Causes Of Enlarged Liver

Before listing and describing the causes of enlarged liver, will be useful to define what an enlarged liver is and explain why it is a dangerous liver condition.

Enlarged liver is not really a disease itself, but it’s an indication or symptom of some other health threat. Any number of disorders can cause the liver to become irritated and inflamed, and this inflammation causes the liver to swell to an abnormal size. Doctors use the medical term hepatomegaly when this happens.

Here are some disorders of the liver itself that contribute to enlargement.

Cirrhosis – Often called cirrhosis of the liver, although adding the words “of the liver” is unnecessary. Cirrhosis generally results from drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin that destroys liver cells and leads to scarring, which causes inflammation.

Hepatitis – There are a number of ways you can get hepatitis, and there are many different forms of the disease. In the majority of cases, it’s caused by a virus which is designated by a letter of the alphabet. This means you can have hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, etc. But hepatitis can also be caused by overuse of medications, vitamins and supplements. There is furthermore a form of hepatitis known as alcohol-induced hepatitis.

Fatty liver disease – Fat builds up in the liver, interfering with liver function and causing inflammation. This is an extremely common liver condition which has recently overtaken cirrhosis as the number one liver disorder.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – This disease has the same effect on the liver as hepatitis and cirrhosis, but occurs in those who drink little alcohol.

Wilson’s disease – When you have Wilson’s disease, there’s too much copper building up in your liver, brain and other organs of the body. Your body needs copper, but too much copper can cause irreversible liver damage.

Polycystic liver disease – Multiple cysts grow in the liver, which causes hardening of the liver tissue. As more cysts grow, the liver gets bigger.

Obstruction of the gall bladder or bile ducts, and blockage of veins that drain the liver.

Certain common infections like mononucleosis and malaria may also contribute to causing an enlarged liver.

Noncancerous liver tumors – These usually these don’t cause symptoms and are harmless. Treatment is rarely needed.

Liver cancer – Of course, this is an extremely serious and life-threatening disease that also causes liver enlargement

There are a lot of other diseases and conditions not related to the liver itself that are causes of liver enlargement. Metastatic cancer, which is cancer that spreads to the liver from another part of the body, contributes to liver enlargement, as do leukemia and lymphoma.

Heart and blood vessel issues are among the most frequent causes of enlarged liver. Problems that reduce circulation cause organ problems of all sorts, especially in the liver.

Certain common infections like mononucleosis and malaria may also contribute to causing an enlarged liver.

You can lower your risk of hepatomegaly by following some simple rules.

Avoid alcohol completely if you can. But if you choose to drink, do so moderately. Never take medications when you drink.

Make sure you only take the recommended dose of medications and drugs. Be especially careful when taking multiple medications simultaneously. Consult your doctor about any herbal supplements and vitamins you take. Some of these can damage the liver. Certain combination’s can be dangerous, especially vitamins A, D, E and K

Handle aerosol cleaning products, insecticides and other toxic chemicals carefully. Make sure you use them only in a well-ventilated area. These may damage liver cells.

Above all, eat a heart-healthy, low-fat diet and exercise regularly. Doing so will not only keep your heart in great shape, but will also help you avoid the causes of enlarged liver.