Weighing about 1.8 kg in males and 1.3 kg in females, the liver is the largest internal organ in the human body. It is situated on top of the intestines and below the diaphragm, right to stomach and kidney, in the upper-right portion of the abdominal cavity.
This organ helps the human body to absorb nutrients, digest food, and eliminate toxic substances. Also, it has an important role in filtering the blood coming from the digestive tract, producing proteins, and storing energy.
When liver disease develops, this organ’s capacity to perform its detoxification, metabolic, and storage functions are considerably impaired. When these important processes are not working properly, the entire human body is affected.
Different types of liver disorders include cirrhosis, hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis, Wilson disease, liver tumors, and liver abscess, just to name a few.
Alcohol is broken down by the liver. Nevertheless, if the amount of alcohol intake is too high, the liver will be overworked, and liver cells can become damaged. Overall, the alcohol-related liver disease accounts for more than one-third of liver disease deaths.
Genetics – an abnormal gene inherited from one of your parents can cause a few substances to build up in your liver, which ultimately leads to liver damage.
Prescription medicines – the side effect of certain drugs, such as – steroids, aspirin, tetracycline, and tamoxifen, may result in liver damage.
A build-up of fat within liver cells, generally occurring in overweight or obese people.
Autoimmune disorders – it may happen when your body’s immune system turns against liver cells.
A high protein diet – when you consume too much protein (like – meat, dairy products, eggs, or supplements), your liver breaks it down so it can be excreted. During the process of breaking down the amino acids, ammonia forms. High amounts of ammonia in the body affect the liver as well as the brain, that results in brain damage, confusion, and death.
Viral hepatitis – it can be caused by viruses which attack the liver. The most common form of viral hepatitis is hepatitis A, B, and C.
Note – a liver disease very rarely exhibits visible signs and symptoms until the condition has progressed to a severe stage. Some patients may experience the following symptoms:
- loss of appetite;
- significant weight loss;
- enlarged spleen;
- abdominal discomfort;
- shrunken testes and enlarged breasts, in men;
- a decreased number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets;
- overheating of the body, particularly the torso and face;
- the ends of fingers become wider or thicker;
- a tendency to bruise easily;
- mood changes, like -irritability and anger;
- swelling in your abdomen, because of a build-up of fluid known as ascites. Moreover, a swollen abdomen can point to ascites, a condition where liver malfunction may cause an imbalance of proteins, as well as fluid, builds up in the tissues.
- jaundice – it is indicated by whites of the eyes. These symptoms are caused by the damaged liver failing to adequately process bilirubin, a yellow compound which occurs when old red blood cells are broken down.
Spiritual Meaning of Liver Disease
The liver is an expression of life and is associated with religion, the recognition of the source of life (according to Dethlefsen). If you have liver problems, you should take a look at the area of your life and try to become aware of your actions and see whether they are good for you or if they are poisonous.
Do you tend to judge or be ignorant of many things and you are complaining about them? Are your ideals too high? What do you say about your relationship with the Self? Truth is simplicity, so get rid of everything that’s too much for you, and find freedom, understanding, love, and trust in yourself.
Don’t Consume Alcoholic Beverages
In addition to not drinking alcoholic beverages, never combine prescription medicines and alcohol since this combination can lead to liver failure.
A Low Sodium Diet
A low-sodium intake may be crucial in advanced liver failure since, when affected, the liver has problems excreting the excess fluid in the human body on a regular basis.
In general, the diet for liver disease includes high-fiber plants, such as – whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables and fruits with no trans-fats (usually found in processed foods) and vegetable oils.
Also, a damaged liver is having serious problems when breaking down the amino acids produced in the body from consuming animal-based foods. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Moreover, a few recent studies concluded that vitamin E helps with fatty liver disease.
Foods rich in vitamin E include – nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts), seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds), fruits (apples, mangoes, avocados, olives, cranberries, mamey sapote, blackberries), legumes (chickpeas, peas), peanuts, vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsley, carrots, taro, spinach, turnip greens, yams, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, asparagus, watercress), grains (oat bran, wheat bran, quinoa, millet, amaranth), and turmeric.