There can be many causes of a problem with
the liver...see if any of these may apply
viral infections (like Hepatitis A,B,C,etc)
fatty liver disease
auto immune disease
Cysts or tumors
and there are others.
If the cells of the liver become damaged,
the immune system of the body will
cause inflammation to develop inside the
liver. This inflammation will cause the liver
to enlarge in size. If the cause can be
stopped and the inflammation is treated..
the cells of the liver may heal. However,
if this cannot be done...then it may progress
where the liver cells start to die off and
form scar tissue inside the liver that can block
the flow of blood through the liver on its way
back to the heart. This is then known
as Cirrhosis of the liver. When the blood
cannot flow through the liver, it backs up
into the portal vein and causes pressure.
This is known as portal hypertension. It
continues to back up into smaller vessels
not used to handling this amount of blood.
These vessels may have weak spots that
can break open and cause internal bleeding.
If you throw up any blood, have blood coming
from the rectum...it is an emergency situation.
The doctor has to go in and band these
vessels, known as varies, to stop the bleeding.
The spleen will also enlarge in size because
of the blood backing up. The Doppler scan
should show the doctor how well the blood
is flowing through the liver. The liver biopsy
is the best test to see liver cell damage and
determine the cause and to see how far
advanced it is.
The blood work that the doctor does to
see if there might be a liver problem is
1 The liver enzymes will show if there is
damage to the liver cells
2. the liver function tests will show how
well the cells of the liver are able to do
the functions to keep the body well
3. viral testing to see if a virus has
entered the body and is using the liver
cells to replicate itself.
The bloating may or may not be fluid
developing in the abdominal region because
the liver cells are unable to make a special
protein, known as albumin, efficiently.
This protein is what holds fluid in our vessels.
This can leak out, when not enough is made,
and build up in the abdomen. It is known
as Ascites. The doctor can tell by either
examination or a Ct scan if that is what you have.
Usually a patient will gain weight in a short
amount of time. Fluid can also develop
in the legs and feet, etc. This fluid is
different. If someone does have Cirrhosis...
people who have this disease, tend to
hold onto sodium in their bodies. Water
stays with sodium.
If the fluid in the abdomen builds up too
much...the doctor can remove it with a
procedure known as paracentesis.
The fluid in the legs, etc...the doctor will
place the patient on a diuretic and a
lower sodium diet.
Without the blood tests results and other
testing done...it isn't possible to really
tell, here, what truly is causing this.
Best wishes to you. Hope this information
is of some help.
If this is a liver problem...you should
be with a gastroenterologist or hepatologist.
caregiver to a liver transplant patient