The liver, which is the largest organ, carries out many functions in the body. Besides eliminating waste products, drugs and poisons from the bloodstream and storing certain vitamins, the liver also aids food digestion and regulates the sugar content of the blood. Three of the most common problems with the liver are hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice.
What to look for
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, and the initial symptoms include a general feeling of malaise, nausea, headaches, fever and some abdominal pains. After a couple of weeks, jaundice, which is a symptom of many liver disorders, may appear involving the yellowing of the eyes and skin, darkened urine and light-coloured bowel movements. Cirrhosis results from continuing damage to the liver where there is a cell death and hardened scar tissue forms. Symptoms may include weight loss, loss of appetite, continuous indigestion, nausea, vomiting and general malaise. Liver Failure may be the result of poisoning, acute hepatitis or cirrhosis.
In richer countries, the most common cause of liver disease is excessive consumption of alcohol, where as in the poorer countries, of Africa and Asia, the most serious liver problems are viral cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Other causes of problems include congenital defects and liver infections caused by bacteria and parasites.
When to seek further professional advice
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should consult your doctor.
Acupuncture: Treatment will be given at a combination of points which are located on the liver, gallbladder, stomach and spleen meridians.
Chinese Herbalism: Antipyretic herbs for regulating the blood condition would be prescribed.
Reflexology: Massage is used on areas which are connected to the gallbladder, liver, large and small intestine, spleen and also the lymphatic system. Other therapies include: Homeopathy, Hypnotherapy, Naturopathy, Yoga, Colour therapy, Western Herbalism, and Ayurvedic Medicine.
There are vaccines available for the prevention of Hepatitis A and B. General treatment is to recommend rest, a light diet and the avoidance of alcohol. Sometimes steroids may be used and drugs like interferon may be used for chronic carriers. Cirrhosis is treated by slowing the liver cell damage, mainly by abstaining from alcohol. Diuretic or antibiotic drugs may be used and in some cases a liver transplant is the only chance for improvement.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.