What damages the Liver?

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The liver is an organ located below the rib cage on the right side of abdomen. It is the second largest organ in the body. It performs multitasks duties in the body including digestion, metabolism, removal of toxins and storage of nutrients.

Several activities, lifestyles and health conditions can unwittingly result in liver damage, some of these are:

Excessive consumption of alcohol: alcoholic contents are injurious to the liver. Alcohol is toxic to the body which the liver tries to convert to less toxic thereby neglecting other essential functions it is expected to perform. Excessive alcohol in the liver causes fatty liver disease, inflammation of the liver and cirrhosis.

Obesity is a health condition which exposes people to having liver problem. There is excess amount of body fat which tends to accumulate around the liver leading to disease condition of the liver known as a fatty liver disease in obese people. Obesity has also been associated with cirrhosis of liver and liver failure.

The risk of developing liver problem is high in diabetic patient. People with type 2 diabetes are vulnerable to gaining excessive abdominal weight which causes the liver to build up fat internally which eventually results in fatty liver disease.

High salt consumption increases the risk of blood pressure, fluid build-up in the liver and fatty liver disease. It is advisable to minimize the intake of salt.

While smoking cigarette smoke in itself has no direct effect on how the liver function, however, there are harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke that raises the oxidative stress of the system after reaching the liver leading to irreversible damages to the liver cells.

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Liver may be damaged as a result of infections and suffering from chronic illness such as viral infections like hepatitis A, B and C as well as autoimmune hepatitis attacking the liver cells directly leading to inflammation of the liver. An untreated hepatitis often leads to cirrhosis of the liver (hardening and scarring of liver tissue) and eventually results in liver failure.

Prolong use of certain medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-inflammation and pain relievers have significant negative effect on the liver. It is advisable to read the side effects and adverse effects of those medications before taking them.

Liver may also be damaged especially in people receiving chemotherapy for cancer. The adverse effect of these drugs impacted negatively on the liver.

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