August 12, 2011

Types of Liver Disease and Their Early Symptoms

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Liver disease does not denote a single disease, but is an umbrella term that applies to a lot of different diseases that can affect the liver. There are a lot of diseases that can affect the normal functioning of the liver. Some of the most common symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, pain in the abdomen, and abnormal metabolism of fats.

Some of the most common types of liver disease include:

  • Amebic liver abscess: This is a condition caused by an organism known as Entamoeba histolytica. This is also the same single cell organism that causes amebiasis or amebic dysentery. As the organism enters the blood stream, it spreads to the other organs inside the body. This disease can be transmitted through contaminated feces and direct contact with infected person.
  • Autoimmune hepatitis: This is a condition that is caused when the immune system begins to systematically destroy the cells in your liver. This causes significant scarring on the liver and restricts the liver from functioning normally.
  • Biliary atresia: The liver ducts may often get blocked causing a blockage of the transmission of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This is usually a congenital condition, which is present right from birth.
  • Cirrhosis: This is one of the most serious forms of liver disease. The early symptoms of liver disease could include jaundice and metabolism problems. The scarring of the liver caused by this condition requires extensive treatment.
  • Coccidioidomycosis – disseminated: This is a fungal infection that can spread to the liver through infected blood. This can also involve other organs along with the liver.
  • Hepatitis D: This is a viral condition that is usually present in those who are also suffering from hepatitis B.
  • Cholestasis: This is a condition that is usually drug-induced. In this condition, the production of bile slows down considerably and causes malfunctioning of the digestive processes.
  • Hemochromatosis: Hemochromatosis is a liver disorder that is caused when the diet contains too much iron. When too much of this dietary iron is absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract, it can result in hemochromatosis.
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma: This condition is the medical name for liver cancer.
  • Alcohol-induced liver disease: One of the most common causes of liver disease is excessive alcohol consumption. When you consume too much of alcohol, regularly, you are in danger of destroying your liver cells.

Diets for Liver Disease

There are a lot of diets for liver disease. Your doctor will recommend you a diet according to your specific symptoms and the cause of liver disease. Usually, a high protein diet is ideal for liver disease because proteins can help repair the damaged liver cells. However, in case of severe cirrhosis and fibrosis or hepatitis C, most doctors recommend avoiding proteins.

There are some natural remedies for liver disease, almost all of which are associated with improving the daily dietary intake. A lot of consumption of vitamins and minerals can help speed up the repair of your liver cells. For treating liver disease, medications are usually consumed along with a healthy diet.

Alcohol should be completely avoided when you have any kind of liver damage. Since alcohol is the cause of liver damage in the first place, even the smallest amounts should be avoided. The liver also produces enzymes that are required for the metabolism of fats. When the liver is unhealthy, or diseased, it cannot synthesize these vital enzymes, leading to the inability of the body to metabolize fats properly. This can cause a lot of digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, and dysentery. Avoiding fats in your diet and lowering sodium intake in your foods is helpful in the treatment of liver disease.