What is Liver Inflammation? Causes and How to Treat It
What is Liver Inflammation?
The liver is one of the organs of the digestive system. It is involved in cleaning toxins from your blood and makes bile and certain hormones. It controls the storage of fat in your body and its synthesis, as well as the secretion of cholesterol. When the liver is inflamed, these functions cannot be performed properly.
Inflammation occurs as a natural response of the body to anything foreign that enters it. This is a signal that white blood cells are being sent to fight off the invader. The body is exposed to various toxins daily, such as alcohol, fatty food items, and prescription as well as non-prescription drugs.
Liver inflammation disease occurs when the cells of the liver are damaged. The medical term for this condition is "hepatitis." Viral hepatitis is the most common form of liver inflammation.
Some of the symptoms of an inflamed liver are fatigue, the occurrence of jaundice (general yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes), feeling satiated immediately after a meal, nausea or vomiting sensations, and severe pain in the abdominal region.
Categories of Liver Inflammation
Viral infection is the most common Cause of liver inflammation. There can be Five types of Hepatitis viruses:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis D
- Hepatitis E
Sometimes of the inflammation is caused due to abnormality in one's immune system. These are autoimmune hepatitis and are of the following types:
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
Symptoms of Liver Inflammation
Some of the symptoms of liver inflammation in adults include:
- Initial symptoms can be similar to the flu
- Yellowing skin and whites of the eyes (Jaundice)
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling tired and fatigued all the time
- Nausea or vomiting sensation
- Vomiting up blood
- Distention of the abdomen
- Vomit that looks like coffee powder in color
- Pain in the joints
- Appetite loss
- The dark color of the urine
- Stool that is lighter in color than usual
If experiencing any or all of the above-mentioned signs of liver inflammation, kindly consult the doctor at the earliest notice as this can be the case of an inflamed liver.
What are the causes of Liver Inflammation?
There are certain reasons why the liver may be inflamed. Following are some of the possible causes for an inflamed liver:
- Alcoholic cirrhosis or fatty liver diseasep
- Deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin
- Certain disorders of autoimmunity
- Liver blood flow is decreased
- Certain heart supplements such as Tylenol and statins
- Excess iron in the body (Hemochromatosis)
- Fatty liver disease of the non-alcoholic type
- Jaundice of the obstructive type
- Various viral infections
- Excess copper deposition in the body (Wilson's disease)
How is Liver Inflammation diagnosed?
For determining the nature of the inflammation, the doctor will suggest getting various blood tests done. This is done to check the current enzyme level or even the type of virus present. Various imaging techniques like CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasound help get a better view of the liver.
A test known as Magnetic Resonance Elastography is done to know about the level of stiffness of the liver. Lastly, in certain cases, the doctor may conduct a liver biopsy to be sent for further testing.
What are the complications associated with Liver Inflammation?
The complications of liver inflammation vary depending on various reasons. If left untreated, it may even lead to a serious medical condition known as liver failure. Thus, it is important to consult the HPB Surgery and Liver Transplant specialist for regular checkups to prevent the situation from getting any worse.
Treatment of Liver Inflammation?
Treatment of an inflamed liver depends on the underlying cause. In the case of a fatty liver, the patient is told to reduce weight, control alcohol, and take Vitamin E supplements.
The diet should have a variety of fresh foods, avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Calories distribution in diet should be as follows: 40% to 50% from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 20% to 30% from protein.
The doctor may recommend surgery to remove any benign cysts that may be present in the liver. In certain severe cases of inflammation of the liver, the doctor may consider one as a candidate for a liver transplant.
The doctor will recommend medicine for liver inflammation depending on the symptoms. There is no medical therapy in general for an inflamed liver. Chronic hepatitis B may be treated with an antiviral agent along with interferon alfa. Chronic hepatitis C may be treated with antivirals or ribavirin or ribavirin along with interferon alfa. Autoimmune hepatitis may be treated with corticosteroids.
What can be done to prevent Liver inflammation?
Some of the steps that can be taken to prevent the occurrence of liver inflammation are:
- Maintain a healthy body weight with regular exercise and a wholesome diet.
- Drinking alcohol in a controlled manner
- Avoid any contact with other people's body fluids
- Use protection while engaging in sexual intercourse
- Do not consume any form of contaminated food items
- Protect your skin when using toxic chemicals and insecticides
- Get the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines
How do people live with Liver Inflammation?
Liver inflammation is not a life-threatening disease if treated properly at the right time. If left untreated, it can cause serious medical issues such as acute liver failure. Liver inflammation disease affects many individuals all across the globe. This is caused mainly due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Certain changes in one's diet, regular exercise, healthy food swaps, controlling the alcohol intake, checking the medicines one takes and regular checkups with the doctor can help appropriately manage the condition.
To book an appointment with some of the best hepatologists in Hyderabad, call Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdi-ka-pul
Enquire now at (040) - 2349 - 1000.