Liver Diseases

Liver disease is a type of damage to or disease of the liver. The liver is a large organ in the upper right abdomen that helps absorb and removes waste products from the blood. 

Liver disorder shall contain the following conditions: 

•    Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver 
•    Inflammation (hepatitis) from infectious (hepatitis C, hepatitis B) or non-infectious (chemical or autoimmune) causes 
•    Liver cancer
•    Metabolic disorder

Some of the signs and symptoms of liver disease are as follows:

•    Jaundice
•    Confusion 
•    Thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy.
•    Risk of bleeding symptoms, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract
•    Ascites: Deposition of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

The liver can be called a factory, and its many functions include:

•    Production of bile needed for the digestion of food, in particular, fats
•    Storing the extra glucose or sugar as glycogen, and then converting it back to glucose when the body requires it for energy.
•    Production of factors for blood clotting
•    Production of amino acids, including those used to help combat infection
•    Processing and storage of iron required for the development of red blood cells
•    The manufacture of cholesterol and other chemicals needed for the transport of fat
•    Conversion of waste materials to urea excreted in the urine
•    Metabolising drugs into their active ingredient in the body

Factors that can increase the risk of liver disease include: 

Heavy alcohol intake, Obesity, Diabetes of type 2, Tattoos or body piercing, Injection of medications using mutual needles, Exposure to other people's blood and body fluids, Unprotected sex, Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins, Family history of liver disease or Exposure to blood and bodily fluids of other individuals.

To prevent liver disease:

•    Drink alcohol with moderation
•    Get vaccinated
•    Using drugs carefully
•    Avoid contact with other people's blood and body fluids
•    Keep food safe
•    Be cautious with aerosol sprays
•    Maintaining a healthy weight

Treatment

Anti-viral drugs are available to treat infections such as hepatitis B. Other diseases can be treated by slowing down the progression of the disease, for example:

•    By using steroid-based medications for autoimmune hepatitis.
•    Hemochromatosis: Drains the volume of blood from the vein (venesection) in an iron overload condition.
•    Wilson's disease, a disorder in which copper builds up in the body, can be regulated by drugs that bind copper, enabling it to pass through the body in the urine.
•    In the case of cholestatic liver disease (cystic fibrosis) a medicine called ursodeoxycholic acid may be given.

Treatment for liver disease that causes or has contributed to liver failure may potentially require liver transplantation.

SUBTOPICS

  • Liver cancer
  • Liver Biopsy
  • Liver transplant
  • Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy

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