Aug 30, 2019 in Informative

Liver Disease

The liver is the largest internal organ whose function in the human body is crucial. Precisely, the liver is responsible for monitoring all materials taken in from food particles in a bid to convert nutrients into useful form as well as doing away with prospective toxins from the body. Besides, Raman, Shrubsole and Sirounis confirm that this organ is responsible for the production of essential substances for life. On the other hand, liver disease refers to the condition of the liver in such a way that it is damaged and thus unable to carry out its normal functions leading to further complicated condition. This may be caused by viruses, gene mutation, and several other environmental factors including alcohol and certain medications. Notably, the disease is a gradual condition due to the ability of the organ to regenerate besides its huge capacity. However, at a certain critical stage known as cirrhosis, this condition may lead to heightened failure of the liver leaving only the option of liver transplant in order to save the life of the victim. Therefore, this essay discusses this disease in detail with regard to its physiological impact to homeostasis as well as the physiological and sociological impact on the patient while suggesting a reliable pharmacological intervention for the treatment of the same supported by evidence based research.

Section 1

There are various types of liver disease that occurs in different mechanisms. However, viral infection is commonly considered to be the regular form of liver disease. For instance, Bellentani et al. affirms that hepatitis B and C viruses are the most common viral hepatitis that can easily be transmitted at birth through mere contact with contaminated blood stains. Additionally, environmental factors such as excessive consumption of alcohol also render an individual susceptible to numerous forms of liver disease such as cancer of the liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis. In the United Kingdom over 2 million individuals are affected by liver disease and the three main causes of this type of disease is chiefly misuse of alcohol, undiagnosed hepatitis infection, and obesity.

Hepatitis infection due to viruses or parasites causes liver inflammation leading to a reduction in the ability of the liver to perform its normal functions. These viruses may be spread through contaminated water and food, semen, and contaminated blood. There are many risk factors of liver disease including obesity, high alcohol consumption, unprotected sex, diabetes, and exposure to certain toxins and chemicals among others. According to Booth, O'Grady and Neuberger, the signs and symptoms of liver disease include swelling of the abdomen, abdominal pain, itchy skin, the skin and eyes turn yellowish- a condition known as jaundice, urine turns dark colored, continuous itching of the skin, and chronic fatigue among others. Therefore, an individual persistently experiencing the aforementioned symptoms or signs ought to seek the help of the doctor as soon as possible to allow diagnosis of the same and determine the possibility of the person suffering from liver disease. The complications of liver disease vary considerably depending on the cause of the liver disease and should it go untreated, this might call for severe liver conditions that might lead to death if no advanced treatment is administered to the patient.

Section 2

The liver is responsible for numerous roles that bring about the survival of human beings. As far as metabolic homeostasis is concerned, the liver plays a central role in the same by controlling the level of blood sugar as well as converting nitrogenous wastes to a form that can be excreted safely from the body. Therefore, this helps to maintain physiological homeostasis. This means that, in a normal man, the liver functions normally by storing excess blood sugar only to release it back into the blood system in case the normal sugar levels in the blood drops. When an individual goes for a long period without food, the level of sugar drops and this prompts the liver to break down glycogen and gluconeogenic amino acids obtained from muscle tissue into glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. This helps to keep the blood sugar constant. Thus, Chalasani et al. agree that liver disease hampers the normal functioning of the liver with regard to maintaining homeostasis. Consequently, the physiological impact of liver disease on homeostasis includes bleeding disorders, infections, amplified risk of kidney failure, and excessive fluid on the brain. Excessive fluid in the brain mounts pressure leading to the displacement of the brain tissue and thus rendering it unable to access enough oxygen. Consequently, this prevents blood clotting leading to the development of a bleeding disorder. Liver disease results into impaired insulin degradation leading to hyperinsulinaemia. Besides, because of the impaired action of the insulin on the liver, this causes resistance of insulin to maintain homeostasis. Notably, plasma glucagon and insulin work together at preferable levels in a bid to bring about balanced homeostasis. However, liver disease that leads to severe liver damage raises these levels leading to imbalances of the same and thus impairing glucagon action on the liver for the purpose of maintaining homeostasis.

Section 3

Liver disease is ranked as the fifth largest cause of demise in the U.K. There is an undeniably large number of people living with liver diseases and even more astonishing to learn that a large group of these individuals have no idea that they are victims of the same. It is estimated that approximately 2 million people in the U.K. have liver disease. A critical analysis of the psychological and sociological impact of liver disease on the patient in relation to the ageing or dying process, which is of course supported by current evidence based research, reveals that, these patients suffer from psychological distress and depression as well as economic and social problems that consequently affect the quality of their life. Gershwin, Vierling and Manns point out that young patients of working age and suffering from liver diseases are heavily affected psychologically due to unending stress and depression as the diseases renders them inactive and unable to attend to their duties as well as the fear of dying at an early age.

These psychological effects vary during and after treatment and they include feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression as well as attitudes that significantly affect the behavior and actions of the patient. The feeling of insecurity and loss of self-worth creeps in during the aging process of a patient suffering from liver disease. This is because of the fact that the patient is no longer likely to do his or her duties as normal. Reality sets in that the normal life of driving to work and playing with the kids after work is no longer possible due to the incapacitation of the liver disease during the aging process. Additionally, as the aging process continues among liver disease patients the reality of death sets in living the victim in uncertainty and dreadful situation. Memory loss among aging patients suffering from liver disease is also inevitable as the brain is affected significantly leading to more negative consequences to the aging patient. The sociological impact of liver disease to an aging patient includes isolation due to minimal contact with people as one’s movement is restraint especially during severe illnesses. Consequently, this makes them vulnerable to loneliness that can lead to depression among other health complications, which may lead to death if not well taken care of.

Section 4

Liver disease can be treated in various approaches including therapeutic and pharmacological interventions. While the illness associated with liver disease may be mild at the beginning, there may be no specific treatment required and thus no need for hospitalization. In contrast, Manto affirms that patients suffering from severe acute liver damage ought to seek the help of a doctor as fast as possible in a bid to avoid premature deaths. For instance, there is dire need for hospitalization of patients suffering from liver disease and experiencing certain conditions such as azotemia or gastrointestinal bleeding. This helps to save their lives by putting them in intensive care units where they receive treatment and other much need help. Hospitalization helps patients with severe liver disease to receive special care and treatment through specific therapies aimed at slowing down the injuries inflicted to the liver as well as enhancing its regeneration by suppressing inflammation. For quite a long time, this kind of treatment has been done through glucocorticosteroids for the purpose of enhancing the normal function of the liver, prevention of further damage to the liver and the need to prolong the life of the patient.

Notably, at severe stages where the patient’s liver is said to be severely damaged, physicians always advocate liver transplant in a bid to save the life the patient. In other words, this is the last option taken by doctors in a bid to save the life of the person. Office for National Statistics indicates that one of the best therapeutic interventions against liver diseases is change of lifestyle, which revolves around human diet and abstinence from excessive alcohol consumption. As noted above, liver disease in the U.K is majorly caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, diabetes, and untreated infections. This indicates that the lifestyle of many of the patients suffering from liver diseases is not especially the eating habits and alcohol consumption. Change of lifestyle and abstinence from too much alcohol consumption would prove beneficial to the treatment of liver diseases. In acute alcoholic hepatitis, abstinence from alcohol consumption has been found to be the best therapeutic approach for overall survival of a patient because this enables the liver to regenerate and improve the health condition of the person.

Additionally, obesity as identified contributes to a significant number of cases of deaths related to liver disease. This implies that the eating habits and the diet of some of people in the U.K render them vulnerable to liver diseases including steatosis, cirrhosis, and steatohepatitis. Through change of lifestyle in so far as eating habits is concerned, patients will be able to regain their normal health status as this will enhance their ability to access food stuffs that are rich in nutrients to improve their liver condition.

Conclusion

In conclusion, liver disease is and can be prevented as well as treated if well diagnosed. There are several symptoms of liver disease including swelling of the abdomen, abdominal pain, itchy skin, the skin and eyes turn yellowish among others, which if noticed should prompt one to seek the help of a doctor to determine the type of illness to allow for treatment. This essay has critically analyzed the physiological impact of liver diseases on homeostasis clearly showing how these two are related. Additionally, the essay critically analyzes the psychological and sociological impact of liver diseases on the patient in relation to the ageing or dying process as well as evaluating lifestyle changes as one of the best therapeutic intervention which would be considered beneficial for the treatment of liver disease in the UK while supporting the claim on current evidence based research. On the same note, more research ought to be carried out regarding the best interventions to the treatment of various kinds of liver disease in a bid to minimize the side effects of most of the pharmacological interventions widely used across the globe.

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