Monday, September 28, 2009

Eight Things To Know About Liver Disease

1) Liver disease is not just one disease; the term ‘liver disease’ refers to many different diseases, infections, and conditions that affect the liver, from Hepatitis and Gallstones, to Gilbert Syndrome and Alcoholic Liver Disease.

2) Although the most common reason for liver disease is malnutrition (many times due to alcoholism), it can also be caused by chemical and physical body changes, bacterial invasion, and viral infections.

3) Fulminant hepatitis is a rare and potentially fatal form of liver disease that causes liver failure. It is sometimes caused by complications due to hepatitis B, C, or D.

4) Some liver disease is caused by over-consumption of alcohol, either from binge drinking or excessdrinking for many years. These alcoholic-induced liver diseases include alcoholic cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and fatty liver disease.

5) There are many symptoms of liver disease, depending upon which type of liver disease you have and how serious your current stage of the disease. Some common liver disease symptoms are nausea, dark urine, jaundice, itching, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, and abdominal pain.

6) While a simple physical exam may be able to point to a liver disease diagnosis, physicians also use ultrasounds, complete blood count (CBC), liver scans, MRI and liver function tests to diagnose liver disease.

7) Treatments for liver disease can include everything from anti-nausea medications and resting, to drinking more water, avoiding alcohol and avoiding medications that are not absolutely necessary.

8) A low-protein, low-sodium, high carbohydrate, and moderate fat diet is helpful for those with liver disease.

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