Liver Disease

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Liver Disease

Understanding Liver Disease:

In the human body, the liver is a football-sized organ, which is found just below your rib cage, on the right side of your abdomen. The main function of the liver is to help with digesting the food consumed, and getting rid of the body’s toxic substances. Any condition or disorder that adversely affects this organ is known as a liver disease. 

Liver diseases can either be inherited via genetics, or caused by a number of factors that damage the liver, like alcohol abuse or viruses. Medical studies into the matter also suggest that excessive weight can also be associated cause of liver damage. Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring, or cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure, which is a life-threatening condition. 

Let us look at this condition in a little more detail. 

Common Symptoms of Liver Disease

Liver disease has a number of symptoms and signs associated with it, which includes:

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

Common Causes of Liver Disease

There are many reasons why liver disease can occur. This can include: 

Infection: Many forms of parasites and viruses can infect the liver, resulting in inflammation and that affects liver function. These viruses, in addition to causing liver damage, are infectious, and can spread through blood or semen, contaminated food or water, or close contact with a person who is infected. 

The most common forms of liver infection are hepatitis viruses, which include:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Immune system abnormality: Disorders that result in the body’s immune system attacks certain parts of itself can also affect your liver. 

Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include:

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Inherited Condition: Liver disease can also be genetic, caused by an abnormal gene, inherited from one or both of your parents. This, in turn, can result in various substances building up in your liver, causing liver damage. 

Commonly faced genetic liver diseases include:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis
  • Wilson's disease

Cancer and other growths: Abnormal growths like cancer can also cause liver damage. Some examples of this includes:

  • Liver cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Liver adenoma

In additional, some other common causes of liver disease include chronic alcohol abuse as well as fat accumulating in the liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)

Treatment of Liver Disease

The kind of treatment that is required for patients suffering from liver disease depends on the kind of diagnosis you may receive. While certain liver problems can be tackled and treated by lifestyle changes, like stopping the use of alcohol or losing weight, other forms of liver problems may require extensive medication or even surgery. Liver diseases that ultimately lead to liver failure may require a liver transplant to help treat the disorder. 

The Apollo Clinic Experience

At Apollo Clinic, we understand the gravity of a liver disease, and have a team of experts around-the-clock to help arrest the development of any potential disorder that can result in a threat to your life. Our experienced specialists combine years of experience with the latest medical technology to diagnose and treat your medical conditions. 

Beginning with blood tests and gradually progressing to imaging tests like CT Scans, MRI and ultrasounds, our centre’s laboratory is fully equipped to run tissue analysis on your liver biopsy. If you believe that you are suffering from a liver disease, get in touch with one of our specialists today.  

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