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Liver Disease by Almira Babahmetovic

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Liver disease is more prominent in the country than people realize. The liver has multiple functions within the body. An improper-functioning liver can lead to the organ failing. Signs and symptoms can be minimal to life-threatening. There is no true cure for liver disease, but some alternative procedures can help a person, including a transplant.

The liver works within the digestive system of the body. It has many functions, over 500, being the largest organ of the body. A few of the most recognized are regulating metabolism, creating bile, and excretion of unwanted hormones and drugs. The liver also enables the body to keep and store helpful vitamins and minerals. The liver is a vital organ because it keeps blood clean from toxins. If these toxins enter the bloodstream they can be harmful to a person and have unfortunate effects.

Liver failure occurs when the liver is not able to function properly or is damaged to the point where it can not be repaired or replaced. Liver failure most often happens over a period of time. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and long-term alcohol consumption are the most common causes of chronic liver failure.

Some signs and symptoms of liver failure can vary from minor to severe. The signs that are manageable include appetite loss, weakness, itching, nausea, fatigue, forgetfulness, and confusion. Some examples of symptoms that take a toll on a patient are weight and muscle loss, Jaundice (yellowing of the skin with white eyes),  internal bleeding, and vomiting blood.

Alcoholism can cause irreversible damage to the liver. With an excessive amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream, the liver is unable to function properly. The amount can be ingested at one time or over an extended amount of time. The liver can permanently change its cell structure if an excessive amount of alcohol is introduced to the organ. This action causes the liver to be unable to metabolize fats. This fat is stored in the liver causing it to not be used elsewhere in the body. A fatty liver is the result.

There are some rare cases of liver disease where a transplant is an option for a cure. A doctor must first approve a candidate and refer them to a transplant center. There are many risks and variables that are included in the approval process. Multiple tests and pre-procedures are required and can have side effects. A person usually is put on a waiting list for the organ and typically has to wait a long duration of time before a suitable match is found. Someone’s insurance and evaluations will decide whether they will be eligible for a transplant. The likelihood of the patient being able to survive through a liver transplant is taken into great consideration before deciding to proceed with the transplant.

The liver is a vital organ in the human body. If someone is unable to keep their liver healthy it may cause them to contract liver disease.  The liver enables the body to clear the blood and rid the body of unused materials. The signs and symptoms of a  person’s liver working improperly should be addressed by them and their doctor to decide on a treatment plan. An ill-functioning liver can be caused by excessive drinking. A well-functioning liver is essential to a healthy body.


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