Liver disease is a condition, infection or disease affecting the tissues, cells, functions and structure of the liver. If the liver is infected or inflamed, the ability to perform its function is impaired. Liver diseases and infections are caused by variety of conditions such as virus, bacteria, and physical or chemical changes in one’s body. Malnutrition is common cause of liver disease accompanied with alcoholism.
Signs and Symptoms
Liver disease symptoms can be acute or chronic. Chronic liver disease is more common than acute. Liver disease in men is two times common than in women. It can range from mild to severe depending on the type of the disease.
· Dark urine
· Loss of appetite
· Unusual weight gain or weight loss
· Diarrhea and vomiting
· Light-colored stools
· Upper right stomach abdominal pain
· Malaise and fatigue
· Itching that is generalized
· Varicose veins
· Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia
· Low grade fever
· Muscle pain
· Sex drive loss
· Congenital birth defects
· Metabolic disorders
· Bacterial or viral infections
· Poisoning by toxins or alcohol
· Medications that are toxic to liver
· Nutritional deficiencies
· Injury or trauma
Some Liver Diseases in Children:
Galactosemiais a disease which is inherited where in the body cannot tolerate some sugars in milk. The sugars build up causing serious liver damage and to some parts of the body.
Allagile’s Syndromeis a condition where in the bile ducts deteriorates and narrows which is common in the early years or first year of life.
Neonatal Hepatitisis a hepatitis that occurs in newborns in the first months of life.
Hemorrhagic Telangiectasiais a condition where in the blood vessels allows easy and frequent bleeding of the digestive tract and skin.
Liver Diseases in Adults:
Liver Cirrhosisis a serious disease which causes the cells and tissues of the liver to be replaced with a scar tissue.
Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1causes blood sugar control problems when a person is fasting.
Porphyriais a condition where in the use of body for porphyrins is disrupted.
A healthcare professional determines an existing liver disease through the symptoms, physical exam and medical history. An enlarged liver or hepatomegaly is commonly found upon examination.
Other diagnostic tests include:
· Liver function test is a blood test that checks the liver enzymes and by products of the liver.
· CBC or complete blood count for blood analysis
· Abdominal x-rays
· Ultrasound for visualization of body organs and if masses are present
· Upper gastrointestinal tract study for detection of esophagus abnormality caused by a liver disease
· Liver scans for visualization of liver structure
· Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography or ERCP is a visualization of structures around the liver through the use of an endoscope.
· Abdominal CT scan or MRI provides liver information, its structure and function.
Treatment to prevent further disease or infection
Treatment includes bed rest, drinking a lot of fluids to prevent dehydration, avoiding unnecessary medications, avoiding of alcohol, eating a balance diet and taking prescribe medications as needed.