• Shruti GOCHHWAL

3 Reasons Why Liver Diseases Are on The Rise

The liver is the most vital organ of our body and yet it is given the least respect.

Considered one of the largest organs of the body it works as a jack of all trades.

Storing, releasing glucose as and when required to fight infections and removing bacteria from the blood are some of the major functions performed by the liver.

In the twenty-first century, more and more younger people are being diagnosed and dying from various problems relating to damage of the liver like liver cancer, cirrhosis, or scarring.

Liver

Pictorial representation of a liver with gallbladder. Image Credits: Medical graphics


Symptoms of Liver Disease

The early symptoms of liver failure are often like those of liver diseases. Liver failure can thus be difficult to diagnose at first.

Early symptoms:

  1. Nausea

  2. Fatigue

  3. Appetite loss

  4. Diarrhoea

As the condition of the liver deteriorates, the symptoms get serious and need to be attended to quickly. Some of the symptoms include:

  1. Jaundice

  2. Bleeding

  3. Hepatic Encephalopathy

  4. Exhaustion

  5. Sleepiness

Causes

1. Infection

Virus

Microscopic image of a virus that causes infection. Image Credits: Pixabay


Inflammation caused in the stomach due to various bacteria and parasites reduces the functioning capacity of the liver.

These viruses are transmitted when an infected person encounters another, via flow of blood, semen, or consumption of contaminated water.

Hepatitis viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, and C are popularly known to cause liver diseases.

 2. Immune System Abnormality

Autoimmune diseases tend to affect the liver majorly. These diseases are when the immune system of the body attacks other parts of the body.

Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include:

  1. Genetics

  2. Primary sclerosing cholangitis

  3. Autoimmune hepatitis

  4. Primary biliary cholangitis

When an abnormal gene enters the body from either of the parents, they tend to build various substances in the liver that can cause serious damage.

Genetic liver diseases include:

  1. Hemochromatosis

  2. Wilson’s disease

3. Alcoholism

This is the major reason why most millennials are suffering and dying from liver disease.

A research analysis revealed that the number of deaths from liver illnesses have increased alarmingly, in young people.

Though there could be a number of reasons for this like obesity and other viruses, the reason was increased consumption of alcohol.

The rise in alcohol related deaths is due to rising rates of binge drinking for the past decade and more.

This can be linked to the global financial crisis. Due to loss of opportunity, and the stress that comes along drives most people to abusive drinking.

Young people consuming alcohol

Your Liver Only Lives Once

This biological wonder maintains chemical levels in the blood. It secretes a clear yellow or orange fluid called bile.

Bile is required by the body for digestion and absorption. It also breaks down harmful substances, excreted into the bile or blood.

Blood that leaves the stomach and intestine passes through the liver.

The liver processes this blood to create nutrients for the body to take in..

Conditions that damage the liver result in scarring, which can be life threatening.

Millennials And Liver Diseases

Americans aged 25 to 34 show the greatest increase in deaths driven by alcohol related liver damage, nearly 11 percent increase per year from 2009 to 2017.

Excessive body weight among young people due to unhealthy eating habits may also be a factor in rising liver disease.

It is known that obesity compounds the toxicity of alcohol and together they aid to cause fatty liver disease.

Liver-related illnesses are becoming increasingly prevalent with almost a 43% rise in liver diseases since 2000.

Prevention

  1. Drink alcohol in moderation.

  2. Get vaccinated for hepatitis.

  3. Take prescription and non-prescription drugs only when needed and recommended.

  4. Keep your food safe. Washing hands before preparing food is a must.

  5. Avoid being in touch with blood of other people or any other body fluid.

  6. Protect your skin from UV rays of the sun and other chemicals.

  7. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Thus, exercising is very important.

#Causes #LiverDiseases #SymptomsofLiverDisease

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