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The liver is one of the most important organs of the human body. Its main functions include the absorption and storage of nutrients. It also plays a huge role in the whole process of digestion. It also has filtering capabilities. It is very important to take care of our liver by taking a healthy diet and indulging in physical exercises. Sometimes. the liver gets inflamed. What is an inflamed liver?
An inflamed liver1 means that the liver’s size gets slightly enlarged for various reasons. Liver inflammation might also occur due to some chronic liver diseases. This inflamed liver indicates that the cells of the liver are damaged and need immediate attention and care.
Some forms of liver inflammation might be mild and can be cured easily with a little care and medications. Some more serious cases of inflamed liver need and demand more care and time to get cured and healed. Such type of inflamed liver can be cured in less period.
In medical terms, the inflamed liver is referred to as hepatitis2. Various types of hepatitis are categorized based on the symptoms and the threats that they pose. The most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. In contemporary times with the advancements in the field of medical science, cures for any chronic liver disease or hepatitis are probably available.
Inflamed liver might develop due to various reasons like lifestyle changes, metabolic disorders, or alcohol abuse. If these inflamed liver symptoms are ignored for a long time, it might develop into liver cancer. It might even lead to acute liver failure.
Although this might seem like a huge disease or disorder, we have a lot of modern techniques that can cure this disease in most cases. It is very important to be aware of this type of disease.
This is Your Guide to the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Inflamed Liver: –
Let’s Know What is an Inflamed Liver: –
Inflamed liver means swelling in the liver. The liver is a vital organ of the human body; when it swells up, there are many problems in the effective functioning of the body. An inflamed liver might occur due to damage in the cells or scar tissue.
The liver removes certain toxins from the blood, making it clean and healthy. It also manages the storage and release of essential nutrients like fat and cholesterol. But when the liver gets inflamed, all these functions are hindered greatly. The liver also creates certain types of hormones like insulin-like growth factor (somatomedin), angiotensinogen3, thrombopoietin, and hepcidin. Thus making the issue of immediate medical attention.
Other causes might include chronic hepatitis or liver disease. When liver inflammation occurs, the patient might experience unbearable or mild pain in the stomach. Some patients might also experience problems in the healthy functioning of the digestive system.
This abdominal pain might be usually experienced in the upper right portion of the abdomen as the liver is located there. Various underlying problems might lead to this inflamed liver. People who have high blood pressure or high blood sugar level must immediately see a doctor if they feel unusual pain in their abdomen.
Inflamed liver might be a sign of an underlying problem or disease. People with additional problems might have a little difficulty dealing with liver inflammation. Doctors will advise them to take extra care of their bodies and follow certain precautions.
Symptoms of an Inflamed Liver: –
After knowing what inflamed liver is, we should also know its symptoms. The symptoms include effects on various parts of the body. With the help of these symptoms, we can know when to see a doctor and when our body needs attention.
Some of the most common and easily visible symptoms of an inflamed liver include the following: –
Abdominal pain: – Some people might experience mild pain, whereas for others, it might be more severe. This type of pain is usually felt in the upper right portion of the abdomen. It might occur elsewhere, also.
Diarrhea: – Some patients might also experience mild or severe diarrhea depending on the cause of the inflammation.
Dark urine: – Getting dark-colored urine is also one of the symptoms of inflamed liver. Some patients also complained of having light-colored stools.
Fatigue: – Patients might also feel tired and exhausted most of the time. They might feel lazy and not want to do any work.
Fever: – Sometimes, people might also have a complaint of mild fever. Fever can be a little high sometimes.
Headache: – Headache is also one of the very common and widely found symptoms of inflamed liver. Usually, it subsides with the help of mild medications.
Yellow eyes or yellow skin: – These are symptoms also seen when a person has jaundice. When you see these symptoms, it means that you should consult a good doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes the skin might be a little itchy, also
Vomiting: – Vomiting or the feeling of nausea are also some easy-to-detect symptoms. This is the time when one needs to get extra careful and attentive. Sometimes there might be some blood during vomiting. This is a sign that one must visit a doctor immediately without unnecessary delay.
Joint pain: – Some people might also experience joint pain in particular. They might also have a lot of body pain in general. Doctors usually conduct a full body check-up to avoid any mistakes.
Knowing the symptoms of liver inflammation is very important. These symptoms might overlap with the symptoms of other diseases as well. This means that detecting the symptoms can be a little tricky and confusing.
But once they have been detected, there should be no delay in seeing or consulting a good and credible doctor. Otherwise, this ignorance might lead to the development of severe liver diseases.
Doctors will most probably tell the patients to get their blood tested. Blood tests are the only way of detecting severe liver diseases like hepatitis c or fatty liver disease and many others.
Causes of Inflamed Liver: –
There might be various reasons why one might have an enlarged liver. For instance, changing one’s eating habits and lifestyle might damage the liver tissue. Another reason for the development of an enlarged liver is excessive alcohol consumption.
It is also important to be aware of the causes of an enlarged liver. This awareness will help in having good treatment of the problem. Below is the list of some of the most common causes of the inflamed liver: –
1. Cirrhosis: –
Cirrhosis4 is one of the most dangerous causes of liver inflammation. Due to this, scar tissue is formed on the liver. This negative development leads to liver damage and also hinders the effective and proper functioning of the liver.
This is a very serious and damaging disease, and it might not be able to cure permanently. But with the help of a doctor, further damage can be prevented. Using the right medicines and a balanced diet will help in comparatively better functioning of the liver.
This way, cirrhosis damages the liver and causes liver inflammation, which causes severe abdominal pain.
2. Liver Cysts: –
Normal liver cysts are fluid-filled structures with thin walls. When they get a little enlarged, they become a reason for pain and discomfort. Liver cysts5 might also cause swelling in the liver.
These cysts can be easily detected with the help of an ultra-sound. Usually, doctors advise surgery that will remove these cysts. If ignored they might turn out to be very painful and tough to cure.
3. Amyloidosis: –
This is a type of rare disorder that develops due to the accumulation of a certain type of abnormal protein called amyloid6. This condition then causes liver inflammation which prevents the normal functioning of the liver.
This disorder can also develop in certain other body parts. Specifically, in the liver, it is called hepatic amyloidosis. A credible permanent cure for this disorder is not known. But with the help of medical attention, it can be kept under control and prevented from causing further damage to the liver.
4. Alcoholic liver disease: –
As the name suggests, alcoholic liver disease spreads and develops due to excessive consumption of alcohol. The liver processes alcohol but drinking beyond the limit that it can break down damages it severely.
The damage done can be repaired with the help of medicines but only in very few cases. To prevent further damage, the consumption of alcohol must be stopped fully or reduced dramatically.
This disease damaged the cells of the liver to a very large extent and thus causing inflammation of the liver.
5. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease:-
As the name suggests, this disease is not caused by the consumption of alcohol. This disease majorly develops in people who do not consume alcohol or take very little amount. If ignored for a long time, it can result in chronic liver inflammation.
In this disease, an excessive amount of fats get deposited in the liver. This affects the healthy state of the liver. Thereby hindering its normal functioning. The major symptoms of this disease are severe abdominal pain, jaundice and fatigue.
This disease is mostly curable with the help of good medical attention and healthy dietary practices. This disease is also called hepatic steatosis.
6. Chronic Cholestasis: –
This is a very different type of disease7. It occurs when the flow of bile from the liver to the intestines is slowed down or blocked. Bile is an enzyme like juice that helps in the process of the breakdown of food and also its digestion.
This blockage in the flow majorly occurs due to hormonal effects or genetic disturbances or drug use or viral infections. This disease is also called Budd Chiara syndrome.
This problem causes inflammation in the liver. This also affects the whole process of digestion to a great extent leading to severe abdominal pain and other such things. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is also a disease which is related to it.
In this, the bile ducts get enlarged or inflamed causing difficulty in the transportation of bile juice. This in turn causes liver damage.
7. Viral Hepatitis: –
Viral hepatitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the liver affecting its functioning. It is of various types and each type has a different effect on the liver. There are majorly five types of hepatitis which are hepatitis a, b, c, d and e.
However, the most common ones are hepatitis a, hepatitis b and hepatitis c. It is mostly caused by viral infections. But in some cases, it can also develop due to excessive consumption of alcohol. Hepatitis has become increasingly curable over the years with the development of medical sciences.
So, one of the reasons for having an inflamed liver is also having any type of hepatitis which affects the liver negatively. This causes a lot of pain in the stomach and hence all the other symptoms of an inflamed liver also appear.
After knowing the causes of the inflammation in the liver it is also very important to know the available treatment for curing this disease or disorder.
Treatment of Chronic Liver Disease or Inflamed Liver: –
Although the problem might seem very big there are at least a ton of cures and medications available that help in curing the disease. After getting to know what are the symptoms and causes of the inflamed liver no time should be wasted in consulting a doctor.
The type of treatment that will be prescribed to one patient will differ from that of another. This is because the treatments depend on the root causes of an inflamed liver. Treatment will also depend on the type and magnitude. In cases of severe symptoms, the medications and treatment will be a little more complex.
Initially, the doctors will examine the blood test reports of the patients to examine the extent to which the liver has been damaged. Then they will prescribe the required medicine or surgery or in some case liver transplant.
Below is the list of some of the easily available treatments that will help a patient dealing with this disease: –
1. Blood Tests:-
If a patient goes to a doctor and complains of having any of the above-mentioned symptoms. it is most likely that the doctor will tell them to get the blood test reports. With the help of the reports, the doctor will examine the seriousness of the situation and prescribe the required form of medication.
With the help of blood test reports, the doctor will be able to know the cause of an inflamed liver. it will also help in detecting the presence of any viruses in the blood that might be causing the damage.
2. Imaging of the Liver: –
This involves various complex technicalities that will help in examining the liver. These methods bring out the visuals of the liver. This helps in examining the situation and the condition of the liver more appropriately and minutely.
Imaging of the liver involves the use of various methods like computed tomography or CT scan, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. After getting the reports of these scans, the patient has to get them verified and examined by a credible doctor.
The doctor will then prescribe the needed medication depending on the situation and the extent of the damage that has been done to the liver. If the damage is not more severe symptoms, it is most likely that it can be cured with the help of a course of medicines and some dietary changes.
A surgery or liver transplant may be advised if the damage is very severe or beyond the cure with the help of normal mild medicines. After the suggested surgery the life expectancy of the patient is most likely to increase.
3. Liver Biopsy: –
A liver biopsy8 is a more complex and intricate procedure. Under this procedure, the doctor will remove a piece of liver tissue so that it can be examined more closely under a microscope. This method provides a more detailed analysis of the damage done to the liver.
It is one of the best methods to examine the condition and health of the liver. A liver biopsy is a very safe procedure if done by a qualified doctor. The only risk involved is a slight pain in the abdomen but it is cured and subsides with the help of the medicines provided by the doctor.
If the extent of damage is not easily understandable or detectable then the doctor might conduct a liver biopsy. With the outlook of it, undergoing a liver biopsy might seem like a painful and complex task. On the contrary, it is an easy and the most effective method provided it is conducted by a good doctor.
There can be other types of treatment methods as well depending on the extent of the damage to the liver and the cause of the suggested inflammation.
Apart from knowing the methods of treatments that can be used to cure liver inflammation, it is also very important to know how we can prevent this situation from happening in the first place.
Remedies for an Inflamed Liver: –
Liver inflammation can also be treated more simply. But this only works in cases of mild pain in the liver. This mild pain is usually caused by the consumption of alcohol or by the consumption of too much harmful food like junk food.
These remedies might be some home remedies or the ones advised by good doctors or nutritionists. Regularly and honestly following these remedies might bring out great results and might dramatically help with the treatment of an inflamed liver.
Some of the best remedies are given below: –
One should drink a lot of water if he has a problem with digestion or any other related problems. In general, also, doctors tell healthy people to drink a lot of water as it keeps the body clear and free from toxins. Drinking a lot of water will help in reducing the swelling of an inflamed liver.
The patient with liver must stay away from alcohol abuse. Drinking alcohol results in the development of liver-related diseases like alcoholic liver disease and many others. It must be kept in mind that the consumption of alcohol will only worsen the situation.
One must take a balanced diet to keep the liver fit and healthy. Our body needs all the nutrients to function properly to its fullest. Thus, to be safe from liver disease, it is very important to eat food that has all the nutrients in it.
Apart from eating healthy food, it is also very important to avoid junk food like noodles and others. Fatty food must also be avoided at all costs. One must also keep their cholesterol level in check. High levels of cholesterol will not only affect the liver negatively but will also lead to the development of heart diseases.
Most importantly, patients with an inflamed liver must not have a sedentary lifestyle. It is very important to do some physical exercises like walking and jogging. Some specific types of yoga will also help in easing the pain and reduce the swelling.
Now the causes and symptoms of an inflamed liver are laid clear. It is very important to keep one fact in mind, that is, the later you do in seeing a doctor, the worse the condition will get. As soon as you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you must take action immediately.
Sometimes the symptoms might be mild and will go away with the help of the above-mentioned remedies. But sometimes the symptoms might be very severe and will not go away with any of the remedies. It means one should get the tests done to detect any sign of liver damage.
There are very high and good chances of curing liver inflammation or any other liver diseases. One of the treatment options also includes a liver transplant. All this might be very understandably overwhelming but with the right medications and a good mental state, it is possible.
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