes to people. Another thing to keep in mind about this disease is that it does not have a vaccine.
Diseases such as fatty liver or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are conditions in which the liver is damaged by the accumulation of fat. Terms like NAFLD are used to describe diseases such as steatosis or steatohepatitis. They generally occur in people with weight problems, where the diet includes high fat content.
A liver in optimal condition should not contain fat. But if the opposite happens, other problems or diseases appear such as diabetes, cardiovascular accidents or heart attacks.
How to treat liver diseases?
The treatments for liver disease they will depend on the specific condition that the patient suffers.
For liver cancer: It is possible to face this disease from different points of view, which vary according to the tumor that one has and the state in which the person is.
Surgical removal: It is usually performed in cases of single tumors, those that have a lot of preserved liver function or that do not generate symptoms.
Cirrhosis: There is no cure for liver disease, but some lifestyle changes may help improve symptoms. Quitting alcohol is one of the first steps to overcome the disease.
Liver transplant: Those who require this type of treatment must have tumors that measure less than 5 centimeters. Although it is possible to perform the operation in people who do not have tumors.
Hepatitis: There are no specific treatments for diseases in this category, but it is recommended to eat a low-fat diet and avoid alcohol consumption. If it is hepatitis B, some medicines will be given to help control the symptoms.
Fatty liver: When it comes to fatty liver, you will need to lose weight and make dietary changes. But if the disease is caused by ingesting any medication, it must be stopped immediately. In cases of alcoholic fatty liver, it is recommended to permanently suspend alcohol intake.
Measures to prevent liver disease
The best ways to prevent these diseases from appearing is by applying a series of measures. These include drinking alcohol in moderation, getting vaccinated against hepatitis, taking medicine wisely, and using a condom during sex. Likewise, a balanced diet must be maintained and the food to be consumed properly washed.
Remember that the information provided throughout this article is only for the purpose of informing about these medical problems. In the presence of any of the symptoms that have been mentioned, it is necessary to consult a specialist.