Fatty Liver vs Cirrhosis

Phases of Liver Damage and Liver Failure

Liver Damage comes in several phases. It is important to know these phases so you can avoid potentially life threatening liver failure later on.

The first phase of liver damage is often fatty liver. This condition has officially occurred when the liver is 5-10% fat by weight. While fatty liver does not directly harm you, it can lead to liver swelling and eventual cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is irreversible scarring of the liver. This scarring usually occurs after long periods of untreated liver disease. The worst part of this condition is that it can lead to total liver failure, a life threatening condition if a transplant cannot be found.

In the process of getting these two conditions, there are several things you can do to stop the cycle and restore your liver health. These include:

  • Modifying Your Diet
  • Exercising More Often
  • Not Drinking Alcohol
  • Stopping all non-prescription medication
  • Curing underlying diseases that are causing liver disease

Because underlying diseases such as Hepatitis can be causing liver damage, you should always talk to your doctor about solving liver disease as soon as possible.

Understanding Liver Failure Symptoms and Liver Pain

Liver Pain can end a good day fast. Plus, it usually indicates a more serious underlying condition that must be dealt with. This article will explore some of the possible causes of liver pain, then list various cures for them.

The liver is located in the upper right abdominal area, at the bottom of the rib cage. As the body’s largest internal organ, the liver cannot be ignored. Its functions are essential and are not replaceable by any other organ. It is responsible for filtering the blood, aiding digestion, and transferring fat to blood glucose for energy.

1. parietal peritoneum 2. gall bladder 3. liver 4. stomach 5. greater curvature 6. greater omentum 7. hepatic (colic) flexure 8. haustrae
Does the Liver Experience Pain?

When looking at liver dysfunction and pain, it’s important to note that the liver itself does not experience pain. Instead, the liver will inflame and press against the membrane around itself. This can cause sharp or dull pain in the upper right abdomen. Another possibility is that you have gall stones. The gall bladder is located right next to the liver, and gall stones could cause very serious pain!

Any time you experience pain, your body is trying to tell you something is wrong. It could be liver scarring, cancer, inflammation, gall stones, or any one of the various other diseases. Because of this, it is critical that you see your doctor as soon as you experience liver problems. Only a doctor can diagnose and cure more serious medical conditions that could be causing liver damage.

The solution – Modifying Your Diet

Please Bear This In Mind, You Must Find The Exact Food That Meets The Following Criteria:

  1. The food must be free of Hydrazines and Amines that have a potent aggravating effect on your liver
  2. The veggies you eat must not be from the Nightshade family (with certain exceptions). These can make you sick within hours.
  3. The food must not contain L-cavanine. A couple of large scale studies in monkeys proved that L-cavanine causes production of auto-antibodies in monkeys. Similar results were found in trials involving human volunteers. these volunteers completely recovered when sources of L-cavanine was removed from their menu. We must completely resolve the autoimmune aspect of a damaged liver. (SOURCE: Clinical trials (Lancet, 1981))
  4. The food must not contain ginkgolic acid, which was found to have significant immunological reactions in the lymph nodes. SOURCE: Koch E, Jaggy H, Chatterjee SS)
  5. The food must have a gentle alkalizing and soothing effect on the pH levels in our body.
  6. The food must not interfere with the ability of our buffer systems to regulate the pH levels.
  7. Properly shaped protein is one of the precursors of liver cirrhosis management. The food we eat must not interfere with the protein metabolism and the shape they take as a result.
  8. Calcium levels balance is crucial for liver cirrhosis remission. Wrong food you eat every days forms alkaline ash. To neutralize this, your body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves to supply your phosphate buffer system. The end result is lowered calcium in your body, fragile bones and teeth and an autoimmune reaction.
  9. The food must not leave alkaline ash behind.
  10. The food must not be estrogenic or increase estrogen flow.
  11. The food must not contribute to the production of prostaglandin F2-alphathat is a precursor for liver inflammation.
  12. Copper lurks from your kitchen and your supermarket. When it gets into your body it has a strong estrogen-boosting effect and is a Zinc antagonist. Fighting estrogen dominance and maintaining healthy levels of Zinc are two of the basic principles of the Ezra protocol.
  13. The food must not be copper rich.
  14. The food must not be rich in phytoestrogens.
  15. The foods that you eat must not be a direct result of a hormone charged process in nature.
  16. The food must not contribute to depletion of vitamin B levels.
  17. The food must have a gentle soothing effect on the gallbladder.
  18. The food must not be rich in phytic acid which can lock Zinc from being absorbed.
  19. Must not contain high levels of Aluminum.
  20. The food must contribute to the right balance between the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. This is a very tricky and sensitive matter.
  21. You must learn to recognize foods that might be grown using petroleum based fertilizers.
  22. You must learn the exact truth about the connection between the food you eat, Vitamin D and fatty liver. There are so many misconceptions regarding this and only one simple truth.

So, You See There’s A Clutter Of 20 Rules That Are Hard To Make Sense Of Unless Somebody Does It All For You.

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Liver Cancer and Treatment Options

Approximately 10% of fatty liver disease progress to hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer of the liver). However, this figure is often lower in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

When the hepatocytes become non-functional after displacement and loss of its contents to triglycerides, inflammatory processes may take place leading to injury to the cells. Any attempt at healing may result in fibrosis and scaring of the liver. Furthermore, blood and nerve supplies to these affected cells may be limited or totally severed leading to death and necrosis of the part of the liver affected. This stage is known as steatohepatic phase (Cirrhosis). Cirrhosis is one of the major causes of liver cancer.

Liver cancer is the fifth most common but fatal cancer in the world. Its prevalence is higher in Asia and Alaska than in any other part of the world. The prognosis of this condition is often very poor except when it is detected early enough and with prompt intervention. Occurrence of primary liver cancer (originating from the liver cells) is lower than secondary carcinoma (metastatic liver cancer).

Treatment modalities

Liver cancers are often advanced before detention due to its asymptomatic nature. Therefore, most patients barely survive beyond five years after treatment which often involves:

  • Surgical removal of affected parts if the cancer is localized in a particular region. The liver cells have the ability to reproduce and replace lost portion but this is not often achieved in most situation due to rapid metastases to other parts.
  • Liver Transplantation: a larger portion of the liver may be removed and the residual portion grafted with harvested part from a suitable donor.
  • Destruction of affected cells either with radiation therapy, cryotherapy or chemotherapy to halt its spread to unaffected parts.
  • Embolization: method of limiting blood supply to affected cells to inhibit metastases to healthy cells. However, this may be challenging because of the huge blood supply to the liver.

Many more treatment options are being invented to improve and prolong the lives of liver cancer victims.

Causes of Fatty Liver

The pre-morbid statuses of people with fatty liver disease are often used to determine the causative factor of their condition irrespective of the presenting type. The major causes of fatty liver diseases have been researched and found to be either one or more of the following which directly or indirectly lead to deposition and accumulation of fatty acids in the liver:

  1. Alcoholism: it is alarming to know that over 80% of alcohol consumers develop fatty liver disease, however, only a fewer percentage may actually develop complications which is largely dependent on heredity and metabolic capacity of each alcoholic. Alcohol causes rapid accumulation of fatty acids in the liver.
  2. Diabetes: insulin resistance in diabetics has been strongly linked to the development of fatty liver due to accumulation of fatty acids in the liver released from adipose tissues.
  3. Obesity: excessive consumption of calories in diets and reduced physical activities results in fat storage due to imbalance in energy consumption and expenditure. The liver cells are one of the targets for fat deposition. Fatty liver is present in almost all obese people but like the alcoholics, only a few may manifest symptoms and develop complications.
  4. Impaired fat metabolism: any defect in the process of fat metabolism may lead to excessive storage of fat in the liver.
  5. Rapid weight loss: either due to extreme fad dieting, malnutrition or severe illness may stimulate fat deposition; however, studies are underway to backup this claim.
  6. Drugs: certain drugs such as antiviral, tetracycline, tamoxifen, corticosteroids, methrotrexate have been implicated in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in some patients.

In addition to these, some factors can predispose an individual to develop fatty liver disease irrespective of the cause:

  • Heredity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity

Signs And Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease progresses asymptomatically in almost all sufferers until it is accidentally discovered during routine medical check-up or investigation for a different ailment. Secondly, most of the signs and symptoms are often mild, non-specific, and vary depending on the stage of the disease. The patients usually overlook these indicators until they begin to interfere with activities of daily living. Most common signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease are:

  1. Pain: this is one of the earliest symptoms of this condition. It is said to occur as a result of stretching of hypertrophic cells which irritate the pain receptor nerves in the liver.
  2. Anorexia (loss of appetite
  3. Nausea: This may be mild or severe and can be non specific.
  4. Vomiting: expulsion of ingested food mixed with bile.
  5. Abdominal discomfort: Patients refer to this as ‘queasiness’ which may be generalized or specific.
  6. Jaundice: this is an alarming sign that often indicate presence of liver malfunction.
  7. 7.    Malaise
  8. Fever: Fever may be due to inflammation which occurs at a later stage of the disease.
  9. Ascites: Abdominal distention due to excessive fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity mostly seen in hepatic disorders. This is noticed at the later stage of the disease.
  10.  Spider angiomas: tortuous veins appearing like web-like structures present on the surface of the distended abdomen of people with Ascites.
  11.  Hepatomegaly: An enlargement of the liver. In the early stage the liver can be enlarged and felt when palpated during physical examination, but it is often smooth and non tender. However, in the later stage of this condition, it becomes hard and uneven.
  12.  Pruritus: General body itching caused by excessive bilirubin in the body (jaundice).

It is important to know that a definitive diagnosis cannot be made with a single complaint of any of the above listed signs and symptoms. A diagnosis of fatty liver disease can only be trusted when a histology report of a liver biopsy specimen is positive and laboratory investigations reveal elevated liver enzymes in addition to triglyceride level above 10%.

Fatty Liver Disease

People are often filled with fear and anxiety when they are diagnosed with conditions of the liver probably due to the important functions the liver plays in the human body and unfavorable prognosis of most liver conditions. The liver is the second largest organ in the body after the skin. Almost all bodily functions are directly or indirectly dependant on the liver.

Fatty liver disease is a medical condition which occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of fatty acids and glycerol (triglycerides) in the liver cells (hepatocytes). Although the liver cells contain an acceptable amount of fatty deposit considered ‘normal’, an excessive deposit of these fatty substances leads to this condition often referred to as ‘steatosis’.

Unlike most liver diseases, fatty liver is reversible with appropriate treatment and lifestyle modification; sufferers can achieve total cure and resume normal life. However, when left untreated or when there is an underlying debilitating illness, the condition may become complicated and prove fatal.

Prevalence of fatty liver disease

Many researches and studies have been conducted to determine the epidemiology of this condition and their results could be summarized as follows:

  • It affects between 2%-30% of the world population irrespective of age, gender and ethnicity.
  • More common among obese people
  • Over 80% of alcoholics suffer from this condition
  • It affects more men than women.
  • It affects one third of the American population.
  • It is higher in older adults and postmenopausal women.
  • The prevalence is higher in Hispanic and Asian but lowest in Black.
  • It affects 2%-12% of children most of which are obese.
  • The risk increases in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

 Pathophysiology of Fatty Liver Disease

The disease follows a similar pattern irrespective of the causative factor. With accumulation of triglycerides in the hepatocytes there is a displacement of the cellular contents especially the nucleus and an increase in the cell size (macrovesicular hypertrophy) which causes the cells to undergo several changes and becomes non-functional. This stage is often reversible with the elimination of causative factors.

Classification of Fatty Liver Disease

There are primarily two types of fatty liver disease. This classification is majorly dependent on the causative factors.

1.   Alcoholic fatty liver disease

Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) is a disorder of the liver associated with consumption of alcohol and it is the major contributing factor to development of liver disease in developed countries. It often leads to more severe complications if alcohol consumption is not curbed.

Alcohol poses a major threat to the liver than any other agent because the liver has to detoxify over 70% of alcohol ingested into the body each time. During this process there is formation and accumulation of triglycerides and toxins which overloads the liver within a short time. There is usually inflammation of the cells after the accumulation of triglycerides and toxins which any attempt at healing will result is fibrosis and scarring of the hepatocytes which can progress to cirrhosis if not checked.

2.   Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

This is the most common liver disease found in people who do not consume alcohol. There is a growing concern about the increasing prevalence of this disorder which results when there are excessive fatty acids in the liver, thus hampering the normal function of this important organ. The major causes of this disease are:

  • Diabetes (insulin resistance)
  • Obesity
  • Impaired fat metabolism
  • Medications
  • Reye’s Syndrome in children
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormone therapy

When the formation of triglycerides is high due to excessive fat intake and processes that induce production of this substance, most of it get accumulated in the liver causing much damage. The changes in the liver caused by these agents are not totally different from alcoholic fatty liver disease only that the onset may be slower and complications may be milder.