The liver serves many important purposes within the body. For instance, it helps metabolize iron, glucose and cholesterol. The liver also aids in the production of protein, as well as helping with blood clotting. Considering the many roles the liver plays in maintaining a properly functioning body, it goes without saying that an unhealthy liver can result in a variety of problems. Liver problems, including liver disease, require medical treatment.
Signs of Liver Disease
Liver disease, also known as hepatic disease, essentially refers to the liver’s failure to properly carry out its usual functions. The liver is quite resilient and can still function properly if even half of it is damaged or diseased. When more than three-quarters of the liver tissue is affected, it is no longer able to function properly. There are several symptoms of liver disease that are an indication the liver is not functioning properly. These symptoms include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Swollen Abdomen
- Mental Confusion or Disorientation
There are several different causes of liver disease. Excessive long-term alcohol consumption can lead to both cirrhosis and liver disease. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can both also cause liver disease, as can the Epstein Barr virus. Other potential causes of liver disease include malnutrition, excessive iron intake and ingesting poisonous wild mushrooms. Certain medications, such as acetaminophen, when taken in excess, can also lead to liver disease and even complete liver failure.
Treatment A liver that is not functioning properly can be life-threatening and requires medical treatment. If left untreated, liver disease can lead to complete liver failure in which the liver can no longer function at all. This condition is absolutely life threatening and requires immediate medical care. That is why it is so important to be treated during the early onset of liver disease before the condition requires emergency care. Liver disease can be treated. There are several different treatment options and the type that is used will depend on the cause of the liver disease.