Liver disease - Signs, causes & treatments

Liver Disease

The liver is an organ about the size of a football.  It sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen.

Your liver is an important organ that performs hundreds of tasks related to metabolism, energy storage, and detoxification of waste.  It helps you digest food, convert it to energy, and store the energy until you need it.  It also helps filter toxic substances out of  your bloodstream.

Liver disease is a general term that refers to any condition affecting your liver.  These conditions may develop for different reasons, but they can all damage your liver and impact its function.

Over time, conditions that damage the liver can lead to scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.  But early treatment may give the liver time to heal.

Symptoms of liver disease

Symptoms of liver disease

Liver disease does not always cause noticeable signs and symptoms.  If signs and symptoms of liver disease do occur, they may include:

  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily 

What causes liver disease?

The liver can be damaged in a variety of ways.  Cells can become inflamed, for example, hepatitis.  Bile flow can be constructed, for example, cholestasis.

Cholesterol or triglycerides can accumulate, for example, steatosis.  Blood flow to the liver may be compromised.  Liver tissue can be damaged by chemicals and minerals, or infiltrated by abnormal cells, like cancer cells.

Alcohol abuse and liver disease:  Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver disease.  Alcohol is directly toxic to liver cells and can cause liver inflammation, referred to as alcoholic hepatitis.  In chronic alcohol abuse, fat accumulation occurs in liver cells affecting their ability to function.

Cirrhosis of the liver (end-stage of liver disease): Cirrhosis is a late stage of liver disease.  Scarring of the liver and loss of functioning liver cells cause the liver to fail.  Significant amounts of liver cells need to be damaged before the hole organ fails to function. 

Sodium Benzoate

What is Sodium Benzoate and how can it effect the liver?

Sodium Benzoate is a substance which has the chemical formula C6H5COONa.  Sodium Benzoate is a colorless crystalline salt used as preservatives in beverages, fruit products, chemically leavened baked goods, and condiments.

Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are used as antimicrobial agents in edible coatings.  Sodium Benzoate is also found useful in pharmaceuticals as therapeutic regimens in the treatment of patients.

Studies revealed that the intake of Sodium Benzoate produced histological alterations in the liver and kidney tissue.

How does alcohol effect the liver?

There are many health risks of chronic alcohol abuse, ranging from high blood pressure to stroke.  People are most familiar with alcohol’s negative effects on the liver.

Heavy drinkers have an increased risk of jaundice,  cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, and many other conditions.

The definition of heavy drinking is consuming eight drinks or more per week for women, and 15 or more for men.  Even a single binge-drinking episode can result in significant bodily impairment, damage, or potentially death.

It takes the body approximately an hour to process one alcoholic beverage.  This time frame increases with each drink.  Chronical alcohol abuse causes destruction of liver cells, which results in scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), alcoholic hepatitis and cellular mutation that may lead to liver cancer.  

Alcohol Effect
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How can drugs cause liver damage?

Over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers, have the potential to damage your liver.  They can cause toxic hepatitis, which means your liver is inflamed due to substances you’ve taken. 

Anabolic steroids belong to a group of substances called Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs.  They can also cause severe liver disease, including tumors and peliosis hepatis, which causes blood-filled cysts to develop in your liver.

In addition to antidepressants, the antibiotic combination drug amoxicillin/clavulanate is associated with liver damage.  Other potentially harmful prescription drugs that are taken for gout, cancer and some antoimmune diseases can effect the liver.

Prevention and/or healing liver disease?

Treatment for liver disease depends on your diagnosis.  Some liver problems can be treated with lifestyle modifications.  Other liver problems may be treated with medications or may require surgery.  Treatment for liver disease that causes or has led to liver failure may ultimately require a liver transplant.

Lifestyle modifications that can help:

  • limiting alcohol
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • drinking more water
  • adopting a liver-friendly diet
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How will Chaya help you?

The health promoting effect of Chaya are attributed to their flavonoid constituents which have demonstrated potent modulatory effect on several cellular and molecular events.  Flavonoids are a class of polyphenol compounds widely distributed in plant foods with therapeutic effects on liver injuries.

Chaya “Cnidoscolus Aconitifolius” can protects the liver, kidney and heart from toxins.  Chaya can acts as a potent anti-inflammatory for both acute and chronic inflammation of the liver.  It contains both anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties and enhances the histological functions of the kidney and liver.

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