Liver failure is a common issue that people face these days around the world. This is because our lifestyles have been changed in a way that sometimes hurts specific organs in our bodies without us knowing. The liver is a vital organ in the human body that needs to be healthy for us to live a comfortable life.
The liver is almost the size of a football and sits under the ribs on the right side of the abdomen. Food digestion and the elimination of toxic substances are a few tasks of this vital organ in our bodies. Liver disease can be genetic (inherited), or it can be caused by certain mistakes that one makes. These include abundant alcohol use, viruses, and obesity, to name a few.
Continuous harm to the liver leads to scarring (cirrhosis), which can further turn into liver failure. But the good news here is that an early diagnosis and treatment can prove to be much beneficial and can save one’s life.
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Let’s dive into the causes, symptoms, and prevention of liver failure.
Usually, liver diseases don’t cause any visible symptoms. But if the symptoms may appear, then these can include the following:
- Jaundice (yellowish skin and eyes)
- Swelling and pain in the abdomen
- Swelling in ankles and legs
- Dark-colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Pale-colored stool
- Chronic fatigue
- Appetite loss
If any of these symptoms persist for a longer time or if abdomen pain becomes unbearable, then immediately book an appointment with your doctor. The doctor might make you undergo some tests to confirm your condition.
Liver diseases can be caused by several factors, some controllable, while others not. Even if the cause of the disease is natural, doctors can still cure it only if it is diagnosed in a timely manner. Here, we suggest you go to your doctor if you notice any abnormality. Some of the major causes of this disease are stated below:
Certain viruses and parasites may infect or damage your liver. This usually results in inflammation that further suppresses the functions of this vital organ. These viruses can enter your body through blood or semen, close contact with an infected person, or contaminated food or water. Hepatitis viruses are considered the most common types of liver infections. These include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
Some diseases might be inherited from either of your parents. An abnormal gene can cause the buildup of certain substances within your body that can further result in liver disease. This is an unpreventable cause, so you just need to keep a close eye on the symptoms. Some common genetic liver diseases are:
- Wilson’s disease
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
3. Autoimmune Diseases
Certain immune system abnormalities can damage other vital organs, including the liver. The most common autoimmune liver diseases are:
- Autoimmune Hepatitis
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
While the above-explained causes can be caused naturally without human intervention, humans make various lifestyle choices that can further cause liver disease or failure. These include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Body piercings and tattoos
- Use of shared needles to inject drugs
- Exposure to bodily fluids or blood of others
- Unprotected sex
- Type 2 diabetes
You can prevent liver diseases and failures by adopting some lifestyle changes. Some of these include:
- If you are an alcohol user, then drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol-related liver diseases can be caused by the overuse of alcohol.
- Always use condoms while having sex.
- When getting body piercings or tattoos, ensure the equipment is properly sterilized.
- Never share needles to inject substances into your bodies.
- Get hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines if you are at risk of contracting the virus or have had contact with any of the hepatitis viruses in the past.
- Only take prescribed medications and never mix the medicines with alcohol.
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight.
- Avoid contacting other people’s blood or other bodily fluids.
- Drink bottled drinking water when outside.
- Prepare your meals with clean hands and ingredients. If you are buying cooked food from outside, ensure cleanliness.
- Only use aerosol sprays in a well-ventilated area while wearing a mask.
- Handle the toxic chemicals in care. Always wear gloves and a face mask so the chemicals aren’t absorbed into your skin or inhaled through your nose.
Change your Lifestyle and Live a Healthy Life
To prevent liver diseases and failure, you must change your lifestyle accordingly. Drugs and medications may help relieve pain or fight the disease, but you must treat the possible cause of the disease from its roots.