Liver Awareness Month is a month dedicated to reiterating the importance of the liver in human beings. The public is made known on various things about the Liver.
These concerns include: the role of liver, complications concerning the liver or any recent discoveries concerning the liver.
In the United States of America, the month of October is devoted to Liver Awareness. We will enlighten you on important facts about the liver that will be of help.
Understanding the Liver
Did you know that the liver is the second largest organ in the body? The normal size of liver averages between 13 cm and 16 cm as assessed on ultrasound or a computerised tomography (CT) scan. The liver is located in the upper right of the abdomen. The main role of the liver is its responsibility in turning the food and drinks we take to energy and nutrients essential for the normal functioning of the body.
Other functions of importance that the liver performs include detoxifying drugs and toxins, storage of carbohydrates, manufacture of plasma proteins and formation of bile juice (necessary for fat metabolism).
Liver Cirrhosis Causes and Symptoms
Cirrhosis is the common disease associated with the liver. Liver Cirrhosis is a complication whereby the normal cells of the liver are replaced by scar tissue. One of the most common causes of this condition related to alcohol intake, although there are many other causes. Symptoms of the condition include loss of appetite (anorexia), weight loss, fatigue, nausea, and bloating of the stomach. In case of such symptoms, you are advised to visit your doctor or nearby healthcare centre to be diagnosed of this fatal condition. Hepatitis (the inflammation of the liver organ) presents with abdominal pain, loss of appetite, joint pain, dark urine, fever, nausea and vomiting and weakness and fatigue. Hepatitis is because of viral infections. Viruses of various types including A, B, C, D, E and G cause the hepatitis.
The conditions of the liver are silent, that means they develop slowly and one can have the signs and symptoms for a long time without being noticed. We are then advised to be on the look and have medical checkups frequently. The conditions are tested through histology tests carried out in the medical centers. Lifestyle such as alcoholism should be discouraged. Individuals to avoid liver cirrhosis should moderate alcohol intake. A healthy balanced diet is encouraged in avoiding liver conditions. Foods rich in fats should be avoided to avoid fat liver diseases. Hydration should be embraced as water plays an important role in assisting liver functions.
Statistics on the prevalence of liver disease are alarming in most nations. In the U.S for example, over 30 million people have liver disease. Liver conditions that are on the rise include fatty liver disease, hepatitis C and liver cancer. About 4 million Americans have hepatitis C, a million infected with hepatitis B and approximately 25% have the fatty liver disease.