Liver issues can present at any time in life. Symptoms can include yellow skin and eyes, dark urine, pale or black stool, swollen ankles or legs, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, ongoing fatigue, and itchy skin. From the appearance of someone, we can figure out the issue sometimes. For example, if some people eat a lot but look malnourished, they might have liver issues.
There are various kinds of liver disease, some more serious than others. This is a short list of liver disease and what you can do to deal with it. Liver diseases do not have many symptoms, but if you have the following problems, you should pay much attention. Though many more conditions affect the liver, these are the most common.
Hepatitis is a viral infection. It causes inflammation and, if untreated, liver damage. Hepatitis is contagious, person-to-person. The only way to protect against it is to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, always practice safe sex, and do not share needles. Hepatitis virus can invade through injuries in the skin, therefore, disinfectants should be guaranteed in public places, such as tattoo studios and beauty salons.
Fatty liver disease
Fatty liver disease is a result of fat build-up in the liver. This can be caused by heavy alcohol consumption or other factors. If fatty liver is not treated, it will impair liver function and lead eventually to liver failure. The ways to treat fatty liver disease and/or to prevent it is to make a healthy lifestyle, diet, and activity changes. Adding more vegetables into meals and decreasing the intake of large quantities of meat will ease the disease. Regular exercises are also proven to be an effective solution to fatty liver disease, for instance, it can be as simple as walking for half an hour after dinner.
Autoimmune disease can attack healthy cells in the body including those in the liver. These conditions are very difficult to prevent and damage. Autoimmune hepatitis inflames the liver, eventually leading to organ failure. There’s also primary biliary cirrhosis which is bile accumulation inside the liver and primary sclerosing cholangitis which is damage to the bile ducts. All these conditions lead to liver pain and, eventually, liver failure.
Cancer can first develop in the liver. It can come from liver disease or may occur entirely independent of any liver-related condition. This kind of cancer is hard to recognize by obvious symptoms, therefore, an annual body checkup is quite essential to prevent ahead of time.
Cirrhosis is liver scarring that occurs from damage. Your liver can regenerate against some damage which is a process that generates scarring. The more scar tissue you have, the more difficult it will be for your liver to work. Early stage cirrhosis is usually treatable. Left unmanaged, life-threatening complications can arise.
If you notice someone with jaundice, diarrhea, confusion, fatigue, weakness, and nausea, get them to a hospital. It could be a case of liver failure. This tends to happen relatively slowly. Alternatively, if you experience an overdose or poisoning, this can also lead to liver failure.
How can I lower my risk of liver problems?
There are a lot of risk factors involved when it comes to liver health and protection. To reduce likelihood of liver problems, here is the rulebook to follow.
- Do not use non-sterile needles or share needles with others.
- Do not expose yourself to other people’s bloods or bodily fluids.
- Do not have sex without protection in the form of a condom.
- Take care of your diabetes risk.
- Take care of your high cholesterol.
- Take care of your weight.
- Minimize exposure to toxins and pesticides.
- Do not take large amounts of herbs or supplements.
- Do not mix medications like acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, with alcohol.