What is liver disease?
Liver disease can be said to be the dysfunction of the liver. This is due to foreign substances that obstruct its proper functioning. These foreign substances are what cause illness in the liver, they could be infections, some diseases, long term uses of drugs, alcohol, life style etc.
I shall take time to discuss these properly for a broader understanding of the liver disease. But first, let us understand what the liver is about.
What is the liver?
The liver is a very important organ in the body that is charged with many important functions. Other organs of the body include the eye, lungs, skin, nose, brain, heart, and kidney. These organs perform spectacular functions and as such, must be taken care of.
Basic Functions of the liver include:
1. Helps in the proper digestion of food through the production of bile. The bile is a dark green and looks yellowish and bitter in taste, produced by the liver for digestion and other important functions like breaking down of fat into glucose
2. Helps to produce amino acids
3. Helps red blood cells production
4. Helps in in filtering the blood from impurities
5. Helps the body to absorb medicines when taken
6. Serves like thermostat, or helps in regulating the body temperature
Now, you can see that the liver is a very important organ in the body.
In the USA alone, over 26000 will die each year from chronic liver disease.
Liver disease is the second leading cause of death among men between the ages of 35 and 44.
Liver disease can be diagnosed through the signs and symptoms a patients explains to his doctor and including the risk factors. Blood test is carried out to ascertain if there are any inflammations in the liver and if the liver functions properly.
Types of blood testes include, AST and ALT, GGT and Alkaline Phosphate, Protein and albunium levels, Complete blood count, check of lipase, electrolytes, BUN and creatine test, ammonia blood level assessment, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, liver biopsy.
Although, the signs and symptoms of liver disease could be related with some other types of disease, but, these symptoms which shall be discussed, are also common with liver disease. This is most important, to see your family doctor, to ascertain the signs and symptoms if they are originating from liver disease.
1. The number one sign and symptom to watch out for and which is very common is Jaundice. Jaundice is said to be a medical condition which is characterized by the yellowing discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes. This arises because the liver is not producing enough bile properly. Types of Jaundice includes:
- Yin jaundice – in which, the face, skin and the eyes are significantly yellow. Symptoms include, fever, lack of appetite, watery stools, palpitation.
- Yang Jaundice- the whole body changes colour and symptoms include, thirst, palpitations, urinary disease
2. Weight loss: because of the lack of appetite in people with liver disease and also, the lack of the conversion of foods for body nutrients. Lack of appetite can cause ulceration of the stomach, because the stomach will secrete acid but yet no food to digest. It can also lead to anaemia, vomiting with traces of blood. Blood in stools a times.
3. The stool’s colour becomes lighter. The bile, helps the coloration of the stool to look dark brownish. But when the colour is lighter brown, then such is a sign and symptom that the bile duct has been blocked which could be as a result of inflammation around the area.
4. Constant feeling of being thirsty and there is an increase rate of urination.
Other signs and symptoms of liver disease include:
- Skin problems
- Back pain
- Depression and mood swings
It is necessary to discuss with your doctor to convince you that you have a libver disease. this is because, these signs and symptoms above are quete synonymous with other diseases and conditions.
1. Hepatitis: hepatitis is categorized into Hepatitis A-E. Each category has different ways of infection and levels of damages. They could be transmitted through sexual contact, through oral, bodily fluid exchange. Hepatitis infection could cause inflammation of the liver, liver disease and liver cancer. Normally, hepatitis means inflammation.
2. Over use of alcohol: taking too much of alcohol could cause fatty liver, liver inflammation, and cirrhosis. The liver can only process some certain amount of alcohol per hours, so if you take alcohol more than what the liver can manage, you will either over work the liver and living excess alcohol in your blood stream. It is referred to alcoholic liver disease. the number one solution to this id the stoppage of alcohol intake.
3. Cirrhosis: this is a scarring of the liver and this will result to the improper functioning of the liver and therefore leads to liver failure.
4. Some drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, narcotic drugs, drugs used in regulating blood cholesterol, some anti-biotic, anti-cancer drugs, excessive uses of vitamins, mushrooms and herbal remedies can cause the inflammation of the liver and permanent liver damage.
5. Accumulation of fats around the liver
6. Iron overload
7. Some diseases such as Gilbert disease and Wilson disease
8. Cancer disease: some cancer when they are malignant and invasive could affect the liver and cause damages. Lung cancer could become invasive and spread to other areas of the body, liver included.
9. Budd Chiadri Syndrome: a situation in which blood clot in the hepatitis vein are prevented from going out of the liver. This could cause liver scarring, inflammation and liver failure
10. Abnormal flow of the bile
1. Hepatitis: Unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of needles with infected persons, bodily fluid exchange could help in the spread of hepatitis. So, if you have hepatitis, see your doctor immediately.
2. Hereditary or family history
3. Over dosing of some drugs
4. Chemical exposure of the liver
5. Over use of alcohol
6. Birth controls pills when used for over a long period of time
In the event of liver failure, liver transplant is an option way out for patients. This is why the need for prevention is very important or whereas, if the disease has occurred, you must follow adequate treatment given to you by your doctor.
1. Drink alcohol moderately
2. Do not share needles or personal things with people
3. Stay away from unprotected sex or have a single sexual partner to prevent hepatitis infection through sexual intercourse
4. Eating healthy and a good balanced diet will prevent fatty liver disease.
Do not use this if you are allergic to be stings.
‘’Honey can protect the liver from oxidative stress induced by drugs such as acetaminophen, or Tylenol, and prevent damage to the liver, as demonstrated in lab animals, according to an article published in the December 2009 issue of the journal "Biologia." Another study published in the June 2008 issue of the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" also reveals that honey can prevent liver damage that occurs due to the obstruction of the common bile duct. Some animal studies, such as the one published in the February 2008 issue of "The American Journal of Surgery," say the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of honey might be responsible for its ability to protect the liver during obstructive jaundice.’’
In facts, the use of homey to treat liver disease is well documented, apart from that, honey is known to fight hepatitis a and b virus that causes liver damage and also prevent cirrhosis.
Daily intake of honey also helps to prevent alcohol liver disease for those who have been at risk of over use of alcohol.
Who needs this honey?
- If you want to take care of your liver
- If you want good health for yourself
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