Structure of the Liver
Liver is triangular in shape. A person cannot live without a liver. Liver is dark reddish brown in color with four unevenly sized lobes. Liver is located beneath the diaphragm and in the upper part of the abdomen. It weights over 1 kg and contains about 13% of the blood supply at any given time. The liver has two blood supplies, the hepatic artery which transports oxygen rich blood from the from the heart and the hepatic portal vein dropping off blood drained from the intestines and spleen. Liver consists of two main lobes which are made up of number of lobules. The lobules are connected to small ducts which forms a larger duct forming a hepatic duct. The bile secreted by the liver is transported by hepatic duct to the gall bladder and the first part of the intestine called the duodenum. The rapid changing food habits and life style liver diseases are increasing rapidly. People suffering from obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol intake, blood transfusions, exposure to certain chemical substances and high cholesterol are prone to liver diseases. A healthy liver helps us to lead a healthy life. Liver diseases can be managed if detected early and proper treatment is taken.
Facts about liver
Functions of the Liver
Causes of liver diseases
Liver diseases are caused due to several reasons. More that 100 types of liver diseases are identified. Viruses are the main cause of liver diseases in India. They form the major cause for public health issues. People with obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol are prone to liver diseases. Congenital problems which are present from birth are common cause for liver disease. Viral infections- hepatitis A, B, C, and hepatitis D, exposure to certain chemicals, blood transfusions, toxins in certain drugs, excessive fats in diet and inactivity /lack of adequate physical exercises and excessive alcohol consumption leads to liver diseases.
Symptoms of liver diseases
The symptoms of a person suffering from liver disease can have fever, fatigue, headache, weight loss, yellowish discoloration of the eyes and skin, Jaundice, dark colored urine, abdominal pain, stool pale colored, itching all over the body, tiredness and loss of appetite.
This condition occurs when excessive amounts of fats gets deposited in the liver cells. His is found in people who are overweight and is usually caused due to excessive intake of fatty foods. Alcohol and chloroform may also cause fatty liver.
It is caused due to virus attack. The viruses that attack liver are called hepatitis viruses. They cause inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis viruses differs from each other in their characteristics. When virus stays in liver for more than 6 months it leads to chronic state from infection. This leads to serious danger to the life.
In this case the liver gets enlarged and becomes tender and may lead to jaundice. The person should completely avoid alcohol and should reduce food.
This is the state when the liver no longer functions. Many complications occurs leading to threat to patient's life.
Chronic hepatitis B and C may cause liver cancer if the patient has developed cirrhosis.
This disease is also due to consuming alcohol in older men. Due to poor nutrition and poisoning of fluids from industries. The symptoms includes gas formation, indigestion, nausea, vomiting weight loss and abdominal pain. In advanced state the person develops markings resembling spiders on face, neck, trunk and arms. There may be bleeding from stomach. The person needs to consult specialized doctor immediately for treatments.
Tests to detect liver diseases
Caring and cure for hard working liver
Taking care of our liver is very important to stay healthy. Proper nutrition helps to keep liver healthy. Stay active. Having low fat and eating foods with fibre content is good for liver. One should avoid excess salt and sugar, avoid over eating and should take small regular meals. Drinking water plenty of fluids help the liver. Organic foods should be preferred to avoid chemicals as it requires liver to work hard to remove them. Fruits and vegetables should be washed to removes pesticides. Eat raw vegetables and more of whole grain products. Use steaming for cooking vegetables. Practicing safe sex and keeping proper weight helps in reducing risk of liver diseases. Check for hepatitis infections and get vaccinated.
Healthy habits for liver
Prevention is better than cure, practice healthy habits to keep liver healthy. Use bottled water for drinking and take precautions against mosquitoes. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and clean water. Take care to eat well cooked food and use pasteurized dairy products. Avoid road side foods and consult doctor if you are ill. Keep medicines out of reach from children, do not mix medicines. Take medicines according to doctor's advice, avoid excessive doses. Consult doctor if you have liver problems and get liver tested. Avoid alcohol/drink but keep in limits. If you have jaundice or any other liver diseases than stop alcohol completely. Stay in well ventilated atmosphere; avoid chemical and paints when exposed to them. Exercise regularly to keep your self fit. Do not take liver for granted consult the doctor immediately if there are any symptoms related to liver. Adjusting the lifestyles and with proper treatments and medication one can cure liver diseases. The damage to the liver beyond repair then liver transplant is the only option. Some of the best foods that help in cleaning the liver includes walnuts, lemon juice, leafy greens, beetroots, olive oil, garlic, apples, green tea, ladies finger, avocado.
World hepatitis day
The world hepatitis day is observed on 28th July world wide every year to create awareness of virus hepatitis which causes liver cancer in people across the globe. The day marks with campaigns to promote prevention of risks of hepatitis diseases. The events of the day includes concerts, stage shows, poster campaigns, free screenings, sports events, check-ups, talk shows, demonstrations, flash mobs and vaccination drives. Follow a healthy life style to prevent Liver diseases and to lead a Normal Life
Read the articleHeart Diseases Causes Symptoms and Best ways to keep heart healthy
Note This article is prepared after researching several medical journals. Care has been taken to check the information. The information contained in this article are not to be used for treatment purpose or for diagnosis of health issues. Please consult your doctors for health related problems or queries that you may have.
Liver disorders affect children as well. There are over 100 types of liver disease that can afflict children. I am making mention of a few that are most common –
1. Chronic Active Hepatitis – This is a fairly common liver disease that affects children. It is quite similar to an allergic reaction. In this case, the cells in the liver are destroyed and get replaced with scar tissue. Why this happens is not understood.
2. Galactosaemia – This is a genetic disorder that is present at birth. It can lead to serious complications such as cirrhosis of the liver, cataracts and brain damage. What is known about the condition is that the patients do not have an enzyme that is needed to break down and digest the sugars present in milk. This leads to a build up of milk sugars in the liver and other internal organs.
3. Biliary Artesia – Children suffering from this disorder either have no bile ducts or the ducts are too tiny. Because of this, the liver fails to release bile and it results in cirrhosis of the liver and internal bleeding. It is a serious condition and is usually fatal. Children suffering from this disorder generally do not survive beyond the age of two.
4. Wilson’s Disease – This is again a genetic disorder where the anomaly leads to the accumulation of copper in the liver which causes brain damage and liver cirrhosis.