Is your liver sending you misery indicators? Indicators of harm to look out for; when to see a physician, even if you’re not an alcoholic
Liver anatomy: how to properly read symptoms of liver disease.
- The good news is that the most effective treatment for fatty liver yet is drug-free.
- This is easier said than done, however, because given the hectic lifestyle we lead, it becomes a challenge to spend time exercising and meditating.
- When fatty liver sets in, it can create a myriad of other health problems.
The human body is a marvel in terms of various organs and organ systems that work together to enable us to live healthy lives.
There are a total of 78 main organs in the human body that work in orchestrated coordination within several organ systems. Of these, five organs are considered to be vital: the heart, brain, kidneys, liver and lungs.
The liver – the second largest organ in the human body – regulates most of the chemical levels in the blood and secretes a product called bile – a liquid that breaks down toxic substances like alcohol and drugs and helps digest fat and transport waste away. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines flows through the liver, reports the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
No wonder, then, that when your liver – located in the upper right part of the abdominal cavity – becomes in distress, you feel like the end of the world. This strong but sensitive organ is located under the diaphragm and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. No wonder, then, that when this vital organ becomes ill, several other organs and organ systems are affected.
What Can Cause Liver Disease?
Liver disease can be genetically inherited or liver damage can also be caused by a variety of factors such as viruses, alcohol consumption, and obesity. Over time, conditions that are damaging to the liver can lead to scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition. Liver and kidney health are closely related. Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a type of progressive kidney failure that occurs in people with severe liver damage, most often caused by cirrhosis. When the kidneys stop working, toxins start to build up in the body. This eventually leads to liver failure. There are two forms of HRS. But early detection and treatment can give the liver time to heal.
What are the signs of liver disease?
Liver disease does not always cause noticeable signs and symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic (USA), when signs and symptoms of liver disease appear, these can include:
- Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain and swelling, especially on the right side under the rib cage
- Swelling of the legs and ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine color
- Pale color of the chair
- Chronic fatigue
- Indigestion, nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Tendency to bruise
When to See a Doctor:
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that are worrying you. See a doctor right away if you have stomach pain that is severe enough to prevent you from remaining calm.
The Most Effective Fatty Liver Treatment: Lifestyle Changes
The good news, according to Harvard Health, is that the most effective treatment for fatty liver yet is not medication, but lifestyle changes. However, given our hectic lifestyles, lifestyle changes are usually difficult to achieve and maintain. Here are some steps you can take to restore liver health.
- Get Aerobic Exercise: According to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, exercise has a direct impact on the liver. The mechanisms by which exercise reduces liver fat, however, are still largely unknown. Various aerobic and resistance training regimens have been shown to reduce liver fat levels through improvements in insulin resistance, liver fatty acid metabolism, liver mitochondrial function, and activation of inflammatory cascades. These data justify the current guidelines, which recommend an exercise program that suits the patient’s individual abilities and preferences, in order to facilitate long-term adherence to a more active lifestyle.
- Decrease. Loss of approximately 5 percent of your body weight may be enough to improve abnormal liver function tests and reduce the amount of fat in the liver. Losing 7 to 10 percent of body weight appears to reduce the amount of inflammation and damage to liver cells, and may even reverse some of the damage caused by fibrosis.
- Eat well. Some studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet may also lower the fat in the liver. This eating plan for the Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, replacing butter with olive or canola oil, reducing red meat and eating more fish and lean poultry.
- Maybe drink coffee? Some studies showed that patients with NAFLD who drank coffee (about two cups a day) had a lower risk of fibrosis. However, do consider the disadvantages of regular caffeine intake.
Since cardiovascular disease is the greatest risk for people with fatty liver disease, some of these lifestyle changes will not only improve or eliminate your fatty liver, but will also help keep your heart healthy.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article are for general information only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting any fitness program or changing your diet.