Liver Disease Treatment

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As is the case with finding the root cause of liver disease, finding an appropriate treatment largely depends on the type of liver disease a person has. There are three main types of liver disease treatments: condition-specific, transplants and time. Because the liver performs several essential jobs within the body, such as filtering the blood, aiding digestion and storing important vitamins for later use, only a qualified doctor should create a treatment plan for the organ.

Condition-Specific Treatments

Some types of liver disease require a specific type of treatment. For those with alcoholic liver disease, abstinence from alcohol is a crucial part of treatment. Adequate nutrition is also needed to help the liver heal. Those afflicted by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (frequently a result of obesity), a treatment course involves gradual weight loss and insulin sensitizers. Those with haemochromatosis (sometimes called iron overload) may be treated with regularly scheduled bloodlettings or through a prescription medication that helps iron leave the body. Genetic conditions, such as the copper-retaining Wilson’s disease, are treated with a combination of diet adjustments and medical procedures that reduce the effects of the condition. If you have a liver disease, speak to your doctor about what specific treatment courses can reduce and repair the damage already done.

Liver Transplants

Sometimes, liver disease goes on for too long and the damage to the liver cannot be reversed. Without a surgical procedure to help, people with such severely damaged livers would die. In these instances, liver transplants may be required to ensure the person a normal, healthy life. There are two types of liver transplants: those involving a non-living donor and those involving living donors. In a non-living donor transplant, a damaged, failing liver is replaced with the liver from a deceased organ donor; in a living donor transplant, the damaged liver is removed but replaced with a portion of the living donor’s liver. Given a successful operation, eventually both the living donor and liver recipient’s livers will grow to full size and functionality. The living donor operation was designed as a way to meet the great demand for organ donors.

Time

Sometimes with liver disease, time is necessary to allow the liver to heal. It is perhaps the most resilient organ in the body; it is the only human organ which is able to regenerate itself. As long as roughly one fourth of a healthy liver remains, it can re-grow to full size. There are potential complications regarding liver regeneration, it is worth noting. If the liver regenerating process is incomplete, permanent scar tissue may form and the liver may never be able to full recover. This occurrence usually happens in the late stages of liver disease; death is a potential complication of this failed regeneration process. The regeneration time depends on the person. A healthy person’s liver could be fully sized within a month while a sick person’s liver could take much longer. Currently, scientists are investigating medicines which effectively give nature a hand by speeding up the process.