An overview of liver diseases and their treatment options
Liver diseases can be any condition that damage the liver and disrupt normal functioning. Important function of your liver includes metabolites detoxification, protein synthesis, aiding digestion by producing biochemicals to break down food, helping with your metabolism and also helps in regulation of hormone production in a number of ways. It is a vital organ, and also happens to be one of the most vulnerable ones owing to its placement in your body.
Some of the most common diseases which cause liver problems include:
- Hepatitis which leads to inflammation of the liver.
- Hepatic encephalopathy which causes accumulation of toxins in your bloodstream.
- Liver problems caused due to excessive consumption of alcohol like fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.
- Liver damage can be done due to the consumption of certain types of drugs and medications.
- Autoimmune liver diseases like biliary cirrhosis among many other complications.
Common symptoms of liver diseases and damage include:
- Changes in your stool with respect to its color, which is caused due to the absence of a brown pigment known as stercobilin.
- Changes in color and consistency or your urine, which turns a darker shade compared to normal yellow.
- Jaundice is the biggest indicator of liver diseases with visible symptoms like intense itching, which is the most common complaint when it comes to liver failure. A compound called bilirubin gets deposited in the skin which causes the itching which cannot be tackled by medications also.
- Swelling in your abdomen, feet, and ankles.
- Excessive fatigue, easy bruising and pain.
Treatment options available for liver failure include:
Treatment option will obviously depend on the type of liver failure. Liver diseases when detected early can be treated with a strong dose of acetaminophen which will help reverse its effects. Supportive care is given during the treatment for mild liver conditions, however, for complete liver failure a transplant is the only option left.
For alcohol-related liver diseases, the first recourse would be to stop drinking after which the patient might suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Psychological therapy is recommended to ensure there are no relapses.
For acute liver failure, treatments include medications which are used to reverse the poisoning. However for conditions which cannot be reversed by medications, a liver transplant is the ultimate option which is both takes times to consume since waiting for a liver donor and the recovery process from a transplant can take a hefty toll on your body.