When the liver cells become damaged, the immune system of the
body will respond to this damage and cause inflammation to develop
inside the liver. This will cause the liver to enlarge in size and
take on a spongy texture. It is known then as Hepatitis.
There are different things that can cause liver cell damage:
alcohol consumption, medications toxification, chemical
exposure, mushroom poisoning, auto immune disease,
metabolic or hereditary reasons, viral or parasite infections,
fatty liver disease (which can come from alcohol, high cholesterol/
triglyceride levels, obesity and other reasons), cyst/growth/tumor/cancer,
and other things.
When the liver does become enlarged, then the blood may not
flow as easily through the liver and can back up into the spleen
and cause it to enlarge, also.
The liver cells make these enzymes that the doctor tests for.
When the liver or biliary cells become damaged, the enzymes
leak out and goes higher on the blood testing results. The liver
cells do over 500 functions to keep the body well..this is just
one of them.
The location of your pain that you are feeling: between base of ribs
and belly button. This make me think that you should also have
your pancreas checked out. If this pain is referring to your back
area in the same area (stomach area)...
Cholesterol lowering drugs are statins and they are hard on the
liver (anyone who takes them has blood testing done to be sure
how the liver can handle this type of drug) Cholesterol can be
high due to the intake of food high in cholesterol (of which the
doctor may place them on a low cholesterol diet) or it can
be hereditary reasons (of which the patient is placed on them
because it is the only way to bring it down). The body does
need certain amount of cholesterol (the brain has high content
of cholesterol, the body needs it to make the membrane of
our living cells and if we don't take enough in, in our diet...
the liver will make it. However, when it gets too high...it
can clog the arteries and cause heart problems.
Most all oral medications go through the liver and the liver
cells break the medication down before it goes to the rest
of the body. When there is liver cell damage, depending
on how much damage there is to the liver cells; the doctor
has to adjust the dosage, change to another medication
easier on the liver, or stop the medications altogether.
You mentioned having an MRI...but it sounds like it was
for cardiac reasons. It doesn't sound like you had a
Abdominal MRI. The reason I mention this...is that if
you have mucus and blood in your bowel movement...
the doctor may check and see if you have an infection,IBS,
crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, or something else.
He may do a colonoscopy on you (but they do have
what is known as a Cat Scan colonoscopy where they
look at your intestine: non invasive)
All liver patients are told, NO alcohol consumption.
They need to inform the doctor of all medications taken
(including over the counter, vitamin, minerals, herbs,
supplements, prescription prescribe by other doctors, etc)
If you have pain...please contact the doctor office and
ask what medication and how much you are to take
at any given time...some over the counter pain meds are
known to affect the liver, also. If taken with alcohol...they
can cause instant liver cell damage.
I hope this info has been of some help. It may give you an
idea of any questions you need to speak to your doctor about,
before you see him/her.
caregiver to a liver transplant patient