Do you know the liver is the largest internal organ in the body and performs many essential functions?
- The liver is the organ that filters the blood of alcohol and toxins.
- The organ produces bile that eliminates toxins from the body.
- It also produces and regulates liver cholesterol.
- The liver balances hormones in the body.
- It also manufacturers body proteins and regulates the supply of minerals and vitamins.
The liver is the only organ in the body that can repair/regenerate itself. However, if the damage is too extensive, the liver loses its ability to heal – i.e. having certain liver diseases can cause irreversible damage.
Unfortunately, we need to be careful about several liver conditions/diseases. Some liver diseases appear without apparent cause and are usually triggered by unhealthy habits. Reducing alcohol intake, exercising regularly, and eating nutritious food can reduce the chances of developing liver disease or infection. It has also been found most people have more than normal fat in the liver, which is concerning.
Types of liver diseases common among women
- Alcohol liver disease- The difference in body size and composition makes women more susceptible to alcohol liver disease. Women need to consume just two drinks a day to be vulnerable to this condition. You can prevent it by minimizing or avoiding alcohol altogether. Research shows immune reactivity also plays a role in women being susceptible to this disease.
- Viral hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. It is caused by hepatitis A, B, C, D OR E virus. Each type of hepatitis spreads in different ways. People can get infected because of unclean or unhygienic food, shared needles or by having sex. While some types of viruses are curable, some are lifelong. Having hepatitis while pregnant is dangerous for the body. Some vaccines prevent hepatitis A and B, but not hepatitis C. Medications are available to treat and cure hepatitis B and C.
- Liver Cirrhosis is a condition where the liver is scarred because of inflammation in the body. It can be the consequence of other liver conditions and can lead to complications such as abdominal ascites. If treated properly, this condition is reversible, but all patients will need recurring medical follow-ups.
- Benign liver – They are tumours that are common and do not pose a serious threat to life. This condition is linked to oral contraceptive use.
- Primary biliary cholangitis – This is a chronic disease where the bile ducts in the liver are destroyed due to this disease. This condition causes scarring as the bile can back up in the liver. It is a condition associated with other health problems such as thyroid disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, dry eyes and dry mouth. It can be treated if diagnosed early.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – A lot of fat deposits in the liver can lead to this condition. It can be prevented with a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle. Excess fat in the body also causes inflammation. This disease is the leading reason in our country why people need to receive a liver transplant. This condition can also lead to liver cancer. It can be reversed by weight loss and exercise.
- Autoimmune hepatitis – This occurs when the body’s fighting system attacks the liver cells. It also causes swelling, inflammation and liver damage. It can be caused by numerous types of digestive diseases, Type 1 diabetes, or grave’s disease.
Blood tests indicate the level of enzymes which show inflammation and damage to the liver. You need to consult your liver transplant surgeon immediately if you experience any symptoms which you think could be related to an underlying liver condition.
Regular liver tests help in early diagnosis. Visit the best liver transplant hospital in Chennai today to get yourself, and your family tested.