Enlarged liver may be the first step of a more serious disease, but if is detected early, it can be successfully treated. But how do we realize that we have an enlarged liver?
What diseases cause an enlarged liver
Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) is not easy to spot, especially without doctor's help. Usually, enlarged liver is detected by a doctor on a routine check. Sometimes, though liver is already enlarged, even the doctor can't feel it in a regular examination, by palpation.
Enlarged liver is usually caused by excessive alcohol consumption, heart failure, glycogen deposits, viral hepatitis, liver cancer or hepatic steatosis (fat deposited on and in the liver).
Symptoms of an enlarged liver. When to go to the doctor
Enlarged liver doesn't necessarily have some symptoms, but it causes diseases that come bundled with other pain that may indicate the underlying cause.
If you feel any of these symptoms, see your doctor, especially in the severe cases because it may indicate a serious illness or even liver failure, which requires emergency intervention.
Symptoms associated with an enlarged liver are: confusion, hallucinations, fatigue, fainting, fever (especially if it is associated with abdominal swelling) and vomiting blood.
When your enlarged liver is a life threatening
Other symptoms associated with enlarged livers occur in time, but they are clear signs of a serious liver disease.
If one or more of these symptoms occur, immediately go and visit the doctor before it's too late. Some of the diseases may require a liver transplant, emergency medication, chemotherapy or other emergency surgery.
Symptoms that indicate liver disease, apart from hepatomegaly are: skin or eyes yellowing, abdominal pain and sudden abdomen swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness, difficulty in thinking and understanding, low-grade fever.
Also, if you already suffer from liver disease and symptoms reappear or get worse, you should go immediately to the doctor.