Swollen liver is a very common disorder. Its symptoms are usually very diverse, some of which are the causes and treatment for liver inflammation. Find out more about it.
Hepatomegaly is medically known as inflammation of the liver. That is, when there is an enlargement or enlargement of the liver beyond what is considered its normal size. In this way, its edges exceed the limits considered normal, and may in turn cause certain discomfort. However, it does not always cause symptoms, which is why in many cases it may not be possible to know that the liver is really enlarged until it progresses to more serious stages.
In fact, if the inflammation is allowed to progress and is maintained over time, fibrosis can occur, even progressing to liver cirrhosis, an even more serious condition.
If we take into account the great diversity of functions of the liver, in which precisely this very important organ of our body actively participates, we realize that there are many ailments that can affect it, and that ultimately can cause the presence of an inflamed liver. In fact, it is a condition closely related to fatty liver, and may be one of its main complications.
Normally the lower border of the liver reaches just to the lower border of the ribs, on the right side. This border is in most cases thin and firm, not being possible to feel with the tips of the fingers when they are below the edge of the ribs (unless a deep breath is taken, in which case it can be). Would be possible). Therefore, the liver is swollen or enlarged if the doctor can feel it in this area.
What is swollen liver? What does it mean?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this note, we are facing a more common health problem than is thought, which is medically known by the name of hepatomegaly. It basically consists of hepatic inflammation (or inflammation of the liver), which means that this organ is larger than what is considered normal.
When the liver becomes inflamed, it is usually caused by another more serious disease, such as, for example, as a result of an excessive accumulation of fat in this organ, or by an infection contracted by any of the viruses that cause hepatitis. However, in most cases it is not easy to identify the original cause that is causing the inflammation of the liver.
Swollen liver symptoms
When the inflammation of the liver is not severe, in most cases it tends not to produce symptoms. Why? Very simple: fundamentally because the liver does not have nerve endings. But when the liver has grown a lot, it is possible to notice some discomfort or symptoms, especially when it begins to invade other organs, such as the stomach or the pancreas.
Be that as it may, when we talk about the symptoms of liver inflammation, we can mention the following:
- Feeling unwell.
- Muscle pain.
- Nausea, with vomiting or dizziness at times.
- Intense pain.
- Abdominal distension.
- Sensation of heaviness, located in the abdomen on the right side.
- When the inflamed liver progresses, jaundice (a yellowish/orange discoloration of the skin) occurs.
- Change in the color of stool or urine.
What are the causes of swollen liver?
The causes can actually be extremely diverse, given that we must take into account not only the great diversity of functions in which the liver participates and performs, but also that there are many conditions, diseases and pathologies that affect it.
Therefore, the causes of liver inflammation can be the following, especially the most common:
- Alcohol consumption, which usually in turn generates fatty liver (known medically as alcoholic hepatic steatohepatitis).
- Overweight and obesity.
- Hepatitis: A, B and C.
- Congestive heart failure.
- Glycogen storage disease.
- Infectious mononucleosis.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Rey’s syndrome.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis.
- Niemen-Pick disease.
- Hereditary fructose intolerance.
- Statuses (fatty liver caused by obesity, diabetes, and high triglycerides)
How is an inflamed liver treated?
We must bear in mind that the treatment of the inflamed liver must go through the diagnosis in the first place; that is, to know what is the cause that has caused the enlargement of the liver. Once known, a treatment is established whose objective is to resolve it or alleviate its symptoms.
Let’s take an example. In case of fatty liver, it is possible to reverse it by following a healthy and low-fat diet, practicing regular physical exercise, avoiding alcohol consumption and losing weight. In fact, in case that fatty liver has been produced by alcohol consumption, it is essential to stop so that it does not continue to be damaged.
Natural remedies for liver inflammation
From a natural point of view, it is possible to help the liver to deflate and return to its normal size. In many cases, especially when there is fat accumulation, a useful option is to purify the liver.
For this, there are certain medicinal plants that can be of great help:
- Artichoke: helps in the natural process of purifying the liver. It is also recommended in case of poor fat digestion, jaundice and lazy liver.
- Milk Thistle: Contains silymarin, which helps protect liver cells. In addition, it helps in the process of regeneration of liver cells.
- Dandelion: helps to treat inflammation of the liver, thanks to the fact that it is a depurative and very diuretic herb. It acts as a tonic, with a slight laxative effect and also helps to increase the production of bile.
- Licorice: exerts a very interesting anti-inflammatory effect, while being hepatoprotective (that is, it protects the liver naturally, especially liver cells).