The Liver is the second largest organ in the body and plays a pivotal role in – fighting infections and illness, removing toxins, regulating cholesterol levels, helping blood to clot, etc.
Such an important organ in the body gets affected by more than 100 types of diseases! Liver diseases are caused due to various reasons. An important point to note is that most of the liver diseases can be prevented by incorporating changes in lifestyle, food and habits.
What are Liver Diseases? Liver diseases are a group of diseases caused by various factors that cause reversible or irreversible liver cell damage based on the duration of the causative factors.
Different types of Liver Diseases – Based on the causative factor, liver diseases are of the following types –
- Alcohol related diseases – Cirrhosis, Alcoholic liver disease, Ascites
- Microorganisms induced – Hepatitis A, B, E
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Metabolism related – Hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease
Causes of Liver Disease – There are many causes associated with liver diseases, namely –
- Infections – Virus, bacteria, parasitic
- Immune system abnormality
- Metabolism abnormalities
- Drug induced
Symptoms of liver diseases – Most of the liver diseases have common or similar symptoms which include –
- Yellowish discoloration of skin, urine and eyes
- Pain and swelling of the abdomen
- Swelling of ankles and feet
- Weakness and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dark, tarry stools or pale stools
Diagnosis of liver diseases – Your physician takes a detailed history, does a thorough examination and arrives at a provisional diagnosis. The following diagnostic tests are usually advised –
- Laboratory tests – Liver function test, Specific viral test
- Radiology – Ultrasound, CT, MRI
- Tissue analysis
Treatment of liver diseases – Treatment of liver disease is purely based on the cause. Treatment modalities include medications, surgery. Liver diseases are completely curable.
Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in keeping Liver Diseases at bay.
Be more than well.