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Today we’re going to look at the commonly occurring types of liver diseases.
The liver is a very important organ that deals with the detoxification of the body, energy storage and metabolism. The organ helps digest the food we eat, convert it to energy, and store the energy until our body needs it. The liver also assists in filtering toxic substances (detoxification) out of the bloodstream.
Liver disease is a general term that refers to any condition affecting your liver. There are many factors that lead to these liver diseases, but all of them damage your liver and affect its function.
The symptoms of liver problems vary, and they depend on the underlying cause. But there are some usual symptoms that are indicators of a liver problem. Some of these symptoms are:
Many conditions affect the liver. Here are a few liver diseases that occur commonly:
Chronic liver failure happens when a large part of your liver is damaged and can’t function properly. Usually, liver failure that’s related to cirrhosis and liver disease happens slowly. But it’s a serious condition that requires ongoing management. When it begins to manifest, there aren’t any symptoms. But as time passes by, you will notice:
On the other hand, acute liver failure happens suddenly, often triggered by an overdose or poisoning.
Cirrhosis is the scarring that is caused by liver diseases and other catalysts of liver damage, such as alcohol use disorder. Syphilis (an STD) and cystic fibrosis may also lead to liver disease and eventually, cirrhosis. Your liver has the ability of regenerate in response to damage, but the process of it usually results in the development of scar tissue. As more of the scar tissue develops, the harder it is for the liver to function properly.
In the early stages, cirrhosis is often curable by addressing the underlying cause. But if left unadministered, cirrhosis can lead to other complications and become life-threatening.
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ALSO READ: Is your Body Sending you Signals for a Detox?
Let’s move on to the 3rd one.
Liver cancer is also one of the popular liver problems out there. It first develops in the liver. If cancer starts elsewhere in the body but spreads to the liver, it is called secondary liver cancer.
Complications of other liver diseases, especially those that aren’t treated, may contribute to the development of liver cancer.
The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. It tends to develop as small spots of cancer in your liver, but it can also begin to manifest as a single tumor.
You could inherit several genetic conditions from one of your parents which can affect of liver, such as:
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Eventually, the genetic conditions listed above can lead to severe liver problems.
Autoimmune disorders make your immune system attack the healthy cells in your body. These disorders attack cells and your liver, leading to liver diseases. Some of them are:
When fat starts to accumulate in the liver, the situation can lead to fatty liver disease. There are two types of fatty liver disease:
If fatty liver disease is not diagnosed, it can lead to several liver diseases such as the above mentioned ones of liver failure and cirrhosis.
The last liver problem that you’re going to read about, hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis causes inflammation and liver damage, adversely affecting the liver function. Additionally, all types of hepatitis are contagious. And there are five types of hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Sources of hepatitis include unprotected sex, blood, contaminated food and water.
As we’re done with the diseases, let’s look at the risk factors for these liver diseases.
Some lifestyle habits and things can increase the risk of the liver diseases mentioned above. These risk factors are:
Several liver problems are chronic or long term in nature, and may never go away. But even they could be managed to an extent.
You can definitely make these simple lifestyle changes to keep the diseases on the side:
So far we have seen the common types of liver diseases or liver problems. Most of these are manageable if treated during the early stages. But if left untreated, they can permanently damage the liver. Some lifestyle changes and keeping the liver healthy with recommended and most importantly, prescribed herbal supplements can work wonders in keeping liver problems at bay.
If you have any symptoms of a liver problem or are at a risk of developing one, make sure to get yourself diagnosed from your doctor or healthcare provider.