Liver Diseases: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Dr. Rishi Mangat
General Physicians

Liver Diseases: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Often, people know that their habit is causing liver damage, but they continue to do so. Our Diabetologist expert from Apollo Clinic, Chandigarh, Dr. Rishi Mangat, has given an insight into the common causes of liver diseases, their diagnosis, and treatment options available.

Why is the liver an essential organ of the body?

The liver is the body’s second-largest organ. It is approximately the size of a small football. After skin, it is the second-largest organ, and its factory that contains all our digestive food retains nutrients from them and releases waste products and toxins through bile out of the body. So basically, it is a centre where the body’s all metabolic activity is like a factory where energy is released from the food and utilised.

Common causes of liver diseases:

The reasons include infection of Hepatitis A, B, C, and D. Unclean food like infected water leads to Hepatitis A infection. Any sexual contact or use of unsterilized needles during blood transfusion can cause Hepatitis B, C, and D infection. 

Are liver diseases hereditary?

Hereditary diseases like Wilson’s, hemochromatosis, and autoimmune processes cause an inflammatory change in the liver. Also, it can cause primary cholangitis.

How does alcohol intake affect the liver?

We can diagnose all these infections by some specific test. Another reason for liver diseases is due to high intake of alcohol. 

How life-threatening is liver cancer?

Cancer from anywhere can metastasize to the liver. Injury and scarring in the normal liver tissue resulting in zero activity. And scarring increases due to the repeated impact of harmful things, and the activity of the liver goes down. Eventually, it leads to liver cirrhosis, which is visible in the blood. And liver damage restricts one’s routine activities. 

What are the symptoms of jaundice?

Jaundice is one condition of liver disease with yellowish coloration in the body. The body’s skin, the eye’s white portion, urine, and stool all change to pale yellow. 

What are the other symptoms of Liver diseases?

Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, swelling of arms and legs, and loss of appetite are a few common indications of the onset of liver diseases.

 How to diagnose liver diseases?

The liver function test (LFT) is the most common test to determine the quantity of bilirubin and enzymes. In addition, viral tests and ultrasounds to study the texture and structure of the liver also aid in diagnosing the liver condition. For a definitive diagnosis, doctors may opt for CT-Scan, MRI, or biopsy test.

Treatment of liver Diseases:

Generally, the treatment of liver disease is long-term. Medicines can cure liver infections, but continued scarring to the tissue makes it difficult to repair. Hence one must avoid alcohol.

Tips for healthy liver

Doctors advise a healthy diet with a high carbs and medium protein diet so that the liver comes into the resting phase and eventually recovers. In addition, one must avoid alcohol intake and opt for lifestyle modifications like regular exercising also helps increase the liver’s life. If the liver has reached the cirrhosis stage, the only alternative is to have a liver transplant. But liver transplant is very much responsive and is a risky operation. 

Can drug overuse affect the liver?

Also, one must avoid medicines over the counter as it is one of the reasons for liver diseases. For example, overuse of paracetamol and crocin causes liver injury. Therefore, one should always take medication from a doctor at the proper dosage and time.  

 Bottom line:

 To keep the liver healthy and active, one must follow a healthy and nutritious diet. Continuous exercise keeps the body active. In addition, one must avoid the consumption of alcohol as it leads to liver tissue scarring.

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