Enlarged liver: causes, diagnosis and treatment
Enlarged liver in medical practice is called hepatomegaly. The body at the same time reaches a rather large size, occupies most of the peritoneum and sometimes exceeds 10-15 kg in weight. Hepatomegaly is a symptom of any pathology of the liver and is most often observed in patients with chronic diseases, infections, intoxication of the body and oncological tumors. Some types of oncology of internal organs entail an increase in the right lobe of the liver. The causes of diseases, their symptoms and methods of treatment depend on the patient's age, negative factors affecting the body.
Causes of Hepatomegaly
The reasons for the increase in the liver in humans are quite diverse. Sometimes a similar phenomenon occurs as a reaction to a high level of toxins in the body when liver cells increase in order to neutralize them. Cardiovascular insufficiency in a patient causes a slow movement of blood through the vessels, which, in turn, leads to its stagnation in the tissues.The liver suffers from this more than other organs: it swells and increases in size.
Often viruses cause inflammatory diseases of the organ, which also leads to tissue swelling and enlarges the liver. The causes of hepatomegaly are that the organ is trying to replace the diseased cells with healthy ones, due to which tissue proliferation occurs. A similar phenomenon is observed in cirrhosis, when the affected cells, the hepatocytes, die and are replaced by connective tissue cells. In order not to disrupt the functioning of the entire body, healthy liver cells divide, and it can grow to large sizes. The accumulation of fat cells can cause enlargement of the liver and spleen. The reasons for this process are in violation of metabolic processes.
Symptoms of hepatomegaly
The first symptoms of an enlarged liver are noted almost immediately: this arching feeling in the right side, as if something is interfering, and when changing the position of the body in the abdominal cavity there is a tight lump. Almost always, the disease is accompanied by an unpleasant smell from the mouth, nausea, heartburn, a violation of the chair.Also manifestations of the disease include yellowing of the sclera of the eyeballs, skin, itching in the area of the mucous membranes. These are all symptoms that characterize an enlarged liver.
The causes of hepatomegaly are explained not only by inflammatory diseases, but also by the presence of bad habits in the patient (smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diet), hereditary factors, and working conditions.
Hepatomegaly in children
Children may also have an enlarged liver. The causes of this condition are caused by inflammatory processes in the children's body, the presence of worms, a violation of the process of outflow of bile and metabolism, cardiovascular diseases and congenital pathologies.
Symptoms of hepatomegaly in patients in childhood include vomiting, nausea, heartburn, and bitterness in the mouth, especially after meals. The child gets tired quickly, his performance deteriorates, his appetite decreases. He often complains of arching pain in his right side. Often appears yellow sclera and skin. In order to diagnose an increase in the liver in children, the causes of which may be different, it is recommended an examination by a doctor, an ultrasound examination of the diseased organ, and a CBC.
In infants, yellowing of the skin and sclera are often confused with physiological jaundice, which aggravates the possible pathology. But with what babies may be associated with an increase in the liver? The reasons, as a rule, lie in the presence of hereditary diseases, impaired metabolism and viral hepatitis. Doctors believe that physiological jaundice is absent in newborns within two weeks after delivery. However, if the symptoms do not subside by this time, then the parents should be alarmed. Pathological signs of an increase in the liver in newborns include an enlarged tummy, poorly stained feces, accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity and symptoms of liver failure.
Diagnosis of enlarged liver
For a qualitative diagnosis of hepatomegaly, a thorough history and physical examination of the patient are necessary. It is also important to get the results of blood tests that will help identify a number of functional disorders, including in metabolic processes, and to determine the overall picture of the disease.
Ultrasound can detect dilatation of the bile ducts (i.e., their expansion).In addition, ultrasound can detect the characteristic texture in liver cirrhosis, as well as cysts, abscesses and tumors. Other methods for diagnosing an enlarged liver include computed tomography, which allows for more accurate anatomical information.
Features of treatment
An enlarged liver, the causes and treatment of which are directly dependent, is a symptom of many diseases. Therefore, it is very important to identify the true cause of such a change in the size of an organ before starting therapy. For example, infections are treated with antibiotics; the problem of obesity in the liver requires physical exertion and weight control; Therapy for diabetes includes the control of cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Inflammatory processes in the liver are treated with corticosteroids, cancer is undergoing chemotherapy. Some types of hepatic abnormalities are resolved by surgery and by following a strict diet.
From drug treatment, patients are usually prescribed enzyme preparations, such as “Creon”, “Mezim”, “Festal”.With severe pain, it is recommended to take hepatoprotectors, such as "No-shpa", "Duspatalin" and others.
Treatment of folk remedies
Folk treatment should also be aimed at eliminating the cause of the disease, but it must necessarily be coordinated with the attending physician.
A good way to eliminate liver inflammation is fresh pumpkin. It should be eaten on an empty stomach in its raw form. You can grate the pumpkin on the grater and mix with a small amount of vegetable oil. Also a good effect gives a homemade healing cocktail. In a glass of cool boiled water add the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of honey. This drink is useful when taking on an empty stomach. It is recommended to drink the juice of fresh strawberries, cranberries, dogrose, St. John's wort, immortelle, motherwort and mint.
When intoxication (alcohol or food poisoning), it is recommended to clean the body. To do this, you can make the following drink: 1 cup washed oats, 3 tablespoons of the leaves of the cranberries, the same amount of birch leaves pour boiling water, infuse and take a quarter of a glass every hour.
In order to prevent liver diseases that cause its increase, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle, follow the diet, give up bad habits (alcohol, smoking, overeating). It is important to take vitamins, avoid stress, monitor health, especially when planning a pregnancy.