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What are the Stages of Liver Disease?

Ask any liver specialist hospital in Coimbatore and they will concur that the Liver is an important organ for the metabolism and movement of nutrients across the body. Unlike other bodily organs, the liver has multiple functions. Some of it can be listed as follows:

      • Production and excretion of Bile
      • Elimination of cholesterol, hormones, bilirubin, and drugs
      • Fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism
      • Activation of enzymes.
      • Glycogen, vitamin, and mineral storage
      • Synthesis of albumin, clotting factors, and other plasma proteins.
      • Decontamination and cleansing of the blood.

In an interesting twist, it is the only organ in the body that can regenerate after injury. However, repeated insults can reduce its efficacy, slow down the functions, and ultimately cause diseased conditions.

Liver disease is defined as the ongoing deterioration in the state and condition of the liver. Depending upon the intensity and the period of occurrence, liver disease can be classified as either acute or chronic by the best liver hospital in Coimbatore.  If not treated, the condition could worsen to the life-threatening condition of liver failure.

Causes Of Liver Disease

As said earlier, the liver is responsible for many functions of metabolism. It, therefore, is subjected to intake of the various chemicals and nutrients that come in our food and beverages. Toxins generated in the body, infections in the blood, and other factors can contribute to the disease of the liver. Some of the primary causes as per the best liver hospital in Coimbatore are:

      • Too much alcohol consumption
      • Viruses
      • Certain medications
      • Drug abuse
      • Exposure to toxic chemicals
      • Auto-immune disorders
      • Unhealthy diet
      • Obesity
      • Genetic reasons
      • Already existing conditions like immune hepatitis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Liver Failure Stages

Irrespective of the inherent cause, livers in the diseased patients go through changes that the physicians have standardized. These changes have been categorized into different liver failure stages – the disease condition worsening with the progression of the stages. They are concisely explained below:

  1. Inflammation

This is the first stage of liver disease. The liver gets swelled due to the continuous insult by the different toxic agents ingested or other diseases. The person affected usually experiences pain at the location of the liver, that is, the upper right area of the body. A Liver transplant Surgeon will suggest a treatment after diagnosing the cause and the extent of the damage. Incidentally, in this state, the conditions may be treated. However, people suffering from the non-alcoholic fatty liver may not show any particular symptom. Therefore, having an annual checkup and a liver function test is advised.

  1. Scarring

If the inflammation is not diagnosed in time or unchecked over a period, the diseased liver tissue starts to scar. The liver regions start to have a fibrous appearance, and in some cases, water or fluid may start to accumulate. This condition is known as fibrosis, and the affected scarred tissue starts to replace the healthy tissues.

As the accumulation of scarred tissue, toxins, and fat tissues increases, the liver’s architecture is gradually disrupted, and blood flow starts to become affected within the liver. The liver tissue starts to become necrotic and dies out. This stage can also be remedied with proper medicine and diet changes. However, the remission is usually partial.

  1. Cirrhosis

At this stage, the liver has lost its capability to self-heal, and the only available treatment is a liver transplant. However, considerable time is required to reach this stage. The symptoms are quite evident and easily diagnosable, like loss of appetite, bloated feeling in the abdomen after a meal (because of fluid buildup), jaundice due to the deposition of bilirubin, and severe itching due to the deposition of bile under the skin.

  1. End-stage Liver Disease (ESLD)

The liver starts to fail as cirrhosis covers the organ wholly. Liver failure can be categorized into two types:

      • Acute liver failure: It takes place quickly within 48-72 hours and is generally caused by reasons other than alcohol consumption.
      • Chronic liver failure: The process is gradual, takes time, and is mostly associated with alcohol abuse.

The affected patients experience diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of weight, and appetite. This also affects cognitive functions or mental health adversely, and the person feels perplexed and disorganized. Unless a donor-matched liver is available quickly, ESLD is generally fatal. The patient may be kept in a life support system until a liver is found; however, the chances of survival are pretty low.

Difference Between Liver Disease And Liver Failure

It may be confusing for some people, but liver damage and liver disease are not the same. Liver disease is any condition that results in inflammation and damage to the liver. The conditions can affect the overall functions of the liver partially or completely.

This condition, where the liver starts to stop functioning partially or completely, is liver failure. As explained before, the diseases are the cause of the liver failing gradually. So, in simpler words, liver failure results from liver disease, but it’s not the other way round.

These are the different stages of liver disease. To maintain a working and healthy liver, the patient should eat healthily, perform physical activities, and minimize alcohol consumption. Get in touch with the best liver hospital in Coimbatore if you feel any pain in the stomach for a long time.

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