An enlarged liver can be the symptom of a number of diseases related to the liver itself. It is also a symptom for some diseases such as heart conditions, certain types of leukemia, as well as the presence of some bacteria and viruses in your organism.
An adult liver normally weighs between 2.6 and 3.3 pounds (1.2 to 1.5 kg) and measures an average of 5.9 inches (15 cm) in width.
There are no symptoms that will tell you if you have an enlarged liver but there will be symptoms that indicate the underlying disease.
What symptoms are related to diseases that cause an enlarged liver condition?
- Fatigue, feeling tired for no good reason
- Muscle pains
- Pain on or around the upper right part of your belly
- Poor appetite and a sudden loss of weight
- Skin discoloration, yellowing of the skin
- Discoloration of the white part of your eyes
Among the most common causes of liver enlargement are:
- Alcoholic liver disease
- (i.e alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis)
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- A metabolic disease due to a bad lifestyle and/or diet
- Viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, D or E )
- Liver cancer, or cancer affecting the liver due to metastasis
It’s not something you probably think much about, but your liver is crucial to your body’s digestive system. Everything you consume passes through the liver including medication. You need to treat it right so it can stay healthy and do its job.
You can certainly help reduce your risk of liver disease by following these recommendations:
- Little or no alcohol. Drinking moderately or completely eliminating it as a habit will decrease the risk of an enlarged liver significantly.
- Eat healthy. Fill your diet with plant fibers, whole grains and make sure that your body is getting all the right nutrients.
- Take up to the recommended dose of any vitamins, medication, and supplements. The concentrated dose of these substances can put a big strain on your liver. Replace Vitamin C pills with an orange or lemon squeezed in some water.
- Avoid chemical usage. If you are spraying a toxic chemical in your home or any other closed area, make sure it is well ventilated. Try to leave the room as soon as possible and avoid any direct contact with the chemical. Other precautions can be helpful, such as clothing covering your whole body, a face mask and goggles.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain it. If you need to lose weight, cut back on the number of calories you eat each day and increase the amount of daily exercise. Get informed about healthy ways to lose weight and be fit.
- Use supplements with caution. Consult your doctor about the risks and benefits of dietary supplements and herbal remedies before you take them. Many of these products can be harmful to your liver, particularly those containing combinations of ingredients and marketed for body-building or weight loss. Avoid herbs that include germander, chaparral, senna, mistletoe, comfrey, ma huang, valerian root, celandine, green tea extracts and kava.