The liver performs hundreds of important functions in the body, from aiding absorption of food to eliminating toxic substances. Normally, an adult liver is about the size of a small football.
However, if your liver enlarges, it usually warns you of an underlying health issue like cancer, hepatitis or congestive heart failure.
If you have an enlarged liver, various disorders such as liver cirrhosis, fatty liver and liver infections usually manifest. When the liver becomes inflamed or infected, it loses its ability to perform many important bodily functions.
As a result, you’ll probably experience many health problems like jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Many conditions are responsible for enlarging your liver size. These are the most common:
- Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B and C are contagious viral infections which enlarge your liver and lead to various liver complications. If you have been diagnosed with any form of hepatitis, take necessary measures to reduce the severity of the viral infection.
- Alcohol abuse: Excess intake of alcohol or abusing alcohol disturbs the normal functioning of the liver and can lead to enlargement. In addition, too much alcohol can also lead to other health problems like heart disease, sleep problems etc.
- Liver cancer: If you have any chronic infection related to hepatitis B or C, you are at higher risk of developing liver cancer, and an enlarged liver may result.
- Liver disease associated with fat accumulation: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease includes a range of abnormal conditions such as accumulation of excess fat in the liver, formation of fibrosis and also enlargement of liver.
Follow these effective ways to protect your liver
If you are concerned about the health of your liver, follow these simple measures to reduce the chances of enlarged liver:
- Avoid unhealthy foods that contain high levels of fat and sugar. If you are suffering from fatty liver disease, intake of excess fat can aggravate the condition.
- Be aware that hepatitis C is a viral infection that spreads through the blood. It can be easily acquired through body piercing, contaminated needles and tattooing.
- Limit your alcohol intake: As already mentioned, alcohol abuse is the main culprit in causing enlarged liver. Stay away from alcohol as much as possible if you have a weak liver.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and include essential nutrients daily to protect your liver from damage. Limit the amount of oil you use when preparing food. This will not only help you to protect your liver, but also helps you to stay healthy and fit.