Hepatomegaly: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
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A person who has hepatomegaly has an enlarged liver. The liver is the largest organ found inside of your body. It is beneficial to your body in several ways:
glycogen is a storage form for sugar in the body.
combat the spread of illnesses
generate proteins as well as hormones.
regulate blood coagulation, degrade drugs and poisons, and eliminate toxins.
The liver is the only internal organ that can grow back after it has been surgically removed, which is why it is possible to donate a living liver. If you give some of your liver to a transplant recipient, it will grow back to its normal size. The component that was transplanted will also continue to expand.
If you have an enlarged liver, it may indicate that you have one of the following conditions:
cancer related to liver illness, such as leukaemia
a hereditary disorder characterised by abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels
an illness or poisoning caused by toxins
There are a number of symptoms that, when combined, can create hepatomegaly and impede the ability of the liver to function and aid the body.
Even while hepatomegaly should always prompt a medical review, not all of the illnesses that could be causing it are regarded to be life-threatening situations. If you see any signs or symptoms of an enlarged liver, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
What are the indications and indications that you might have hepatomegaly?
It’s possible that an enlarged liver won’t cause any symptoms at all on its own. On the other hand, if your enlarged liver is the result of a medical problem, you may encounter dangerous symptoms such as the following:
muscle aches jaundice, which is characterised by a yellowing of the skin and eyes
a lack of appetite, weariness, itching, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or mass
puffiness in the lower limbs and feet
Weight loss leads to an increase in abdominal circumference
Visit your primary care provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should call 911 or seek immediate medical attention:
significant discomfort in the stomach region together with fever and jaundice
bloody or coffee-ground vomit shortness of breath black, tarry stools or bright red blood in stools bloody or coffee-ground vomit shortness of breath shortness of breath
The presence of these symptoms constitutes a serious medical emergency.
What are the underlying conditions that lead to hepatomegaly?
Hepatomegaly is frequently an indication that the tissue found within the liver is not operating as it should be. In addition, the usage of some drugs, such as statins and amiodarone, has been linked to liver damage.
Common causes include:
liver cancer, or cancer that grows from within the liver heart and blood vessel abnormalities, or conditions that block the veins that drain the liver or bring it blood cirrhosis, or advanced damage and scarring of the liver due to toxins like alcohol viral hepatitis (most commonly A, B, or C), obstructive sleep apnea liver cirrhosis, or advanced damage and scarring of the liver due to toxins like alcohol liver cancer, or cancer that grows from within
It is also possible for congestive heart failure to be the source of blood pooling in the hepatic veins. These are the veins that are responsible for assisting in the removal of blood from the liver. If they are allowed to build up, the liver will become swollen and congested as a result. The medical term for this condition is congestive hepatomegaly.
The following are some of the less prevalent causes of hepatomegaly:
multiple myeloma, which is a type of blood cancer of the bone marrow that is specific to plasma cells lymphoma, which is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system leukaemia, which is a type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow.
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Hemochromatosis is the accumulation of iron in the liver.
The condition is known as Wilson’s disease, also known as copper buildup in the liver
bile duct or gallbladder obstruction, or backup of bile and inflammation within the liver, often from gallstones hepatic cysts, or fluid-filled sacs within the liver that can have a variety of causes toxic hepatitis, or liver inflammation due to chemical poisoning toxic hepatitis, or a disorder that causes fatty substances to build up in the liver hepatic cysts, or fluid-filled sacs within the liver that can have a variety of
It is possible for your liver to develop growths as a result of some infections as well as certain medical problems. There are two types of growths that can occur in the liver: benign and malignant (cancer). In most cases, the size of your liver will rise as a direct result of any growth.
What are some of the potential causes of hepatomegaly?
Hepatomegaly is more likely to develop in certain individuals due to factors in their genetic makeup. If you or a member of your family has a history of any of the following conditions, your risk may be higher:
autoimmune conditions, in particular, those that impact the liver, inflammatory bowel illness
liver illness that is chronic
malignancies of the liver
sickle cell disease
There is a correlation between a person’s way of life and their likelihood of developing hepatomegaly. These aspects of one’s lifestyle include:
excessive alcohol consumption
tattoos, blood transfusions, and unprotected sexual activity, all of which put you at risk for HIV and hepatitis B and C engaging in sexual activity when travelling to a foreign country where there is a danger of malaria
consuming medicinal plants such as ma huang, comfrey, and mistletoe
If you are concerned about your chances of developing hepatomegaly, you should discuss your worries with your primary care physician. Always make sure to keep your primary care provider informed about any herbal or over-the-counter supplements you take.
Your physician will diagnose hepatomegaly in what way?
Your liver is an organ in the shape of a triangle. It can be found directly beneath your diaphragm, along the bottom border of your right rib cage. If your physician can feel an increase in the size of your liver during a physical examination, you may have an enlarged liver. The texture of a normal liver cannot be felt with the fingers.
As you get older, both the size and weight of your liver will normally grow. Measurement of the liver in children is often performed by slicing through the organ’s thickest portion from the top to the bottom. The length of an adult liver is used to measure its size.
One study from 2003
In order to determine the typical width of an adult liver, Reliable Source utilised ultrasound technology. The information shown here was compiled from the responses of 2,080 individuals ranging in age from 18 to 88 years old. Only 11% of the participants in this study had livers that were more than 16 millimetres in size (cm).
The standard size of the liver, which varies according to age and can be:
6.4 centimetres for one to three months
7.6 centimetres during the next 4 to 9 months
8.5 centimetres for one to five years
0.5 inches for children aged 5 to 11 years
12 to 16 years old: between 11.5 and 12.1 cm
Adult women have a height range of 13.5 to 1.7 centimetres.
14.5 cm +/- 1.6 cm for mature men
The size of your liver can be affected not only by your body shape and weight but also by your gender and sexuality. When he or she examines your liver for any signs of hepatomegaly, your physician will take these factors into consideration.
In order to determine the cause of your hepatomegaly, your physician may run a number of different tests, including the following:
a full blood count is performed to detect any abnormalities in the number of blood cells.
enzymes from the liver used for assessing liver function
a non-invasive method of evaluating abdominal organs, an abdominal X-ray is a type of X-ray study.
a computed tomography (CT) scan to get high-resolution images of the abdomen
MRI for the purpose of obtaining high-resolution pictures of particular abdominal organs
The evaluation of the liver and the other abdominal organs using ultrasound, which makes use of sound waves
If a physician has reason to suspect a more serious illness, they may advise their patient to undergo a liver biopsy. A liver biopsy is a surgical procedure in which a tiny sample of tissue from the patient’s liver is removed for further analysis under a microscope.
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What are some of the potential issues that can arise from hepatomegaly?
It is highly improbable that you would experience the sensation of having an enlarged liver. But because injury to your liver can create an accumulation of fluid within your abdomen, you may notice that your stomach protrudes further than it normally would. This is because of the accumulation of fluid.
There is a possibility that you will also have other symptoms, such as jaundice, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. If you see any of the signs or symptoms of hepatomegaly, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.
Your liver is an important organ in your body. If you want to keep your liver in good health, the greatest thing you can do is listen to your doctor’s advice about how to live a healthy lifestyle. This could involve engaging in greater physical activity, reducing the amount of alcohol you consume, and eating a diet that is more well-rounded.
What kinds of medical interventions can be used to treat hepatomegaly?
The underlying conditions that are causing your enlarged liver will determine the therapy options that are available to you. There is a possibility that your physician will recommend the following treatments:
drugs and treatments for liver failure or infections such as hepatitis C chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation for liver cancer a liver transplant for liver damage medications and therapies for liver failure or infections such as hepatitis C
therapy of the primary tumour in patients with metastatic cancer treatment for lymphoma or leukaemia, depending on the type of cancer, the degree to which it has spread, and your overall health cessation of the use of alcohol or any other substances
Once your doctor has confirmed that you have hepatomegaly, they will most likely recommend that you make changes to your lifestyle to improve your liver’s health. These are the following:
Avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages
maintaining a balanced diet
engaging in regular exercise
If you are overweight, you should work on losing weight.
What are some ways to avoid getting hepatomegaly?
There are numerous aspects of one’s way of life that can contribute to the development of hepatomegaly. Keeping these things under control can help lower the likelihood that you will develop a fatty liver.
The following are some options available to you:
Adopt a healthy way of living, and make sure to keep your weight under check.
If you have diabetes, you need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.
Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink or think about quitting completely. If your consumption level is too high, your physician will be able to let you know.
Consult your physician before beginning to take vitamin supplements because they could cause your liver to experience side effects.
Talk to your primary care provider about any herbal supplements you might be interested in taking. Many herbs that are touted as helping to prevent anxiety, lose weight, or develop muscle might instead cause damage to your liver.
If your job requires you to work with chemicals, such as pesticides or aerosolized cleansers, you should always follow the instructions given to you by your employer for safe handling.
What kind of prognosis may we expect for this condition?
The underlying cause of your hepatomegaly will determine the prognosis for recovery and the degree to which your symptoms will improve. If your doctor catches the hepatomegaly in its early stages, you may have a higher chance of recovering from it.
There are a variety of medications that can help alleviate the signs and symptoms of illnesses such as liver failure and congestive heart failure.
Sometimes the signs of hepatomegaly won’t show up until much later in the disease’s progression. A severe injury to the liver might result in problems that last a lifetime.