Enlarged Liver (hepatomegaly) – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

The liver is one of the most important organs that you can have in your body.  This is why it is important for you to take care of it as much as you can for you to be able to function well as a human being.  This article will show you one of the most common conditions that you can have if ever your liver gets damaged.

This is known as enlarged liver.  This article will focus on the basic information that you can have about the condition and how you can treat it as soon as possible.  We shall begin when a few minor details about the liver and its function.

Basic Details

Normally, the liver is already quite large being that it is considered as the largest gland present inside the body.  It is one of the most vital organs because it has vital functions within the body.  Here are some of the responsibilities of the liver as follows:

  • Cholesterol metabolism
  • Melting of cholesterol and other fatty substances as well as carbohydrates
  • Bile secretion
  • Removal of toxins from the body
  • Cell renewal when minor damage occurs

Consequently, if the liver is damaged irreparably it can increase in size such that it can cause a condition called liver enlargement.  Here are some of the symptoms:

Major Symptoms of  Enlarged Liver  Or Hepatomegaly

Unfortunately, hepatomegaly or liver enlargement is asymptomatic.  In addition to this, it is not necessarily a disease itself.  However, it can be a symptom for a much more severe condition such as:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Heart failure

It is asymptomatic because the liver is not composed of nerves.  When you feel pain for within that part of your body, it may mean that it has become too big already.  If this happens, it can lead to jaundice.

Primary Cause of Enlarged Liver  Or Hepatomegaly

Below are some of the major causes of Hepatomegaly as follows.

  • Accumulation of fat in the liver
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Viral infections
  • Hepatitis
  • Alcoholism
  • Iron deposition in the liver
  • Tuberculosis
  • Drugs
  • Incorrect diet

Other diseases may also lead to having an overly large liver.  As mentioned earlier, it can serve as a symptom to major diseases such as heart failure or leukemia.

Modes of Treatment

Fortunately, this condition is treatable.  However, it is important that the condition is detected early so that the necessary steps can be taken effectively.  Physical examination can help detect the condition through the use of various tests such as X-Rays, CT scans and ultrasounds.

Biopsies can also be done to examine the tissue.  After identifying the specific causes, treatment can proceed.  A patient with hepatitis can be given medication against the inflammation of the liver.  In addition to this, lifestyle changes in terms of diet and exercise can also help treat the disease.

Diabetic patients should also make it a point to control their blood sugar levels.  If the cause is liver cancer or leukemia the treatment should be chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  If the cause turns out to be alcoholism, the patient should immediately stop alcoholic intake to prevent the condition from becoming worse.

Risk Factors

Alcoholics as well as people with higher levels of cholesterol as well as those who are obese have a higher risk of developing an enlarged liver.  As mentioned earlier, the use of intravenous drugs can also contribute to the development of the condition.  This is why it is important for you to live a healthy watched style if you want to prevent the condition from happening. In addition to this, treatment for this type of condition should always be under medical supervision.

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