The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is responsible for the removal of toxins, processing cholesterol into sugar, the creation of bile for digestion and many other functions. There are several factors that can cause swelling in the liver. Some of those causes are cirrhosis, infections and disease.
One cause of cirrhosis of the liver is the abuse of alcohol, which forces the liver to overwork to remove the alcohol from your system. Over time, cirrhosis destroys liver cells. The destruction of cells causes the liver to attempt to heal itself. It is this attempt at healing that creates scar tissue and creates multiple nodules on the liver. The constant scarring and creation of multiple nodules is a factor in the liver becoming swollen.
One major infection of the liver is hepatitis. There are three forms of hepatitis: A, B and C. Hepatitis C is the most serious. This infection is contracted through direct contact with bodily fluids such as the transference of blood. The majority of people with this condition do not experience any noticeable problems until there is actual damage to the liver. The damage scars the liver, a condition that is also known as cirrhosis. Hepatitis C can lead to complete liver failure.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease happens in people who rarely drink alcoholic beverages or do not drink alcohol at all. The majority of people with this condition do not have any major medical problems. Some will experience medical problems that can lead to liver scarring and inflammation. It is this condition that causes the liver to swell and can ultimately lead to liver failure.
Leukemia is a form of cancer. White blood cells are overproduced in the bone marrow and ultimately begin to overtake red blood cells. White cells are normally responsible for fighting infections, but when leukemia has been diagnosed, the white blood cells can no longer perform their job. One symptom among many is swelling of the liver.
Polycystic liver disease is typically an inherited disease. It is characterized by the formation of cysts in the liver. The formation of cysts causes the liver to become swollen or enlarged. Liver cysts are either drained of fluids for temporary relief of pain from swelling or surgically removed. A liver transplant may also be considered in severe cases.
There are several measures that you can take to protect your liver. Use medications in recommended amounts only. Your liver is responsible for the the chemical breakdown of medications. If you take more than the recommended dosage, you are causing your liver to overwork. Avoid heavy use of alcoholic beverages; drink only small amounts on occasion. Other things that you can do for liver health is to exercise and manage your weight.