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Liver Disease: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Stages of Liver Disease

Causes and types of liver disease vary with the progression of the disease. Liver disease is generally broken down into five stages, from minor to severe.

  1. Inflammation (In this early stage, liver enlarged or inflamed).
  2. Fibrosis (In the inflamed liver, scar tissue begins to replace healthy tissues).
  3. Cirrhosis (Severe scarring has built up, making it difficult for the liver to function correctly).
  4. End-stage of liver disease (Here, we cannot reverse the liver damage other than a liver transplant).
  5. Liver cancer (Development and multiplication of unhealthy cells in the liver).

The liver performs several crucial functions:

  • filter toxins from the blood
  • Metabolize drugs
  • Store energy
  • Fight infections
  • Help with digestion and many others.

It can repair and regenerate itself.

5.5 Million

The approximate number of Americans living with Chronic Liver Disease.

4.4. Million

The approximate number of Americans living with hepatitis B or C. most don’t even know they are affected.

Three times

Liver cancer prevalence has more than tripled since 1980. About 30,000americans die from liver cancer each year.

20-30%

Adults with excessive fat in the liver can lead to more serious Liver Disease.

Causes of Liver Diseases

Common causes of liver diseases;

  • Genetics
  • Auto-immune system disease
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet/lifestyle
  • Certain drugs and medications
  • Viral infections, including hepatitis B and C
  • Alcohol abuses
  • Reactions of herbal supplements

Symptoms of Liver Disease

Several symptoms vary in a different person. Some are the following;

  • Feeling unwell
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepy
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal swelling and pain
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes
  • Feeling confused
  • Loss of appetite
  • Easy bleeding
  • The buildup of fluid in your legs, arms and abdomen
  • Darkening urine
  • Severe itching

Diagnosis of Liver Deisase

For diagnosis, perform additional tests,

  • Liver Blood Test
  • Other Blood Test
  • Imaging Test
  • Biopsy

Prevention

Prevent liver failure by changing a lifestyle that keeps your liver happy and healthy. Some guidelines are;

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Regular exercise
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Take medicines when needed
  • Don’t mix medications without consulting a doctor
  • Get vaccination of hepatitis B and C

Diet for Liver Disease

Foods that are good for the liver

  • Coffee to help lower abnormal liver enzymes
  • Greens to prevent fat buildup
  • Beans and soy to reduce risk of NAFLD
  • Fish to reduce inflammation and fat level
  • Oatmeal for fibre
  • Nuts to help reduce inflammation
  • Turmeric to reduce markers of liver damage
  • Sunflower seeds for anti-oxidants
  • Increase unsaturated fat intake
  • Garlic to improve the overall health

Foods that avoid liver disease

  • Alcohol
  • Added sugar
  • Fried foods
  • Added salt
  • White bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Red meat

Guidelines for Healthy Liver

Best ways to fight against liver diseases. Proper ways to achieve liver wellness;

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Eat a balanced diet
  3. Exercise regularly
  4. Avoid toxins
  5. Use alcohol responsibly
  6. Avoid the use of drugs
  7. Avoid contaminated needles
  8. Get medical protection if you are exposed to blood
  9. Don’t share personal hygiene items
  10. Practice safe sex
  11. Wash your hands
  12. Follow directions on all medications
  13. Get vaccinated
Healthy Lifestyle

Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise helps the liver to work well. Eating an unhealthy diet leads to liver disease.

Limit the Amount of Alcohol you Drink

Alcohol can damage liver cells. Talk to your doctor regarding what amount of alcohol is good for you.

Avoid Breathing in or Touching Toxins

Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning or aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals and additives in cigarettes.

Manage Your Medications

Follow instructions and talk to a doctor or pharmacist about your medicines.

Diet Plan for Cirrhosis Patients

Pre-Breakfast One glass of lukewarm water
Breakfast.

(7-8 AM)

1scrambled egg

Two toast multigrain bread

1 cup of tea

Snack # 01(10-11AM) 1 cup coconut water
Lunch

(1-2 PM)

1 cup parboiled rice

1 cup dal

1 cup mixed veggies salad

Snack# 02 (4-5 PM) 1 cup lukewarm skim milk

Two whole-grain biscuits

Dinner

(7-8 PM)

1 cup chicken and vegetable curry

1 ½ chapatti

One cucumber

Diet Plan for Fatty Liver Disease

Pre-breakfast One glass of lukewarm water
Breakfast

(7-8 AM)

Two slices of brown bread

One cheesy Omelette

1 cup of tea

Snack#01

(10-11 AM)

One portion of seasonal fruit (include different coloured fruits. Don’t stick with a particular one)
Lunch

(1-2 PM)

1 cup vegetable pulao rice

½ cup soya chunk curry

½ cup low-fat curd

Snack#02

(4-5 PM)

1 cup light tea

Two wheat rusk

Dinner

(7-8 PM)

One chapatti

1 cup kidney beans curry

½ cup salad

 

Do’s and don’ts:

Do’s:

  • Eat whole-grain cereals
  • Include a salad with meals
  • Eat fruits between main meals
  • Include fresh Garlic and Ginger for gravy

Don’ts:

  • More oil for food preparations
  • Fast foods
  • Sweets, pastries and baked foods
  • Meat and meat products
  • Alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Food items that you can easily consume

  • Cereal: Brown rice, whole wheat, oats, pearl millet
  • Pulses: Red gram, green gram, black gram
  • Vegetables: all gourds-bitter gourd, snake gourd, lady’s finger, green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits: citrus fruits- orange, grapefruit, lemon, berries, papaya, pineapple, guava
  • Milk and milk products: low-fat milk and low-fat curd
  • Meat, fish and egg: chicken, egg white, fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel
  • Oil: 2 tsp (10ml)
  • Sugar: 2 tsp (10gram)
  • Other beverages: green tea

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/liver-failure-stages

https://www.healthline.com/health/fatty-liver-diet

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health wellness/nutrition/

https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/fatty-liver-causes-symptoms-dos-and-donts-and-diet-plan/

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