Edema of the legs with liver disease

The liver is the largest parenchymalbody of our body and is a kind of mini-factory that produces hundreds of biochemical substances necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

It is located on the right side of the thorax and does not normally go beyond the right hypochondrium. In an adult human liver mass is about one and a half kilograms.

  1. Maintains the internal temperature of the body. Because of the many chemical reactions that constantly flow in the liver, it is one of the hottest organs in our body. Received heat, it gives the blood going to the heart, and thus performs the function of a kind of heating element of the whole organism. No wonder the Russian word "liver" is so consonant with the word "oven".
  2. Participates in the production of proteins. For example, the vast majority of all blood plasma albumins are produced in the liver. If the liver, for whatever reason, produces an insufficient amount of albumin, then edema develops. An example is the so-called hunger edema, which develops with prolonged starvation, when a person "swells with hunger". In addition to albumins, the liver also synthesizes other proteins that our body needs: transport proteins for various vitamins and hormones, proteins of the coagulating and anticoagulating system, and transferrin, necessary for iron transfer. If, as a result of the disease, the liver does not produce enough proteins, then swelling, anemia, bleeding disorders (increased tendency to bleeding) and a general decrease in body defenses are observed, as the transport of vitamins and various hormones is disrupted.
  3. Clears the body. The liver transfers most of the toxic substances into less harmful substances and makes them convenient for withdrawal by the kidneys or through the intestines. In hepatocytes, special mechanisms for neutralizing many toxins, allergens, poisons (including those that are formed as a result of the vital activity of the organism-ammonia, ethanol, phenol, ketone bodies, etc.-the breakdown of proteins and other compounds) are built into the hepatocytes. If liver cells do not cope with cleaning, then poisoning of the body occurs, which can be expressed by nausea, vomiting, general weakness and malaise, drowsiness and mood changes, a violation of coordination of movement.
  4. It is a depot for energy reserves, blood,as well as some vitamins, including B12. Interestingly, healthy liver cells can make a vitamin B12 supply for several years ahead, so signs of B12-dependent anemia do not develop immediately, but several years after the intake of this vitamin has ceased (this is possible with an unbalanced vegan diet or stomach resection). In the liver, vitamins A, D, iron, cobalt, and copper are also stored.
  5. He takes an active part in fat metabolism,synthesizing various fractions of cholesterol. The liver takes an active part in the digestion of food fats, which is almost impossible without emulsification of these substances by bile. Violation of the bile-forming function can lead to various kinds of jaundice, as well as flatulence and periodic diarrhea (diarrhea).

What are the most common symptoms of liver disease?

Depending on the severity of themanifest from a slight icteric sclera to a pronounced bright yellow color throughout the body. Often accompanied by dry skin and constant skin itching. It is often observed with hepatitis, liver tumors, cholelithiasis.

Hepatic swelling, as already mentioned, occurs with a deficiency of albumins. Variants of such edema: swelling of the lower limbs, accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites), swelling of the testicles and scrotum.

The most common bleeding is from the esophageal dilated veins, which often occurs with cirrhosis of the liver.

Signs of general body poisoning

Lethargy, drowsiness, apathy, irritability and even bilious.

What symptoms can a doctor diagnose when he develops a liver disease?

  • Changing the size and structure of the liver, its soreness

It is revealed when examining the patient and ultrasound. It is observed with hepatitis, cancer, parasitic liver diseases (eg, echinococcosis), heart failure.

  • Change in biochemical parameters of blood

Reduction of albumins, other blood proteins, increased bilirubin, some cholesterol fractions, etc.

  • Signs of portal hypertension and liver failure

They occur with chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis.

  • Degree of icterus of skin

Most often it is detected with hepatitis, ZHKB, oncological diseases.

To which doctor to apply

When there are signs resemblingas described above, you should consult a therapist. The doctor will send the patient to the initial examination - blood tests, ultrasound, EFGDS. If necessary, the patient will be treated by a gastroenterologist or hepatologist.

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