Fact and information about liver disorders
One of the largest organs of the human body, and of course one of the most important, the liver performs more than five hundred functions in terms of survival and good health. Store vitamins, sugars and fats. It builds, regulates and maintains the necessary body chemicals and removes waste products from the blood. The liver likewise separates destructive substances such as toxins. At any given moment, thirteen percent of your blood supply moves through this important organ.
The liver is a persistent organ; it is the only one in the human body that can regenerate itself. After destroying three-quarters, it can still work. Well protected, located behind the lower right ribs. However, certain diseases and health conditions can seriously compromise the body’s ability to perform its essential functions. Liver damage, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or cancer, can lead to a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of liver problems
Symptoms vary depending on the current disease. Most people are familiar with baby jaundice, yellowing of the skin, and whitening of the eyes in newborns. Bilirubin is a pigment that processes waste products in the liver and is usually excreted. Too high bilirubin in the bloodstream causes the baby to develop jaundice. While the disease usually resolves in the newborn without the need for treatment, adult jaundice is a serious medical problem.
The symptoms of a liver problem are generally unknown and are understandably associated with other conditions. Symptoms include:
vomiting (including vomiting of blood)
light-colored bowel movements
black or bloody bowel movements
sudden weight changes
swelling or pain in the abdomen.
The most common causes of hepatitis are hepatitis A (HAV) and related viruses. At least six different types of hepatitis virus infections have been identified. Some are quite rare, others are acute, others are severe chronic diseases that can cause severe liver damage. Everything must be taken seriously.
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A common disease: one-third of Americans show signs that they were once infected and are now immune. HAV can only be caught once. The disease does not cause chronic complications, although fifteen percent of those infected show symptoms for nine months.
HAV is spread through contact with human feces. He enters into an oral contract through contaminated sources such as food or water or by contacting infected persons. Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, fever, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. People who have anal sex are at high risk for HAV infection. Appropriate cleanliness and hand washing is the most ideal approach to forestall the spread of HAV. HAV vaccination is available.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
HBV is a serious disease that can prompt long lasting infection, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), malignant growth, and even death. Symptoms are like HAV, yet additionally incorporate regurgitating and joint pain. About 850 million people in the United States suffer from chronic HBV. Of these, 15-25% die from liver damage caused by the disease.
HBV is spread through direct contact with contaminated blood or body liquids. It is often spread through the use of sexually or illegally injected drugs. The disease can range from mother to child during birth. Medical researchers are examining the possibility that HBV infection increases the chances of hepatitis C and HIV infection.
HBV vaccines are available. In addition, restricting sexual partners, practicing safe sex, and avoiding illicit drug use can reduce a person’s risk of infection. People should not donate blood, organs, or tissues infected with HBV.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
There is no vaccine available for HCV that, like HBV, spreads through infected blood or body fluids. HCV cases are approximately 75-80% is chronic. Seventy percent of chronic cases suffer from liver disease or cirrhosis. Symptoms include jaundice, weakness, abdominal pain, loss of hunger, sickness, and dark urine. Chronic HCV can be treated with interferon and ribavirin drugs, which are often combined.
Hepatitis D (HDV)
HDV is an infection that requires the presence of HBV to recreate. Therefore, they are often transmitted with HBV. Like HBV, intravenous use of illegal drugs and unprotected sex increase the risk of infection. Aggressive HBV infection, or a sudden worsening of HBV symptoms, indicates possible HDV infection.
Hepatitis E (HEV)
HEVs are rare in the United States, but the risk is increasing in countries where water treatment and public treatment systems are less developed. The disease is spread through food and water contaminated with human feces. No vaccination is available. If you are in countries where the risk is high, avoid drinking tap water and follow your personal hygiene and hygiene habits. The infection usually resolves after a few months.
Hepatitis F and G
Specific cases of HFV and HGV have been reported, mainly in the United States, Europe, and India. Fixed diagnoses of diseases are rare and little is known about the two viruses except that they exist.
When the body’s immune system malfunctions and attacks the liver, autoimmune hepatitis occurs. Autoimmune hepatitis is not a viral infection, although the symptoms are reminiscent of HAV. Women are more prone, accounting for seventy percent of cases. Without treatment, liver disease and cirrhosis can occur. The disease is treated with a combination of steroids and azathioprine. The effectiveness of the drugs decreases over several months to reduce the chances of unwanted side effects.
The effect of alcohol on the liver
Alcohol is a toxin that disrupts metabolism and damages internal organs, especially the central nervous system, inadequate amounts. Alcohol consumption can also cause three specific diseases: fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Of course, there are other known causes of these diseases.
Who is in danger?
No one knows why some alcoholics develop liver disease while others do not. As with many other conditions of unknown cause, experts have in some cases assumed a genetic predisposition to the disease.
Women who abuse alcohol have a higher risk of developing these diseases than men. Other risk factors include malnutrition and organ damage from past infections.
Fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease, or steatohepatitis, is one of the first signs that alcohol causes harmful effects. As a result of alcohol exchange, fat accumulates, hampering the efficiency of the organ.
Fortunately, if caught at an early stage, steatohepatitis can reverse. Abstinence from alcohol allows excess fat to be absorbed and normal organ function to return. If left untreated, steatohepatitis eventually leads to irreversible cirrhosis or scarring.
Alcoholism is not always the cause of steatohepatitis. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can be caused by malnutrition, heart disease, obesity, and long-term corticosteroids.
Ten to 35% of heavy drinks eventually develop alcoholic hepatitis or hepatitis, but even moderate alcoholics can develop the disorder. The disease can be chronic or acute and often appears after an extremely heavy drink.
The symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis are similar to viral hepatitis. Common discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea and liver pain. Jaundice, mental disorder and abdominal swelling may also occur. The disease is reversible if the patient stops drinking, but it can take months for the symptoms to go away.
Cirrhosis is basically the scarring that happens when the liver is damaged by inflammation. Scar tissue hinders the progression of blood and keeps the organ from working appropriately. Ten to fifteen percent of heavy drinkers have cirrhosis, one of the top ten causes of death from the disease in the United States.
In addition to the complications in the box on the right, an estimated five percent of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer, one of the most severe forms of cancer.
Once the cirrhosis is damaged, it cannot be reversed. However, avoiding alcohol prevents further harm and reduces the chances of developing new symptoms. Many organizations help those living in the fight against alcoholism.
Symptoms of cirrhosis may not be detectable in the early stages of the disease. Exhaustion, fatigue and loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss and weakness may occur. As the scarring increases, additional complications may develop. They include:
light bleeding or bruising
Drugs that can damage the liver
Many drugs can cause hepatotoxicity, toxic liver destruction. For every thousand hepatitis, eight of these are caused by drugs. The liver responds to the drug and is inflamed. Treatment is relatively simple: if the side effects of medication cause drug-induced hepatitis, stopping or changing the medication usually resolves the problem within a few weeks.
The timing of hepatotoxicity depends on the type of drug used and the duration of its use. Antibiotics should not cause side effects until they build up in the body for a few days, while an overdose of painkillers containing acetaminophen can cause harm within a few hours.
Symptoms of drug-induced hepatitis
Symptoms of hepatotoxicity are generally similar to those of viral hepatitis, although in some cases there are no noticeable symptoms. Common side effects of hepatotoxins include:
- What number
- stomach ache
- dark urine
- bloody stools
- sore muscles
- joint pain.
Drugs causing hepatotoxicity
Various medications can cause organ damage, and anyone with liver disease should check with their doctor carefully before starting a new medication. Antibiotics such as erythromycin can cause hepatitis-like side effects, as can painkillers, steroid-based drugs, immunosuppressants, oral contraceptives, statin drugs, and any drug used to alter liver function. Here are some of the most common potentially hepatotoxic drugs:
Acetaminophen: Painkillers containing acetaminophen should be avoided in people with a history of liver problems. Overdose of acetaminophen may cause hepatotoxicity within one hour.
Erythromycin: This is a common antibiotic known to cause jaundice and other hepatitis-like symptoms.
Halothane: Halothane is an inhalation general anesthetic. Halothane is known to cause serious side effects and in some cases death is the result of liver damage.
Methotrexate: For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases of the immune system, methotrexate suppresses the overactive immune system. People taking methotrexate usually need regular blood tests. When this drug is mixed with alcohol, it greatly increases the chances of liver damage.
Statin drugs: Popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, statin drugs prevent the liver from producing a substance that is needed to make cholesterol.
Drugs are not just substances that can cause hepatotoxicity. Excessive use of vitamins, supplements, and herbs can have the same effect. It may take several weeks for the symptoms to appear. If you have any concerns, discuss additional and alternative treatments with your healthcare professional before starting them.
The main constituent of mothballs, naphthenic, is also found in dyes, resins, many insecticides and tobacco smoke. After the butterfly balls evaporate, the naphthalene can be inhaled. Inhaled naphthenic can cause jaundice and hepatitis, and excessive amounts can damage the liver, eyes and kidneys. Naphthen is rapidly eliminated from the body, so measuring toxicity levels can be difficult.
Liver cancer is less common in North America than in Asia and Africa. Twice as many men and women suffer from the disease and are much more at risk after the age of sixty. Because it can only be cured in its early stages, about 27,000 Americans die from the disease each year.
Cancer cells from the lungs, colon, and other areas spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body in a process called metastasis. Metastases are tumors that are labeled according to the organ of origin: that is, if cancerous lung cells enter the liver through metastases, the new tumor is called a liver metastasis tumor or secondary lung cancer.
Primary tumors of the liver are less common than secondary tumors, but they do occur. The most common form is called hepatocellular carcinoma, which can spread to other organs.
Risk factors: Hepatitis, cirrhosis and aflatoxin
Chronic infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C increases the risk of developing hepatic cellular carcinoma. Chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis or scarring. Five percent of people with cirrhosis also develop cancerous tumors. Alcohol consumption also causes cirrhosis, increasing the chances of developing tumors.
Consumption of aflatoxin, a toxic substance produced by each form, also increases the risk. Aflatoxin is found in cereals, peanuts and other nuts, especially in Asia and Africa. In the United States, the FDA bans the sale of foods containing aflatoxins, so the level of risk is lower.
Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and organ transplantation. In cases where metastases have occurred, treatment options are drastically reduced. New treatments are constantly being developed and antiviral drugs are showing promising results in clinical trials.
Other liver diseases
In addition to hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer, there are a number of other liver diseases. The severity of these disorders can be severe, life-threatening, and mild. Many have a genetic basis. These are some of the most common examples of liver disease.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder. The system by which this deficiency leads to cirrhosis is unknown. Some types of deficiency produce alpha-1 antitrypsin, but they are trapped in liver cells where excessive amounts of protein can cause cirrhosis. In other organs, such as the lungs, alpha-1 antitrypsin provides protection against the harmful effects of destructive enzymes. The disorder can prompt emphysema, even in non-smokers.
Hemochromatosis (iron overload)
Hemochromatosis, or iron overload, is an inherited liver disease that causes the body to absorb too much iron. Iron overload harms inner organs and can cause cirrhosis. Untreated, hemochromatosis can be fatal but can be successfully controlled if it is detected before organ damage is observed.
Because of Wilson’s disease, the body stores too much copper in the liver and brain. Wilson’s disease is often confused with viral hepatitis and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Treatment involves regular removal of copper from the body.
Galactosemia is an inherited disorder that causes cirrhosis and serious illness in infants unless analyzed quickly. The body does not have the liver enzyme that is needed to prevent blood sugar galactose from building up in the bloodstream. Treating galactosemia requires a lifetime galactose-free diet.
Glycogen storage disease
In glycogen storage disease, the body stores too much glycogen in the liver and muscles, leading to hepatotoxicity, muscle weakness and cramps.
There are eleven different glycogen storage diseases: each can be traced back to an enzyme deficiency that affects blood sugar levels. The body cannot use the available glucose for energy because glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen.
A mild disorder that usually does not require treatment, Gilbert’s syndrome prevents proper processing of bilirubin. Patients with Gilbert’s syndrome may experience jaundice during stress, physical exertion, or infection. The disorder usually does not cause severe symptoms.
Not all cancers are malignant: benign tumors called hemangiomas can occur in the blood vessels of the liver. Because hemangiomas do not cause harmful symptoms, they are usually left alone. Occasionally, hemangiomas bleed and need to be surgically removed.
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