Liver Foundation, West Bengal

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FAQ

  • Liver is the largest organ, weighing about 1.2-1.5 kg. It is chocolate colored, situated on the right upper part of the abdominal cavity.

  • i) Metabolism: It metabolizes carbohydrate, proteins, fat, drugs, alchohol and vitamines
    ii) Detoxification: It detoxicates toxins from the body.
    iii) Synthesis: It synthesizes protein - albumin, globulin and waste products like urea, NPN, uric acid etc.
    iv) Storage: It stores glycogen, iron, copper, Vitamin A, D, B12, vit K and folate
    v) Excretion: It execrates bile salt & bilirubin.
    vi) Digestion of food materials

  • Hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver which causes damage to the hepatocytes with subsequent cell death. Causes: 
    I) Viral infection—HAV, HBV, HCV, HDV, HEV, EBV, CMV, Herpes etc.
    II) Autoimmune Disorder- Autoimmune chronic hepatitis, toxins, drugs (INH, Refampicin, CPZ & Halothane) and alcohol.
    III) Miscellaneous: Wilson’s disease, α1 – Anti trypsin deficiency.

  • i) Avoid medication without medical guidance.
    ii) Avoid alcohol consumption.
    iii) Regular surveillance with blood tests.
    iv) Emphasize food hygiene to prevent other viral hepatitis. eg. Hepatitis A & E.
    v) Balance diet should be taken & over exhaustion should be avoided.
    vi) Apply proper wound care after injury.
    vii) Screen family members & sexual partners for HBV & consider vaccination.
    viii) Avoid sexual promiscuity; use of condom can reduce the risk for transmission.
    ix) Maintain personal hygiene; don’t share personal items with others eg. Razor, toothbrush etc.
    x) No sharing of syringe & needle.

  • i) Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
    ii) Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
    iii) Hepatitis D Virus (HDV)
    iv) Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)
    v) Hepatitis E Virus (HEV)

  • Symptoms: 
    i) Headache
    ii) Malaise
    iii) Anorexia
    iv) Nausea/Vomiting
    v) Upper abdominal discomfort
    vi) Yellowish discolouration of conjunctiva and urine
    vii) Itching

    Signs:
    i) Enlarged Liver.
    ii) Tender Liver (Pain on pressure)
    iii) Jaundice
    iv) Palpable cervical lymph node (Occasional)
    v) Enlarged spleen (Occasional)
    vi) Serum sickness syndrome with skin rashes & arthralgia (rare)

  • It is a sign manifested by yellowish discoloration of skin sclera & mucous membrane resulting from increased bilirubin concentration in the body fluids.

  • Obstructive Jaundice: It is due to obstruction to bile flow.
    Hepatocellular Jaundice: It is due to damage of liver cells.
    Haemolytic Jaundice: It is due to breakdown of RBC.

  • i) Be active and do everything.
    ii) Don’t sit idle and be a victim of depression.
    iii) Take all kinds of food without restriction.
    iv) Consult your doctor regarding intake on the quantity of salt and meat.
    v) Take rest if you feel tired.
    vi) Do not opt for any liver tonic that is popular in the market, it may be harmful.
    vii) Be alert and cautious if suffering from fever and consult a doctor.
    viii) Please take advice from doctor regarding intake of medicine.

  • When the liver is damaged with persistant inflammation the liver cells will die. Some other cells (stellate) and fibers (collagen) encircle the dead cells and all become fibrosed and ineffective. This type of agglomeration of dead liver cells, fibers and stellate cells will lead to cirrhosis of liver, resulting in irregular shape of liver.