Causes of Liver damage

PHYLLIS LOGIE By PHYLLIS LOGIE, 12th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

The liver is a robust organ involved in over 500 different bodily functions. 30 million Americans suffer from some one sort of liver disease or another brought about chiefly by an unhealthy lifestyle.

The liver is the most abused organs in the body, yet it is responsible for over 500 bodily functions

The liver is a large organ roughly the size of a football and weighs approximately three pounds. It is situated on the upper right hand side, of the body, just under the ribcage and is involved in no less than 500 different bodily functions. However, its prime function is to digest ingested food, metabolise, detoxify and filter out harmful chemicals contained in the food that is eaten.

It is estimated that 30 million Americans suffer from some sort of liver disease, brought about to a large extent by an unhealthy lifestyle. The Classic symptoms of liver damage includes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue and weight loss.

Although the liver is a robust organ, it is susceptible to damage from chemicals and disease. The commonest disease affecting the liver is hepatitis, which is responsible for a large percent of major liver diseases. Hepatitis causes the liver to swell and become highly sensitive rendering it unable to function effectively. It comes in six different types with varying degrees of severity. Hepatitis A, D and E caused by a virus with B, C and G caused by bacteria transmitted in bodily fluids. The most infective and contiguous of which is Hepatitis B.

Alcohol is one of the commonest causes of liver damage. It is chemical composed of many highly damaging chemicals which over time cause cirrhosis or scaring of the liver. The liver is one of the few organs able to regenerate itself, therefore in its mild form it is able to heal and repair itself. However, if the damage is excessive the liver becomes unable to function effectively.

Certain drugs, even those which have been prescribed and taken as prescribed and under medical supervision can cause liver damage. Also seemingly harmless, over-the-counter painkillers that are widely used such as Panadol, contain the chemical acetaminophen; which can cause irreparable damage to the liver if taken in excessive quantities. It is for this reason that it is important to read the instructions to avoid exceeding the safety limits.

In recent years statins have been widely prescribed to reduce the build-up of cholesterol in the blood. Although it is highly effective for the purpose that it was designed and even when it is taken as prescribed, it can cause liver inflammation. This can however be reversed if the medication is discontinued.

disorders such as Wilson’s disease and hemochromatosis cause the accumulation of iron in the body generally and the liver in particular and can cause the liver to become inflamed, leading to cirrhosis of the liver, cancer and liver failure.

Blood flow abnormalities such as in the disorder known as Budd-Chiari syndrome is a rare condition characterised by the narrowing and obstruction of the veins in the liver. With this condition blood clots form in the Portal vein (a large vessel which carry blood from the stomach and intestine to the liver) which increases the pressure in the liver which eventually leads to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Other common causes of liver damage include congestive heart failure caused by the backup of fluid and blood in the portal vein, which swells and inflames the liver. Whilst gallstones can lodge in the bile duct and cause also the liver to become inflamed.

An unhealthy or damaged liver can impact heavily on almost all of the bodily systems. Therefore every effort should be made to ensure that it remains healthy for as long as possible. A healthy diet should be followed, one which include as little as possible hydrogenated fats, trans fats, saturated fats, alcohol, white flour, caffeine and artificial substances. At the same time additional effort should be made to increase the intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses.

Exercise is also very important because it increases metabolism, helps to reduce body fat, therefore body weight and also helps to better modulate insulin.


Cirrhosis Of The Liver, Hepatitis B, Liver, Liver Damage, Liver Detoxification, Liver Disorder, Liver Failure, Portal Vein

Meet the author

author avatar PHYLLIS LOGIE
I am a retired female who has been writing for the past five years. My favorite topics are history and biographies.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
13th Apr 2011 (#)

very good information, people need to care for their livers.

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author avatar Songbird B
15th Apr 2011 (#)

Another informative health article, Phyllis. You excel at these my friend. Really interesting...

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