Liver Diseases

Liver Diseases

Liver is one of the vital organs of the body situated in the upper right quadrant of abdomen. It has got a variety of functions like storing glycogen, synthesis of protein and bile, removing of toxins and controlling of cholesterol levels. There are a variety of liver diseases (approx >100)

Causes and risk factors

Disturbances in the functioning of the liver or damage in the structure leads to liver illness. This can occur due to variety of causes. Variety of viral infections leads to inflammation of the liver. It is known as hepatitis. There are various types of hepatitis-A, B, C, D and E. Excessive use of alcohol or misuse or addiction to certain medications or drugs can lead to scarring of liver leading to cirrhosis. Fatty liver is one of the most common affection of liver. It occurs due to accumulation of excessive amount of fat, especially in obese people.Hemochromatosis is a rare disorder characterized by abnormal accumulation of iron in and around the liver. Certain abnormality in the immune system of the body or genetic causes can also lead to liver diseases e.g.: Wilson’s diseases, autoimmune hepatitis. A variety of liver diseases and certain triggering factors predispose liver cancer.


Clinical presentation:

A person suffering from liver diseases can show a variety of symptoms, however the signs and symptoms become obvious only when the pathology has advanced and the liver is significantly damaged. The patient usually comes up with a complaint of pain in abdomen, nausea, severe vomiting and jaundice. On examination yellowish discoloration of the sclera or skin is seen (Jaundice), palpation of the abdomen reveals tenderness and feeling of lump (may be) in abdomen. Weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite is the other associated symptoms seen. The urine is dark colored and the stools are clay colored. Negligence of treatment can lead to liver failure.



Diagnosis is done on the basis of symptoms narrated by the patient and the examination carried out by the doctor. Palpation of the abdomen, examination of the lymph nodes and examination of the sclera for sign of jaundice is done .Investigations like ultrasonography of abdomen and pelvis, liver function test are diagnostic tools for any liver complaints. If needed MRI and CT scan of the abdomen along with biopsy is done. Certain other investigations like routine blood test, Urine analysis and blood sugar levels can also be done.



The treatment plan depends upon the underlying cause. In cases where the pathology is not advanced can be managed by medications. Antibiotics, pain reliving medications or analgesic etc are recommended. In severe cases surgery is needed. In cases where the liver is extensively damaged liver transplant is done. Along with medical intervention, lifestyle modification is must, obese people are advised to lose weight, and alcohol intake must be stopped. One needs to adopt measures like nutritious diet intake and regular exercises.


Other modes of treatment:

Certain other modes of treatment can also be helpful in coping up the symptom. Taking into consideration the symptoms in holistic way, homoeopathy can offer a good aid for the relief of the symptoms. The Ayurvedic system of medicine which uses herbs and synthetic derivates can also be beneficial in combating the complaints.


Recent update:

As per an article published in medindia, a study has shown that over a 6months period, daily intake of the probiotic VSL#3® improved the liver function and reduced the risk of hospitalization in patients with liver cirrhosis.

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