What exactly is enlarged liver and how does it manifest?
As its name says, enlarged liver is a term used for thecondition characterized by the liver of size much greater than it is normal. Themedical term for this condition is hepatomegaly, and even though it is notconsidered to be a disease, the fact is it surely indicates that someunderlying problem exists. As for the symptoms through which enlarged livermanifests, besides pain in the abdomen, other signs are fatigue and skinyellowing. It is not uncommon that the problem in question causes no symptomsat all, but if these signs are noticed, it is not recommended to ignore them; on the contrary, the doctor should be visited.
The doctor usually can detect whether there is any problemwith this organ by a simple touch, although blood tests, ultrasound, X-ray, CTscan and even biopsy are also used when it is necessary to confirm thediagnosis. The treatment depends on the underlying cause in the greatestmajority of the cases, but certain changes in the way of living and eatinghabits are necessary.
Causes of enlarged liver and risk factors
The list of the health problems that might cause enlargedliver is a bit longer, but most commonly liver diseases such as cirrhosis,hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as the type caused by infectious mononucleosis,fatty liver (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic), liver cysts, Gaucher’s disease andWilson’s disease are the culprits. Benign liver tumors, obstruction of the bile ducts orgallbladder, diabetes, and iron deposition in liver have been identified as causesas well. Various types of cancer can also cause enlarged liver, and among themare leukemia, lymphoma, and cancer of the liver, or some other part of the bodythat later spreads to this organ. As for the heart conditions that result inenlarged liver, congestive heart failure, the condition called tricuspidregurgitation, pericarditis and the blockage of certain veins that areconnected to the liver are some of the most frequent causes. Even thoughinadequate diet is not a condition, it can also lead to the development of the enlarged liver, andthe fact is that this problem can be a side effect of the use of some medications, too. Forthis reason, it is necessary to be more than cautious and careful when it comesto the use of certain herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications, nomatter how safe their use might seem to be.