The liver is a detoxifying organ having the size of a football, located on the upper right-hand side of your abdomen. Its main job is to help in digesting food and to get rid of toxins in your body, therefore, known as the detoxifying organ.
Liver diseases can occur due to various reasons. The most common causes of liver damage are certain drugs, viruses, obesity, and alcohol use.
Liver diseases, if left untreated, or not taken care of at the right time, can lead to cirrhosis- scarring of tissue. If you have any signs and symptoms of liver disease, you should visit the hepatologist in Lahore.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Disease?
In the initial stage, liver disease may not show any signs and symptoms. However, as the disease may progress, it may show the following signs and symptoms;
- Jaundice- a condition in which eyes and skin appear yellow
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine color
- Loss of appetite
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Pale stool color
- Chronic fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
What are the Causes of Liver Disease?
- Liver disease can occur due to various reasons. They can be described as;
- Infections such as hepatitis A, B, and C
- Abnormality in the immune system such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Cancers and tumors
- Other causes such as chronic alcohol drinking, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, intake of certain herbal products, intake of certain prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
What are the Risk Factors for Liver Disease?
Factors that can predispose you to liver diseases can be:
- Drinking too much alcohol for a long time
- Being obese and eating a fat-rich diet
- Having type 2 diabetes
- Getting tattoos or piercing done
- Injecting drugs by sharing needles
- Getting a blood transfusion before 1992
- Having an unprotected sex
- Direct exposure to other people’s blood and bodily fluid
- Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
- Family history of liver disease
How Can You Prevent Liver Disease?
The following tips can help in preventing liver disease;
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Do not overdrink. Heavy drinking for the long term is a common cause of liver disease. Therefore, limiting its intake can help in reducing its risk.
- Have protected sex, especially if you have more than one partner.
- If you need to get a piercing done, or tattoo, make sure the needles are sterile and clean.
Get all these services from a reliable place.
- If you inject drugs intravenously, at least use a new and sterile needle each time. Do not share them with anyone else.
- Get vaccinated against the hepatitis virus, especially if you are at high risk of catching it. You are at high risk of catching a hepatitis virus if you are a healthcare provider or if someone near you has it. Hepatitis virus can be transmitted through bodily secretions and fluids.
- Before preparing food, wash it with clean and boiled water. Avoid eating fruits and vegetables with peel. Remove the peel and eat it after washing.
- If you are living in a developing country, use boiled water for drinking, washing your hands, and brushing your teeth.
- Maintain a healthy weight according to your body mass index. If you are overweight or obese, lose some weight.
- Eat a balanced diet with a low content of fats.
Liver diseases can occur due to various reasons. Mostly, they do not cause any such symptoms at the initial stage. If you have any signs and symptoms of liver disease, you should not delay the visit to the healthcare provider.
For that, you can visit the hepatologist in Karachi.