A very important organ, the liver plays a huge role – from metabolizing nutrients to detoxifying the body and even storing and converting sugar. But like other organs in the body, it is susceptible to damages and diseases.
Causes and Risk Factors of Liver
Lifestyle and medications can damage the liver. Excessive alcohol, for example, can lead to cirrhosis or scarring and hardening of the liver; and medications such as acetaminophen overdose can lead to liver damage and even failure.
Other common diseases of the liver include hemochromatosis or an accumulation of iron in the body causing toxicity as well as hepatitis, a condition where the liver is inflamed due to hepatitis viruses. Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disease, so if this diseases runs in your family, then you need to get tested for it. Another hereditary liver disease is Wilson’s disease characterized by an accumulation of copper in the tissues.
The liver is also susceptible to parasitic infection like Fascioliasis and to fatty liver disease, a condition wherein there is an accumulation of bad cholesterol.
Signs and Symptoms of Liver
The most obvious sign that you are suffering from a liver disease is jaundice, a yellowish discoloration or tinge to the skin and the eyes. Other symptoms include weakness and easy fatigability as well as nausea and vomiting. Weight loss may also be present.
Treatment and Prevention of Liver
Liver disease is a serious illness. That is why it’s important that you visit your doctor regularly to monitor your liver function through a series of laboratory tests. Few relevant tests are also listed above for your reference. They can be pretty costly, but you can save some money through our online medical marketplace that give you the opportunity to compare the costs of the liver panel tests offered by different providers.