The liver is the largest internal body organ about the size of a football. It is located under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. The liver is a vital body organ responsible for digestion of food, storage of energy, metabolism, and removing toxins and wastes out of the bloodstream.
As said by a liver specialist in Noida, liver diseases can be genetically inherited. Liver disease affects the functioning of the liver. Liver damage is caused by a number of reasons such as overuse of alcohol, viruses such as hepatitis, and obesity.
The life-threatening disease that causes liver damage is cirrhosis. For those who don’t know what cirrhosis is, it is the scarring of the liver which leads to liver failure. If cirrhosis is detected early, then it may be healed with the help of treatment and medications.
Symptoms of liver problems:
It is not necessary that liver damage will show noticeable symptoms.
Few general symptoms could be:
- Itchy skin
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic fatigue
- The tendency to bruise easily
- The dark color in urination
- Pale color in stool or blood or black stool
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Swelling in legs or ankles
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, please visit Fortis hospital Noida appointment online to seek help as soon as possible. Early detection can lead to a cure for liver disease.
10 Common Liver Problems you should know about:
There are many liver problems that may affect the functioning of your liver. We’ve listed the most common liver problems:
Hepatitis is a viral infection caused to the liver. It makes the functioning of the liver difficult due to the inflammation and damage caused by the infection. Hepatitis whether A, B, C, D, or E, all are contagious. However, you may reduce the risk of spreading it to others by taking vaccination and practicing safe sex.
The following are different types of hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A:
This infection is spread when coming in contact with contaminated food or water. The symptoms are clear without any treatment while recovery may take a while.
- Hepatitis B:
This can be either acute also called short-term or chronic is also known as long-term hepatitis B. This infection is spread through bodily fluids such as semen and blood. Although there is no cure for hepatitis B, it can be treated. If you’re at risk, early treatment is advised to reduce further complications.
- Hepatitis C:
This can be either acute also called short-lived or chronic for the long term. This infection is often spread through coming in contact with hepatitis C people. Although it will not show any early signs but may lead to severe liver damage at later stages.
- Hepatitis D:
Hepatitis D cannot be contacted itself. It is chronic hepatitis that develops in people with hepatitis B. This can be either acute also called short-lived or chronic for the long term.
- Hepatitis E:
This infection is caused by drinking contaminated water. Usually, it gets clear on its own within a few week’s time without causing any complications.
- Fatty Liver disease:
When fat accumulates in the liver it leads to fatty liver disease. The two types of fatty liver disease are:
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease caused by overconsumption of heavy alcohol increasing the risk of cholesterol.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease caused by several other factors which are yet to be discovered.
If these two are not treated early, may lead to liver cirrhosis and liver failure. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet can reduce the complications on its own and improve symptoms.
- Autoimmune conditions:
Autoimmune is a condition in which a person’s own body attacks healthy cells. Several autoimmune conditions include the following:
- Autoimmune hepatitis:
This is a condition in which your body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body resulting in inflammation. If it is untreated may lead to liver failure and liver cirrhosis.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC):
This condition leads to damage of bile ducts in your liver causing building up of bile. This can also lead to liver failure and cirrhosis.
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis:
This health condition causes gradual damage to the bile ducts. They get blocked causing bile to build up in the liver. This can also lead to liver failure or cirrhosis.
- Genetic conditions:
Genetic conditions which you inherit from your parents can also lead to failure of the liver.
- Wilson’s disease:
It causes the liver to absorb copper instead of releasing it into the bile duct. Periodically, your liver may become too damaged to store more copper allowing it to travel through your bloodstream and damage other parts of the body including the brain.
It stores more iron in the body than is required. This iron remains in the organs including the liver. If not treated early can lead to damage to the liver.
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AT):
AT is a protein that helps prevent enzyme breakdown throughout the body. The deficiency occurs in the liver when the liver cannot make enough alpha-1 antitrypsin. This causes lung or liver disease. There is no cure but can be managed with the help of treatment.
Liver cancer is the cancer of the liver. Additionally, if cancer has started from some other part of the body and spreads to the liver, it’s called secondary liver cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common kind of liver cancer. It tends to start as a single tumor and later in small spots in the liver. Complications of liver diseases that are not treated may result in liver cancer namely bile duct cancer or liver adenoma.
In a nutshell, cirrhosis is the scarring of the tissue liver caused due to alcohol overuse leading to liver disease and liver failure. Additionally, syphilis and Cystic fibrosis may also lead to cirrhosis resulting in liver failure. The more the scar of the tissue liver, the harder it becomes for the liver to function properly. Cirrhosis can be life-threatening if not treated on time.
- Liver failure:
Chronic liver failure is the cause of damaged liver losing its ability to function to its potential. Generally, liver failure related to liver disease and cirrhosis happens slowly. You may not see symptoms at the beginning but might experience certain signs later:
- Weakness and fatigue
While acute liver disease happens all of a sudden often because of poisoning and overdose. Other liver problems can be due to certain herbal compounds, over-the-counter medications, etc.
How are liver problems diagnosed?
The doctor will speak to you regarding health issues and family history. The doctor will also ask about symptoms and problems you’re facing. Depending on your answers, the doctor will ask about your diet and lifestyle. Once the doctor has collected all the information, they may recommend:
- Liver function test
- Blood count test
- CT scan, MRI, ultrasound to check for tumor
- Liver biopsy
The liver operation cost in India ranges between 20 to 25 lakh INR.
Treatment of liver disease:
Many liver diseases are chronic meaning they last longer and may not be cured. For some people, changes in diet and lifestyle are enough to reduce the symptoms. This includes:
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Drinking more water
- Maintaining an ideal body weight
- Adapting a liver-friendly diet by reducing fat, salt, and sugar intake
Depending on your liver condition you may also need medical treatment such as:
- Blood pressure medicines
- Medicines to treat hepatitis
- Vitamins and supplements to boost the health of the liver
- Steroids to reduce liver inflammation
- Medications to target specific symptoms such as itchy skin
If all the treatment options fail to cure the liver, then a liver transplant is the only best possible option left. If you have any signs or symptoms of liver disease, it’s important to bring it to the attention of a liver specialist in Noida to treat it and avoid further complications.