What is an Inflamed Liver?
There are many conditions associated with the liver. One of the common diseases of liver is inflammation, which can be a result of an underlying disease. The liver is considered the largest gland of the human body and shall increase in size because of inflammation. This gland is very essential in breaking down our essential nutrients, facilitating fat absorption and detoxifying our body’s impurities.
The condition can be classified as either acute (lasts less than 6 months) or chronic (lasts beyond 6 months).
Inflamed Liver Symptoms
A patient who suffers from an inflamed liver shall experience the following initially: (acute stage)
- Mild localized pain in the upper right side of the abdomen (where the liver is anatomically located)
- Swelling and tenderness felt at the right bottom area of the rib cage
- Bloated feeling that may be constant and can result to discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches on the muscles and joints, that usually takes weeks
- Hepatomegaly (swelling of liver)
- Weight loss, because of loss of appetite
The liver problem tends to progress and the can result to more disturbing symptoms:
- Yellow discoloration of the skin (jaundice) along with fever, dark urine, and yellowing of the white portion of the eyes
- Abdominal pain and soreness that radiates to the right shoulder
- Inconsistent fat level in the blood
- Body malaise
- Abnormal menstrual cycle and acne outbursts are commonly experienced by women
Inflamed Liver Causes
When the liver is damaged, the liver cells tend to swell up and get inflamed as the inflammatory process takes place. There are several factors that are responsible for this condition:
A viral infection triggers an inflammation that tends to develop to hepatitis. It is known that hepatitis can result to an inflamed liver. The common causing viral infections are hepatitis A, B and C.
Alcoholic hepatitis affects those heavy alcohol drinkers. Those who are overtly exposed to alcohol are prone to damaging their liver cells thus resulting to inflammation. The metabolite of alcohol is said to cause a harmful effect on the liver.
Some drugs that are highly corrosive and liver-damaging are rooted for this condition. It usually depends on the drug and the abuse that one is doing with their medications. This may also affect those people who have maintaining drugs which can be harmful to the liver. These drugs are called hepatotoxic.
Sufferers of autoimmune disorders are susceptible to this condition. This is due to the self-destroying immune system or because of the overactive immune system. The body cannot recognize what is foreign, thus resulting to damaging the normal cells.
This condition can result to liver damage. People who are non-alcohol may even suffer from this condition. This is associated with obesity and is more common to women.
Metabolic disorders such as the Wilson’s disease can cause an inflamed liver and also necrosis.
Bile duct obstruction
Bile duct obstruction an result to obstructive jaundice because of the incapability of the hormones and juices to pass through. The obstruction can lead to destruction of the liver cells and inflammation of the liver tissue.
Inflamed Liver Diagnosis
In order to diagnose this condition, a complete medical history should be gathered. These tests are done to patients:
Liver function test
This is a standard liver panel that includes testing of the serum albumin levels, alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin, coagulation test, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and serum glucose. These tests serve as biomarkers of the level of liver injury inflicted.
This is done under a local anesthesia with a use of needle to extract a small part of the liver. A pathologist will then examine the tissue.
This allows doctor to view the extent of involvement and the severity of the condition. A CT scan or ultrasound is usually ordered.
Inflamed Liver Treatment
It is very important to identify the cause of the condition in order to provide appropriate treatment. Once the cause is identified, one should follow the following:
- If the condition is due to increased alcohol intake or abuse, one is advised to avoid and cease intake. The patient is usually given and recommended to take corticosteroids to decrease inflammation.
- Once the inflammation has gone to the advanced stage, a liver transplant is advised by the doctor.
- Bed rest is provided to patients with salt and fluid replacement. If the patient experiences severe bleeding, blood transfusions are to be performed.
- The proper identification of the cause is essential. If found that the inflammation is due to taking of drugs, ask advise from the doctor if one should continue or stop taking them.
- Treatment of the underlying conditions is must. Obstructive disorders are to be taken action too. Bile duct obstruction can be treated surgically. Taking of viral drugs are recommended to those with hepatitis B and C.
- Changing the lifestyle practices is a must for those who are obese and are alcohol abusers.
Prevention is done by choosing a healthy lifestyle and by following the doctor’s orders.
Inflamed Liver Diet
The diet of the person involved with an inflamed liver should be shifted to a healthy and a balance one. Intake of fatty foods and processed foods should be minimized. High caloric foods should also be minimized and should not extend beyond 3,000 calories a day. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is a must. Fresh vegetables and food are much recommended and can help one in the healing process. Increase oral fluid intake so that flushing of toxins out from the system will be facilitated. Provide the client with milk thistle, a popular herbal tonic, which is used to control the viral infection. This is said to facilitate growth of new liver cells and replacing the damaged one. One should consult the doctor regarding the drugs he/she is currently taking. Getting enough protein from foods is essential in the healing process.