Sunday, February 17, 2013

Symptoms and Causes of Liver Infection

 Common Liver Ailments

Your liver is a large organ, which performs several important functions in your body. It produces the substances that are required for digestion of fats and carbs from the food you eat. Your liver also helps to clear away the toxic substances present in your digestive tract. Unfortunately, there are several different types of agents that could cause your liver to get infected. Some of the most common liver infections to affect men and women of all ages include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatoma (hepatocellular carcinoma) and Plasmodium. Most instances of liver infection or disease are quite serious and should be checked by a doctor without any delay. The early treatment of liver infections can speed up the recovery process to a great extent.
A liver infection generally occurs when harmful microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses or fungi attack the cells and tissues in the liver. There are several factors that could weaken your liver and cause it to get infected. Some of the possible causes of liver infection include:
Being in close contact with a person who is already suffering from a liver infectionExcessive consumption of alcoholHaving food or water that is contaminatedSexual contact with a person who is already infectedSharing needles with an infected personUse of certain medication
It is also possible for a newborn baby to contract a liver infection if the mother is suffering from this problem during childbirth.
There are several different signs and symptoms, which can alert you to the fact that your liver may be infected. Given below are some of the common symptoms of liver infection in men and women:
Jaundice: One of the first and most obvious physical signs of a liver infection is yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Under normal circumstances, your liver processes a molecule known as bilirubin. However, when infected your liver does not function properly and the levels of this molecule in the body go very high. Bilirubin can also cause your urine to become very dark in color. Never leave this symptom unchecked; in fact, it is best to seek emergency attention in case you realize that you are suffering from jaundice.Abdominal Swelling and Pain: Most types of diseases and infections in the liver cause the organ to become a bit larger than usual. Therefore, you may notice a swelling and tenderness in your abdomen. At times, a liver infection may also lead to distention in the upper right corner of your abdomen.Changes in Stool Color: Your liver is responsible for aiding digestion by producing bile. If the production of bile is affected because of a liver infection, your stools may appear abnormally pale in color. In some cases, the stool may also become very dark, perhaps even black in color, if blood is present in it. If there is a lot of blood mixed in the stool, it may turn red in color too. Changes in your bowel movements may also occur as a result of a liver infection.Weight Loss: Rapid and drastic weight loss or reduction in appetite without any apparent reason is generally a cause for concern. Your doctor may advise you to go in for a test to check for liver a infection in case you lose a lot of weight without actively trying.
Liver infections may cause you to suffer from fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and general ill feeling too. In case you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult your doctor without any delay.
The treatment for liver infection usually includes medication. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and its dosage depending upon the type of infection you are suffering from. In addition to the medicines prescribed by the doctor, you could also try a few effective home remedies like:
Mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice in two teaspoons of papaya juice. Blend the two ingredients well before having the mixture. Continue this exercise for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Take equal parts of spinach and carrot juice and drink this mixture once every day, for about 3 to 4 weeks Boil a small piece of dandelion root in a glass of water, for around 10 minutes or so. Allow the tea to cool for a couple of minutes before drinking it. Add a spoon of honey, a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne to an eight-ounce glass of water and drink the solution on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
While these remedies are quite safe if used correctly, it is important to check with a doctor before trying any of them. In addition to home remedies, you are also required to follow a few important self-care measures like:
Maintaining a healthy diet which mainly comprises of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drinking a lot of healthy fluids, like fresh water, green tea, coconut water and homemade fruit or vegetable juice Eliminating alcohol, caffeine, red meat, sweets, refined bakery items and fatty food from your diet Reducing your physical activity, so that you can get an adequate amount of rest to help your body recuperate and fight off the infection Eating 5 to 6 small meals, throughout the day, instead of three large ones.

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