An enlarged liver or one that is much larger than normal is called Hepatomegaly. There are several causes of liver enlargement, so the term “Hepatomegaly” does not refer to a specific disease but to a range of conditions.
Anyone diagnosed with an enlarged liver could also have a liver disease, an infection, cancer, a genetic disease, toxin poisoning or abnormalities of the blood vessel or heart. Most of the symptoms that lead to hepatomegaly can damage the normal functioning of the liver and the overall body systems.
Usually, the conditions causing this disease are seen as medical emergencies. If you do display symptoms of this disease, see your doctor immediately.
Signs and Symptoms
By itself, an enlarged liver may not have definite symptoms. However, if it is due to a medical condition, you could experience the following symptoms:
- Aching muscles
- Pain in the abdomen
- Swollen legs and feet
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bruising easily
- Large abdomen
Hepatomegaly is an indication that the liver tissue isn’t working optimally. Several diseases can cause hepatomegaly. They are:
- Viral hepatitis
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
- Cancerous and Benign Tumours
- Heart and Blood Vessel Abnormalities
- Genetic Diseases
- Liver Cancer
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Autoimmune Diseases
People are at greater risk of developing hepatomegaly if they or their families already have pre-existing history of:
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Liver Cancers
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Large doses of supplements, medicines and vitamins
- Eating a diet full of fat and sugar
Certain lifestyle factors can also increase one’s chances of developing this condition. They are:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Unprotected sex
- Blood transfusions and tattoos
- Traveling to high-risk malarial countries
- Consuming herbs such as mistletoe, comfrey, valerian, black cohosh and ma huang
You can prevent developing hepatomegaly by doing the following:
- ing a nutritious diet full of vegetables, fruit and whole grains
- Drinking alcohol seldom
- Taking medications, supplements or vitamins according to doctor’s instructions in the doses prescribed
- If diabetic, keep your blood sugar under control
- Use chemicals, aerosol cleaners and toxic substances carefully and after wearing protective gear
- Keep to a healthy weight
- Stop smoking
- Use herbs carefully. Avoid herbs such as germander, penny royal, kava, greater celandine, etc
Hepatomegaly usually shows up in a routine medical exam. To ascertain the cause of hepatomegaly, your doctor will ask for some blood tests to be done. To have a clearer picture of your liver, he may ask for a CT scan, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound. He will check for ductile problems by using a scope or ERCP or MRCP. And he may want to rule out the possibility of liver cancer by doing a liver biopsy.
Depending on the underlying disorders causing liver enlargement, the doctor will decide a course of treatment. He may recommend any of the following:
- Liver failure treatment or for hepatitis C or other infections
- Treatment for liver cancer such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy
- In case of liver damage, liver transplant may be recommended
- Liver treatment for metastatic cancer
- Treatment for leukaemia or lymphoma or leukemia, on the basis of overall health, extent of cancer spread and type of cancer
Preparing for Your Appointment
While preparing for your doctor’s appointment, it would help if you made a list of all the medication specifically, note it down so that you remember.
It would be a great help to you to take a friend or family member along so that he or she can fill in any gaps that there might be in the narration of your condition. Now, you can begin to ask your doctor your own questions, such as:
- What could be causing my problem?
- Please list the tests I need to have done.
- Is this a temporary condition or life-long?
- What are the likely treatments for this?
- Can you suggest any alternatives to the basic treatment approach?
- Can I manage this condition with all my other medical issues?
Any lowering of symptoms or recovery from it depends largely on the cause of hepatomegaly. If it is detected in the early stages, you stand a better chance of recovery. Medication helps reduce the symptoms of hepatomegaly, particularly in the cases of liver failure and congestive heart failure.
Lifestyle & Others
After the doctor is sure that you suffer from hepatomegaly, he will also recommend certain lifestyle changes, apart from medication. These include:
- Completely giving up alcohol
- Eating nutritious food
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
WHY Rela Hospital
The types and severity of liver diseases are so varied and intense that it needs the firm hand of a liver specialist to treat people. For a liver disease such as hepatomegaly, one must put oneself in the hands of an excellent liver treatment hospital in India, such as Dr. Rela Hospital, Chennai, India.
Built to international standards with state-of-the-art equipment and specialists drawn in from various excellent hospitals worldwide, this institute renders the best medical service in the field of liver disease treatment. For example, the treatment of hepatomegaly is done by super specialists who come with many years of experience and expertise in renowned hospitals abroad.
With the setting up of hospitals catering to niche specializations, this medical centre stands apart also for being led by a world-renowned liver treatment specialist, Dr. Rela. The institute also boasts of having the best enlarged liver treatment doctor in India, so no matter what your liver ailment, you will rest assured get the best treatment for it.
Today, Dr. Rela Institute is recognized as one of the best liver transplantation hospitals in Chennai India for its standard of medical treatment and nursing care.
Should you ever need to be treated for liver disease, get in touch with us at +91-9384681770