Hepatomegaly: enlarged liver. What are its causes and how is it treated?

When we talk about hepatomegaly From a medical point of view we refer to the Enlargement or enlargement of the liver beyond its normal size, so that its edges tend to exceed their limits and may cause certain discomfort.

As we saw in a previous article in which we talked about the functions of the liver, it is one of the most important organs of our body, precisely because of the great diversity of functions that it carries out: it transforms food into energy, absorbs Cholesterol, transforms fat-soluble vitamins, and eliminates alcohol, toxins and toxic substances from our body. On the other hand, we must also bear in mind that besides being one of the largest organs in our body, it is capable of regenerating quickly.

As we indicated briefly in the first lines of this note, we can consider the hepatomegaly as liver enlargement, above the limits estimated as normal depending on the age of the person. We must bear in mind that the presence of a liver palpable by the doctor does not necessarily mean the existence of a hepatomegaly, given that its size depends to a large extent on its relationship with the underlying structures.

Causes of enlarged liver

The causes that can cause the enlargement of the liver are in fact very varied, especially if we consider that this organ is involved in many functions of our body, and therefore many conditions can be affected. The most commons are:

  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Fatty liver (steatosis)
  • Hepatitis: hepatitis A, B and C
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Metastasis of cancer to the liver
  • Leukemia
  • Reye's syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis

Symptoms of enlarged liver

When the hepatomegaly tends not to be serious, in the majority of the occasions can not take place symptoms, since the liver does not present nervous endings. However, when the liver has become very enlarged it is possible to perceive certain symptoms when it begins to invade other organs, such as the pancreas or the stomach.

However, the symptoms that the hepatomegaly can cause are the following:

  • Nausea, sometimes with dizziness or vomiting.
  • Intense pain.
  • Abdominal distension.
  • Sensation of heaviness in the abdomen of the right side.
  • Jaundice (yellowish / orange coloration of the skin).
  • The color of the stool or urine may change.

Treatment of hepatomegaly

Obviously, the treatment goes through having the diagnosis that has caused the enlargement of the liver.

For example, in case of fatty liver it is possible to revert the enlargement following a healthier diet, doing physical exercise and losing weight. In case steatosis has been produced by alcohol consumption, the key is to stop drinking it. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesLiver diseases Liver

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