Liver Disease: What is liver disease, its function, causes, and symptoms?

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Liver Disease: What is liver disease, its function, causes, and symptoms?

  • May 19, 2021

  • 959 Views

Overview

The liver plays an imperative role in carrying out various bodily functions from blood clotting and protein production to sugar & iron metabolism. Considering the given situation, it is important to take proper care of your liver and overall health. COVID-19 patients have higher chances of getting diagnosed with liver disease or liver damage. So, it is better to be cautious as it will help to take control over the situation at the right time.

The function of the Liver

The liver makes bile which is the fluid that contains other substances, chemicals, water, and bile acids. The liver is like a power-house of performing various vital functions in the body which are:

  • Bild production is necessary for food digestion.
  • Store extra glucose or sugar as glycogen which is then converted into glucose when the body needs energy.
  • Production of amino acids along with the ones which are necessary to fight infection.
  • Production of blood clotting factors
  • Production and storage of iron which is helpful in red blood cell production.
  • Medications are metabolized into the necessary ingredients in the body.

What is liver disease?

Liver disease is the disturbance of liver function which leads to illness. The liver carries out imperative functions in the body and if it is affected the body is affected to a great extent. In medical terms, it is also known as hepatic disease. The liver is the largest solid organ and it carries out various functions. The portal vein delivers chemicals and proteins which are necessary to produce the cholesterol, protein, and glycogen to carry out the normal functioning of the body.

Causes of Liver Disease

There are different conditions and diseases which can affect the liver through certain drug consumption like acetaminophen and its combination with other medications like Norco & Vicodin. Other causes of liver disease include:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cirrhosis
  • Statins
  • Hepatitis A, B, C, E, and D
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Iron Overload

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease

Signs and symptoms are linked with liver disease and these may vary depending on what exactly is the issue. Some of the major signs and symptoms of liver disease are mentioned below:

  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pale stool color
  • Bloody stool
  • Tar-colored stool
  • Swelling in the ankles and legs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Easy bruising

When should you consult the medical expert for liver disease?

In most cases, liver disease is an onset process and you are not able to notice the specific symptoms which tell you that you need to get medical attention. Although, the symptoms like weight loss, weakness, and fatigue are not the reason to seek medical treatment on an emergency basis.

But, if you notice yellow skin or have jaundice then make sure to consult the doctor right away. Along with that these symptoms also need medical assistance on a prompt basis like:

  • Persistent fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

It is important to not neglect the situation at any cost as the problem can get worse in the future. Emergency and medical evaluation on an urgent basis are necessary to ensure liver health is right.

Schedule an appointment, without any delay

If you are suspected to have liver disease or diagnosed with one, then schedule your initial consultation with us. Our experienced liver doctor will provide you a customized treatment approach that helps to improve your condition and you can live a better life.

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What are the early signs of liver damage due to excess alcohol consumption?

  • May 19, 2021

  • 620 Views

The liver is present on the upper right side of the abdomen and just under the ribs. It performs different functions which are beneficial for your overall health like:

  • Break down of toxic substances like alcohol, drugs, and many other things.
  • Bile production is necessary for fat digestion.
  • Nutrients storage along with certain vitamins
  • Protein development is necessary for blood clotting.

If the liver functioning is affected it can prevent many vital functions. Liver damage from alcohol is one of the main reasons for fatal deaths all over the globe. It is also referred to as alcohol-related liver disease and consulting the medical expert at an early stage is important. Your liver health is important to keep yourself doing your daily activities with ease.

What are the early signs of liver damage from alcohol?

As we have mentioned, the liver is essential to break down the toxic substances which include alcohol. If you drink alcohol way beyond the normal limit then it can affect or potentially damage the liver. In such cases, the fat content is increased in the liver which leads to inflammation and scar tissue accumulation. In the case of alcohol-related liver disease, there are no symptoms at the initial stage. Although, there are certain symptoms which you can notice like:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Liver swelling, which increases discomfort in the upper right side of the abdomen

How liver health is affected due to excess alcohol consumption?

In this, there are chances to have 3 different liver problems which include:

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

In medical terms, it is also known as hepatic steatosis. It occurs due to fat build-up as excess alcohol consumption makes it difficult to break down the fat. It is extremely common in those who drink alcohol in excess. The chances of having this condition are around 90%. This situation can lead to symptoms like:

  • Discomfort in the liver area
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Alcoholic hepatitis

At some point, the problem can lead to liver inflammation and this is referred to as alcoholic hepatitis. It can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain in the liver area
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

This can lead to mild or severe symptoms and over years it leads to liver damage. Treatment can help to control your situation.

Alcoholic cirrhosis

There are high chances that if you do not stop then it can lead to scar tissue formation which affects the healthy liver tissue. It can lead to serious health issues like:

  • Bleeding from veins in the upper digestive tract (varices)
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Portal hypertension (high blood pressure of the liver)
  • Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy (brain damage due to increased toxins)

How to improve your liver health?

Moderate alcohol consumption

  • Women: Up to 1 drink per day
  • Men: Up to 2 drinks per day

Depending on the type of alcohol you consume

  • 1.5 oz of liquor (40% alcohol)
  • 5 oz of wine (12% alcohol)
  • 8 oz of malt liquor (7% alcohol)
  • 12 ounces (oz) of beer (5% alcohol)

Final thought!

It is better to not let the situation reach the stage that it leads to liver damage. Make sure to consult the doctor on time and get an effective treatment approach.