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Even a small pimple on the face can give us sleepless nights. Not just that, even if our tresses start to fall (every now and then), panic ensues and we scout for all the dermatologists in our vicinity. But what do you do when you experience fatigue, indigestion, or a sudden loss of appetite? We’ll answer this for you. Nothing!
You may wonder why we’re saying this, right? Well, that’s because most of us turn a blind eye when it comes to the health of our liver. That’s also because we are unaware of how vital this organ is!
Liver is one of the most important parts of your body. Treat it like the fuel pump of your body, because whatever you eat to keep yourself energized, it is your liver’s responsibility to metabolize it for proper functioning.
Now think what’s going to happen if such a pivotal organ of your body collapses? No points for guessing, the entire system will fall apart. Although it happens when you age, the beginning is somewhere in your late 20s or early 30s.
Your lifestyle choices and eating habits play a crucial role, in order to make or break your liver health. Having said that, there are certain cases where liver issues are a consequence of some other illnesses.
But how would you come to know that your liver is headed towards destruction? Well, for that you need to listen to your body.
There will be scarring of the liver, infections, and liver cancer, in case a person’s liver fails to function the way it is supposed to. Furthermore, these problems can increase mortality and morbidity rates in people. Read on to know more about this, and do not ignore your liver problems at all. Timely treatment is key to tackling liver problems, and improving the quality of your life.
“The liver is an organ that sits under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. It is responsible for performing some vital functions to enhance your overall well-being. Yes, you heard it right! The liver regulates amino acids in your blood, balances glucose levels, allows digestion of food, manages blood clotting, helps you get rid of the excess bilirubin that is seen owing to red blood cells, generates immune factors in order to keep infection at bay, and cleans bacteria and other toxic substances from the bloodstream,” shares Dr Pratik Tibdewal, consultant gastroenterologist at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai, with HealthShots.
Sometimes, the liver is unable to function to the fullest due to genetics, and a variety of problems like viruses, alcohol, and obesity. When this organ doesn’t function at its best, it can take a toll on your entire body.
1. Liver failure: This is seen when the liver doesn’t function well enough to manufacture bile, and is unable to flush out harmful substances from the body. One may show symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, and blood in the stool. One may also require a liver transplant, if the liver is damaged.
2. Infections: “Inflammation of the liver means hepatitis. It is commonly seen when the liver doesn’t function properly, and there is liver damage. Hepatitis A and E happen due to eating or drinking something that’s tainted by faecal matter,” says Dr Tibdewal.
Hepatitis B is seen due to unprotected sex or sharing needles. Hepatitis C can strike, when infected blood enters your bloodstream. Hepatitis D is spread when blood or other body fluids from the one who is infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
3. Scarring of the liver: Also called cirrhosis, it is a late stage of fibrosis of the liver caused by liver diseases and conditions such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. This is commonly seen when the liver doesn’t function properly due to various factors like liver disease, obesity, diabetes, viral hepatitis, and alcohol.
4. Liver cancer: “Liver cancer is cancer that’s found anywhere in the liver. Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), or a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, wherein one can see an accumulation of fat in the liver, and excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt the functioning of the liver, causing cancer,” warns Dr Tibdewal.
Just in case you are one of those who believe you don’t fall under this category, because you stay miles away from booze. Well, we have some news for you! There are two kinds of liver deformities – one is alcoholic, which is the most common one, and the other is fatty liver, in which case it doesn’t matter whether you drink or not.
So stop being in denial mode, and stay informed for the love of your liver!