There are many types of ailments that can affect the liver. The following are some of the most common.
Liver Disease Signs
Hepatitis is brought about by viruses. There are three variants, hepatitis A, B and C. A is treatable and can dissipate in six weeks. Type B and C can be fatal. Cirrhosis is caused by injury to the liver. It damages the liver and is characterized by a swollen spleen. The skin and eyes turn yellow (just like hepatitis). In major cases the brain swells and causes death.
Gallstones are indicated by pain in the abdomen. In some cases these stones also cause jaundice. Some symptoms are common among the ailments. These are physical weakness and pain in various parts of the body. The urine turns dark and there is a feeling of nausea. Other ailments also exhibit these symptoms.
Liver Disease Diagnosis
An examination of the patient’s history is conducted. An assessment of the various symptoms is done. This is to pin down the exact ailment that is causing the pain. A physical examination will also be performed. A series of blood tests will be necessary to check for any abnormalities.
Liver function tests are performed to evaluate the enzymes present. A CBC (complete blood count) is used to check the blood cells. Stomach pains are assessed via X-rays, and an ultrasound is performed. An ultrasound is used to determine abnormalities in the organs.
An upper GI study is done. This exam looks at the esophagus for any damages that the ailment has created there.
Liver Disease Treatment
Treatment depends on the ailment that is detected. For the most part, bed rest is advised. Imbibing water is necessary to prevent dehydration. Medications will be taken according to doctor’s prescriptions. These include anti-nausea drugs or pain relievers.
For hepatitis and other ailments, ribavirin, lamivudine and several antibiotics will be given. Other medications include penicillamine or zinc actate. The latter is usually prescribed if the other drugs cannot be tolerated.
In addition, vitamins and minerals have to taken. The most important ones are vitamin A, D, E and K. For itchiness, cholestyramine may be used. When all fails, a liver transplant is the only option.
Liver Disease Prevention and Cause
For hepatitis A and B, one needs to be vaccinated. Good hygiene is also essential. Wash the hands prior to eating and after using the bathroom. Sharing any personal belongings like nail clippers should be avoided. Practicing safe sex is recommended. Illegal drugs also cause serious damage.
Reducing alcohol consumption is one of the best preventive measures around. A diet consisting of vegetables and fruits is advisable. After contracting hepatitis A, getting immune globulin injection is necessary.
If one is recovering from the illness, constant monitoring will be absolutely necessary. Having regular checkups with the doctor is required.
Even though the causes of some liver diseases remain unknown, treatments can relieve some of the pain. The most important thing one can do is to take care of their body to avoid the disease striking.
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