Do you know what is the main purpose of the liver? It helps in the digestion of food and cleaning the toxins from our bodies. It is located under our chest on the right side. A malfunctioning liver can be life-threatening. Let us find out the symptoms, causes, and prevention of Liver Disease.
What are the stages of liver diseases:
Fibrotic: Fibrosis is the formation of an abnormally large amount of scar tissue in the liver. It occurs when the liver attempts to repair and replace damaged cells.
Cirrhosis – It is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver
Cancer: Liver cancer happens due to a mutation in the liver DNA. It can also happen when other underlying diseases such as chronic hepatitis infections go ignored.
What Are Some of the Symptoms of Liver Disease?
- Jaundice with skin, sclera (white part of the eyes) and mucous membranes turning yellow.
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine color
- Pale stool
- Chronic fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Tendency to bruise easily
Three Main Factors that Contribute to Liver Disease:
- Genetics – when a baby inherits an abnormal gene from any of the parents that is harmful to the smooth functioning of the liver.
- Infections – Such as hepatitis A, B or C.
- Immune system disorder – Such as Primary biliary cholangitis or autoimmune hepatitis
Additionally, unusual growths in the liver can cause liver diseases and liver cancer; and poor lifestyle habits such as excess consumption of alcohol, and constant accumulation of fat in the liver can lead to liver diseases.
Prevention of Liver Disease – Tips
- Drink alcohol in moderation: For men with no underlying health problems, exceeding 15 drinks a day can be harmful. Similarly, for women with no underlying health issues, exceeding 8 drinks a day can be harmful to the liver.
- Exposure to contaminated needles can be harmful to the liver: Be particular about the artists or parlour you choose for tattooing and piercing. Make sure the needles are new. Furthermore, don’t share needles to inject drugs.
- Eat foods that are less oily: Too much oil can accumulate harmful fat in the liver and limit its functioning.
- Use aerosol sprays with protection: Exposure to harmful chemicals like pesticides, aerosols, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals can damage the liver and lead to liver cancer and hepatitis. Therefore, it is better to use them in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask for precaution. Additionally, wear gloves for more safety.
- Make a liver enzyme test part of your annual physical if you have a family history of liver disease.
Contact our pharmacist to learn more about liver disease.