Liver disease is the 12th most common cause of death in the United States. Over 30 million Americans suffer from liver conditions, according to the American Liver Foundation. And still, many people are unaware of their diagnosis, since liver disease rarely displays specific symptoms or causes pain in its early stages. Detected too late, liver disease can lead to major complications and even liver cancer.
Metabolic syndrome is the liver´s greatest enemy. This is where overweight, altered blood fat levels, high blood pressure, and disturbed sugar metabolism appear together. These factors can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The most common age group affected by liver disease in the US are baby boomers, Americans born between 1945 and 1965. In 2013, they accounted for 57% out of all people died of liver diseases and cirrhosis, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, poor and fat-rich diet and overweight can cause fatty liver even in children.
The fat accumulating in the liver cells can soon start damaging these. The other problem is the alcoholic fatty liver caused by regular alcohol abuse. Alcohol damages liver cells and leads to the liver inflammation and scarring.
Liver Disease Symptoms
Jaundice, or in other words yellowing of the skin, is the most common symptoms of hepatitis (acute liver inflammation). The skin and even eyes become discolored to yellow. The stool can become whitish and the urine turns dark. Some patients complain of itching.
Importantly, many liver disease symptoms disappear also without medical help and the patients start feeling better. This, however, may be just a calm moment before the storm, when liver disease can develop quickly into chronic hepatitis. Many people may not notice this at all, since many cases show no characteristic symptoms.
Worth paying attention are also such symptoms as fatigue or pain in the right upper abdomen accompanied by a sense of fullness. Remained untreated, chronic liver damage can develop into liver cirrhosis causing irreversible scarring of the liver. The complete loss of liver function in its turn can become fatal within a few hours or days.
This is How You Can Protect Your Liver
Healthy diet together with sufficient exercise play the crucial role in keeping your liver healthy for a long time. These measures, as many studies prove, significantly reduce the risk of developing fatty liver. Also, alcohol consumption should be minimized or avoided at all. The experts recommend that the men do not exceed 30g of alcohol per day which is equivalent to two glasses of beer. The women should not cross the daily limit of 20g of alcohol. Caution is also required when using pain-killers. For example, an overdose of paracetamol or ACC can cause liver failure. Also, do not forget about hepatitis A and B vaccination.
If you don’t feel in good health or notice first liver disease symptoms, immediately consult your doctor.
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