The liver is a vital organ that helps your body digest food and remove toxins from the blood. When it becomes damaged or diseased, your whole body can be affected.
Liver problems vary in their causes, severity and symptoms. Some are caused by viruses, inherited diseases and toxic effects from medications or toxins.
Your liver does many things that keep your body healthy, such as turning nutrients into chemicals your body needs and filtering out poisons. When it doesn’t work correctly, that can affect your whole body.
Fibrosis can cause scarring of your liver, called cirrhosis. It may happen over time without any symptoms.
Gastroenterology Of The Rockies can help you decide what’s causing your liver problems and find the best treatment. A good diet, exercise and regular visits to your doctor can all help.
Several things, including hepatitis C, alcohol abuse, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and viral infections, can cause fibrosis. Some medications, such as clonidine and anticoagulants, can also contribute to it. If left untreated, fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis.
When your immune system detects an infection or injury, inflammation is a regular part of the body’s healing process. This response causes your blood vessels to dilate and releases inflammatory chemicals that cause other cells in your body to work together to promote healing.
Chronic inflammation occurs when this immune response becomes dysregulated, and the body cannot keep it in check. A buildup of dangerous chemicals may result in endangering the liver and other organs.
It’s essential to recognize the symptoms of inflammation and visit your doctor if you experience any pain, swelling, or other symptoms. It will help you determine the underlying cause and find ways to eliminate it.
Cirrhosis is a severe liver problem that develops when your liver is permanently damaged, and scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. The scarring interferes with your liver’s ability to function correctly and prevents blood from passing through it.
It can be caused by long-term alcohol misuse, chronic viral hepatitis B and C, non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD), or autoimmune diseases. Some genetic conditions, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease, can also lead to cirrhosis.
A doctor can diagnose cirrhosis with a medical history, physical exam, and some tests. They may order a liver biopsy. If the test results show cirrhosis, treatment will slow or stop the condition’s progression and manage any complications.
Acute Liver Failure
Your liver is a critical organ that helps you digest food, convert it to energy and store it until you need it. It also helps your body filter waste out of your bloodstream.
Liver failure occurs when your liver is no longer able to work usually. It can happen over time or suddenly, sometimes within a few days or weeks.
Most people who develop acute liver failure don’t have any other kind of liver disease or problem before it happens. The most common cause is acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose.
Sometimes, the bile ducts that carry bile out of the liver become blocked or inflamed. It can lead to a condition called primary sclerosing cholangitis or cholangiocarcinoma.
Ascites are the buildup of fluid in the spaces of your abdomen (peritoneum). It usually happens when you have cirrhosis or another liver problem, but it can also occur due to cancer.
A doctor may diagnose ascites by examining your blood, urine or other tests. Imaging tests such as X-ray, CT and ultrasound can show where the fluid is building up in your abdominal area.
If the buildup is significant, you may develop pain, discomfort and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can make eating, walking and doing other everyday activities difficult.