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 affect its function.
Whether liver diseases will be cured or not depends on the types and stages of the diseases. Some liver diseases can be cured with the right treatments, and some can be slowed down through a changing lifestyle, following strict diet and taking appropriate medication.
Liver is the largest solid organ in the body. It is a radish brown colored organ located in the upper right part of the belly (abdomen).
Liver diseases can happen for different reasons. Some causes are mentionable, Viral infections: Parasites and viruses can infect the liver (Hepatitis), causing inflammation that reduces liver function. There are 5 main strains of the hepatitis virus, referred to as type A, B, C, D and E.
Immune system attacks: An autoimmune liver disease results from the immune system attacking liver cells. This attack on your liver can lead to chronic inflammation and serious damage to liver cells. 3 most common Autoimmune liver diseases are,
Genetics/Inherited liver diseases: An abnormal gene inherited from one or both of your parents can cause various substances to build up in your liver, resulting in liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include:
Cancer: When the cells in the liver grow abnormally, liver cancer starts. Examples include:
Toxins Food: Some toxins in food are also responsible for liver diseases, such as fat, alcohol, and too much-refined sugar, soda, pastries, candy, and high-fructose corn syrup. Oxidative Stress: Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in our body where the number of antioxidant is lower than the free radicals, the extra free radicals forms large chain and causes different types of reaction called oxidation. Oxidative stress within the mitochondria is also connected with an inflammatory process in the liver. Improper metabolism of ROS ( Reactive Oxygen Species) results in the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha, which increases TNF (Tumor Nacrosis Factor) secretion, leading to an immune response that intensifies the liver injury.
Warning signs includes : Yellowing of the eyes or skin, Pale-colored stool, Pain and distention of the abdomen, Confusion or forgetfulness, Dark-colored urine, swelling of the lower legs.
Diagnosis is must after these symptoms.
Prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent liver disease by, Vaccinations: This vaccination helps protect against viruses and reduces the risk of liver disease. Vaccine for liver diseases are hepatitis A and B .
By changing lifestyle one can slow down liver disease. These might include:
If one is diagnosed with liver disease, he or she can take a number of steps to improve their condition. Such as,
Dietary changes for liver disease may involves:
The term functional foods is used to describe foods or food ingredients that provide health benefits beyond meeting basic nutrition needs .
As we mentioned earlier, Oxidative stress has been considered a key causing factor of liver disease.
A potential functional food is Curcumin , Curcumins are the bio active component of Curcuma longa (turmeric). It contains a variety of functional antioxidant groups, including the β-diketo group, carbon-carbon double bonds and phenyl rings. Curcumin can thus eliminate lipid radicals in the cell membrane and become a phenoxyl radical, so it is considered a very strong lipid-soluble antioxidant. Furthermore, curcumin was found to inhibit lipid peroxidation and neutralize ROS (superoxide, peroxyl, hydroxyl radicals) and RNS (nitric oxide and peroxynitrite)
Curcumin also improves NAFLD ( Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) through some mechanisms, first of all, it removes fat from liver and decreases synthesis of triglyceride (TG) by inhibiting HMG-COA reductase, and the second reason is that it decreases the absorption of cholesterol from intestine and also increases the activation of cholesterol-7alpha-hydroxilase, thereby improves lipid profiles like: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There are very few medicatios to manage liver damage. Some of them are, Lactulose, Rifaximin, Propranolol, carvedilol, Prednisolone and Thiamine.
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