The liver is the most vital and most hard-working organ of the body. The liver performs all the necessary processes related to metabolism, detoxification of the elements and energy storage. The liver disease represents a general term stating any condition that is affecting the liver. Liver disease is an umbrella term that includes all potential problems affecting the liver. It is not a condition in itself. Liver disease is also termed as hepatic disease.
There are several factors that can cause liver disease. Infection in the liver can cause the inflammation can lead to liver disease. Viral Hepatitis (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, hepatitis C) can cause severe inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis A: In most individuals, this is caused by eating food material or drinking a liquid that is contaminated with fecal matter. It may go away by itself within 6 months without causing any long-term harm and the individual may not develop any symptom for this disease
Hepatitis B: This disease is spread from an infected individual to others. It is spread through unprotected sex or sharing the needle for taking drugs. This is so severe that the individual might develop liver cancer or another disease.
Hepatitis C: This is usually transferred when an individual comes in contact with infected blood.
Immune system problems can also further escalate and damage the liver. For instance, Autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis can give rise to liver disease and can cause liver cancer.
The typical symptom of the liver disease includes nausea, vomiting, pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen jaundice (elevated concentrations of bilirubin in the blood make skin yellow).
As there are varieties of liver diseases, symptoms tend to be specific for the particular illness until liver failure occurs. Liver disease symptom due to certain condition or disease are as follows:
Gallstones: An individual with a gallstone may experience pain in the upper right abdominal quadrant and may vomit after consuming a fatty meal.
Gilbert’s disease: Mild elevation in the blood bilirubin level remains an only a sign of this disease.
Liver cirrhosis: skin itching due to deposition of bile salts in the skin, easy bruising due to decreased blood clotting factor production, gynecomastia, poor sex drive and shrinking testicles due to reduced sex hormones, etc. are few of the symptoms
Some foods can support better care of the liver. They are as follows:
- Coffee: Consuming coffee can protect from liver disease and also can improve the situation in the individual with an already damaged liver. It lowers the risk of liver cirrhosis or permanent liver damage in individuals with chronic liver disease by preventing the fat and collagen build-up in the liver
- Tea: A study conducted in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients found improved liver enzyme levels post 12 weeks due to significant antioxidant content of green tea. Manage fat deposits and reduces oxidative stress
- Grapefruit: Two oxidants found in grapefruit Naringenin and Naringin naturally protect the liver. It also reduces inflammation and also acts as hepato-protectant protecting the liver cells
- Blueberries and Cranberries: Both contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that impart berries their distinctive color. It protects from liver damage
- Grapes: Resveratrol found in grapes prevents from damage and increases the antioxidant level
- Beetroot juice: It is the substantial source of the nitrates and antioxidants called betalains that reduce oxidative damage and the inflammation
- Cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens have rich fibre content. These ingredients increase the number of detoxification enzymes and protect the liver from damage
- Nuts: Rich source of an antioxidant such as Vit. E and other nutrient and fats improve levels of liver enzymes
- Fatty fish: omega-3-fatty acid found in fish reduces inflammation by keeping enzyme level normal
- Olive oil: increased the number of proteins having a positive metabolic effect
- Prickly pear: It is a desired type of the edible cactus. Decreased the amount of oxidative damage and the liver injury post alcohol consumption
The liver is the 2nd most transplanted organ. The kidney remains at the top position. A liver transplant is a surgical procedure in which a damaged liver is replaced with a healthy liver. This treatment option is preferred when the liver failure can not be relieved with alternative treatments and for some people with liver cancer. Liver failure may happen suddenly as well as may take a long period of time to occur. When liver failure occurs in weeks, it is termed as acute liver failure. The condition is uncommon and may be the result of a complication from some medications.
A liver transplant is desired to cure chronic liver failure, however; it can cure acute liver failure as well.
According to the American liver foundation, almost 80,000 liver transplant surgeries are performed every year in the USA. According to a study, published in the American journal of transplantation, there are 89% chances that the patient many live after one year. There are almost 75% chances that the patient may survive for a period of 5 years. Doctors monitoring is crucial during the post-surgical recovery to detect any problems.