Enlarged Liver: Find Out Now And Get The Treatment!
Find Out if You Have an Enlarged Liver, and What You Can Do About It
Enlarged Liver (Hepatomegaly) – A condition where the liver becomes larger than normal size. An enlarged liver may not cause any symptoms at first; however, over time, it could lead to complications and even death. In some cases, people may have no symptoms at all while others may experience abdominal pain and nausea. If left untreated, an enlarged liver can get worse over time. According to the Mayo Clinic, an enlarged liver can create several problems including an increased risk of cirrhosis, hepatitis, gallstones, jaundice, pancreatitis, kidney stones, and liver cancer.
The liver is one of the largest organs in our body and performs many different functions including filtering blood, producing bile, regulating digestion, storing vitamins and minerals, detoxifying chemicals, synthesizing hormones, maintaining homeostasis (balance), metabolizing drugs, and preventing cancer. However, if the liver gets damaged, the damage can spread throughout the entire body causing serious problems. Any type of liver disease can lead to numerous complications and even death. So what exactly does enlarged liver mean? What causes it? Is it treatable? Let’s find out!
A quick tip: Our liver plays a huge role in our body’s detoxification process. If we’re not careful about what we eat (especially if we’re eating processed foods), our livers could become enlarged over time. Overworked liver cells take up extra space inside the organ, enlarging it further and causing serious complications. When the liver becomes enlarged, toxins accumulate in its bloodstream and cause damage. Fortunately, this condition is easily treated. Here’s how to take care of your liver naturally:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat lots of vegetables
- Avoid alcohol
- Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress
- Take vitamins A, B & C
What Does Enlarged Liver Mean? Your liver is responsible for keeping everything inside your body working properly. If something goes wrong with your liver, it may cause severe consequences. This includes swelling, bleeding, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, dark urine, and yellowing skin or eyes. An enlarged liver means that the cells have become enlarged due to inflammation or scarring. There could also be some sort of infection present.
Causes Of Enlarged Liver
There are several causes of an enlarged liver. One of them includes alcohol consumption. Alcoholics have been known to develop fatty livers due to excessive intake of alcohol. Another possible cause of enlarged liver could be hepatitis. Hepatitis is caused by viruses that attack the liver cells. Other than these two causes, other factors contribute to the enlargement of the liver. These include medications, toxins, cancer, obesity, viral infections, genetic disorders, and autoimmune disease.
When the liver gets enlarged, the symptoms vary depending on what type of condition it has.
- A person who consumes alcohol excessively may experience abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, yellowing skin, dark urine, and pale stool.
- If a patient has hepatitis, he/she may feel feverish, tiredness, weak, muscle aches, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and yellowing eyes and skin.
- People who suffer from cirrhosis may experience swelling of the face, tongue, hands, feet, legs, abdomen, back, chest, and arms.
How To Treat Enlarged Liver?
If you suspect that you have an enlarged liver, then you need to visit a doctor immediately. There are different ways to treat enlarged liver. You can try natural remedies first before going to medical treatments. Here are some tips on how to get rid of it naturally:
- Drink plenty of water. Water flushes out toxins from the system.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps fight free radicals, which are harmful chemicals produced by the body that damage cells. Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, broccoli, strawberries, bell peppers, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cabbage, and kiwi fruit.
- Avoid processed food. Processed food contains preservatives, additives, and artificial ingredients that can harm the liver. Instead, eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, lean meats, eggs, dairy products, and soybeans.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise stimulates the liver and increases its size.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to fatty liver.
- Try herbal remedies. Herbal remedies have proven effective in treating it. Examples of herbs include milk thistle, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, horsetail, burdock root, aloe vera, green tea, and olive leaf.
- Consult a nutritionist. Nutritionists know about proper diet choices that help reduce the risk of developing enlarged liver.
Preventing Enlarged Liver
One should avoid consuming excess amounts of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, taking recreational drugs, and using marijuana. One should also try to limit your intake of processed foods and fast food. To keep your liver healthy, drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, don’t forget to get enough rest and exercise regularly.
The following are some effective ways to treat an enlarged liver:
- Diet: A diet rich in whole grains and vegetables helps to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar levels. Foods containing vitamin E and omega fatty acids help in reducing fat content in the liver. Avoiding excessive amounts of red meat and dairy products lowers the risk of developing cirrhosis.
- Exercise: Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces stress. Exercises like swimming, running, walking, cycling, and yoga can improve heart function and increase circulation throughout the body. This will keep the liver free from toxic substances.
- Medications: Drug therapies are only recommended after consulting a specialist. Certain drugs can shrink the size of the liver. Antibiotics like rifampin and amoxicillin cause a temporary reduction in liver size. Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen also help in shrinking the liver.
- Surgery: In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary for removing excess fluid from the abdomen. The procedure involves draining the fluid accumulated in the abdominal cavity. Afterward, doctors perform various tests to identify the underlying cause of the enlarged liver.
An enlarged liver is not dangerous at all. It’s quite normal. An enlarged liver occurs when the liver produces more bile than is necessary to digest food. Bile helps break down fats and oils in the digestive system. When the liver makes too much bile, it stores extra bile in the blood vessels around the liver. This causes the veins in the abdomen to swell slightly. If the swelling becomes larger, it may cause pain and discomfort.
The final takeaway,
An enlarged liver is not something to ignore. If left untreated, it might lead to serious health problems. They may result from many things. Certain conditions trigger liver enlargement, including alcohol abuse, hepatitis B or C infection, exposure to toxins, and autoimmune disorders. Other factors leading to the condition include obesity, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, thyroid disease, cancer, and medications. A liver that is enlarged often causes no symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with an enlarged liver, you need to get treatment right away. You should always consult a doctor before starting any home remedies or treatments. Also, make sure to take proper care of yourself while undergoing treatment.