The liver is the largest organ in the human body which carries out various functions like the digestion of food, storage of energy, and the removal of toxins. It is a vital organ which is also susceptible to the toxicity of the chemical agents, and various other factors, thus leading to damage. This article provides some information about the common causes of the damage.
The liver is an important organ that performs various vital functions that are essential for the healthy functioning of the human body. It is also referred to as a gland, due to the secretion of bile. It is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen and protected by the rib cage. It plays an important role in the digestion of the food. It secretes bile, which is a digestive enzyme that helps in the digestion of the fat that comes along with the digested food. Further, it neutralizes the toxins that enter our body through the food we consume, and thus purifies the blood. It is also the first place or source from where the fetus, during its first trimester, draws red blood cells, and it also carries out the synthesis of amino acids. It plays an important part in vital bodily processes, which is why liver damage could result in severe complications.
Alcohol abuse and prolonged use of drugs are often the contributing factors behind liver diseases involving the inflammation of the cells of the liver, obstruction of the free flow of bile, damage of the organ tissues, development of tumor/cancer, etc.
This is one of the major reasons for liver failure. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and G are the common viruses that damage the organ. The main symptoms of this problem are jaundice, malaise, and anorexia. This usually leads to the inflammation of the organ and also its tissues. As a result, the process of filtration of blood gets adversely affected. Hepatitis viruses are highly infectious, especially the virus Hepatitis C.
Cirrhosis is a medical condition that is characterized by scarring of the liver tissues. This affects the liver function in an adverse manner. Affected individuals might experience digestion-related problems, as the secretion of bile by liver gets adversely affected.
Overdose of Drugs
Sometimes the prolonged use of certain medications or drugs can temporarily or permanently damage the liver. Though this doesn’t occur if prescription medicines are taken as per the doctor’s instructions, problems might arise in case of an overdose. Certain medications, however, might affect the organ, even when taken in small amounts. However, this could be a temporary issue that the functioning of the liver would return to normal when the medication is stopped.
This condition is characterized by accumulation of copper in the body. The main symptom of this problem is damage to the liver. This is an inherited disorder, which reduces the capability of our body to metabolize copper, and it can also lead to cirrhosis.
Abnormality in Flow of Blood and Bile
Formation of blood clots in the hepatic vein prevent the free flow of blood to and from the organ. Damage occurs when the pressure in the portal vein increases. Gallstones can obstruct the flow of bile from the organ to the gallbladder, and then to the intestine. If there is some sort of obstruction in the bile duct, it could prevent bile from flowing freely.
Consumption of Alcohol
Consumption of excess alcohol damages the tissues of the organ, and can also lead to inflammation. A person who consumes excess alcohol quite frequently is most likely to be susceptible to liver diseases.
If a person experiences the aforementioned symptoms, medical help must be sought immediately, so as to prevent complications from arising. Though drug therapy might prove beneficial in some cases, treatment options such as dialysis or even transplant might be recommended in cases of liver failure.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.