What is liver disease?
The liver has multiple responsibilities including filtering the body’s blood, processing nutrients, helping in fighting infections, and more.
The more function any organ does, the more prone it becomes to getting infections and assaults on different fronts.
Liver, when damaged undergoes cirrhosis (scarring) which eventually leads to liver failure or cancer.
A lot of factors play an important role in the healthy functioning of the liver, here are the different health conditions or items that cause the liver to get scarred.
9 things that hurt the liver are –
Obesity plays a very big role in s non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disease affects around 80 to 100 million people in the United States annually. It is believed to be the next biggest reason patients might have to undergo a liver transplant.
In this condition, the liver stores too much fat which results in an uneven metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels along obesity.
Obesity otherwise too, causes a lot of hardships on the body. With so much fat accumulating in the liver, it results in cirrhosis and eventually cancer.
Sugar-filled sodas are an increasing cause of weight gain that is seen which is also related to liver damage. A study published in The Journal of Hepatology indicated that people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages in a day had higher markers of the fatty liver than those who did not.
The people who opted for a no sugar-based variety of drinks had way lesser chances of getting obese or overweight also.
People who have consumed two or more sugary drinks a day for six months or more showed signs of fatty liver disease. So, cutting back on these drinks can prove good for the body.
Over-the-counter medicines including paracetamol also known as acetaminophen in its high doses can cause liver failure or even death. If the overdose is treated immediately, one can avoid permanent irreversible liver damage. The chances of survival in such cases are fine, but if the person is not able to reach the best liver transplant in India on time – these overdoses can prove fatal.
Many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines have doses of PCM in them, and they should be monitored and consumed. In most cases, these medicines also react with alcohol or other food substances that one might intake.
Along with paracetamol, there are other drugs too which can harm the liver. These include steroids that are use by athletes. These anabolic steroids tend to increase the liability of a body to have cancer. The excess hormones that are secreted because of these, results in dissociation between the cells and cause cell mutation. Given that the first line of metabolism is done in the liver, these medicines cause significant damage to the liver.
Chronic hepatitis B and C are also widely accepted causes for most liver cancers. Hepatitis C is the most common, and can spread through infected blood, and by sharing needles or having unprotected sex. A tattoo from a dirty needle can also be a very significant cause of contracting the hepatitis virus. Chronic Hepatitis C can only be treated with a high dose of drugs.
In a general sense, most of the patients don’t realize that they have a liver infection with these viruses up until very late. The late onset of symptoms makes the diagnosis poor and this leads to liver scarring and even liver failure in some cases.
Hepatitis B on the other hand spreads to infected blood but is mostly treatable with a valid vaccine.
Genes play an important role in the health of the liver. There are several hereditary diseases that can cause liver diseases. This can be hemochromatosis, which is the build-up of iron in the body that leads to liver failure. Similarly, there are different diseases like Wilson disease, in which the copper content of the body increases and causes problems.
There are a number of autoimmune diseases that impact liver function. These occur when the body’s own immune system is compromise and attacks the liver. Autoimmune hepatitis is one of the leading causes of liver issues.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is also one type of disease that causes the liver to fail if not treated on time.
Including the many reasons that one should quit smoking – this is another one. Smoking increases the risk of liver cancer, because of the toxins released in the smoke. This can lead to inflammation of the hepatocytes and then can lead to liver death. Smoking also increases the production of cytokines, which is harmful.
In addition, people having hepatitis B or C, are at an increased vulnerability to HCC, a deadly form of liver cancer, if they smoke.
Although liver infection is a multifactorial disease, alcohol abuse plays a major role in cirrhosis and subsequent death of the liver cells
Moderate drinking can save the liver, but in cases, if the body has already damage, it is always advise to abstain from alcohol altogether.
Liver replacement cost in India depends on –
- Whether it is a paediatric or an adult transplant
- Whether it is a living donor surgery or a dead donor surgery
- Type of disease
- Hospital costs
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