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Hepatosplenomegaly: Enlarged Liver and Spleen

What is Hepatosplenomegaly?

Hepatosplenomegaly is a medical condition that occurs when the liver and spleen swell beyond their normal size. The word hepatosplenomegaly includes a combination of hepatomegaly (swelling or enlargement of the liver) and splenomegaly (swelling or enlargement of the spleen). Hepatosplenomegaly can occur due to many reasons. This article will focus on hepatomegaly, enlargement of the liver: how to notice enlarged liver, its symptoms, and how to prevent it.

What is an Enlarged Liver (Hepatomegaly)?

One of the common liver diseases is liver enlargement. The enlargement of the liver above normal size, which is also called hepatomegaly in the medical language, can arise from many different reasons. Hepatomegaly usually occurs due to liver diseases, alcohol use disorder or cancer. The word hepatosplenomegaly is a combination of hepatomegaly (swelling or enlargement of the liver) and splenomegaly (swelling or enlargement of the spleen).

As a result of swelling or enlargement, the liver begins to be damaged and unable to perform its functions properly. Functions of the liver include digestion of fats, storage of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, fight against infections, production of some hormone and protein types, blood clotting, metabolizing drugs and toxins from the body.

Serious and even life-threatening problems may arise due to hepatosplenomegaly. In order to have a diagnosis or treatment, you must see a doctor for medical advice.


What are the Symptoms of an Enlarged Liver?

If the growth in the liver is mild and in the early stages, it may not cause any symptoms. This level of liver enlargement is usually detected incidentally in ultrasound imaging performed for a different reason. Some individuals are at a much higher risk of developing liver enlargement disease than other individuals.

People with autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease, sickle cell disease, and cardiovascular diseases, and individuals with family members with these diseases, are at higher risk for liver enlargement. However, individuals who have obesity problems, have alcohol consumption habits, and travel to countries with a risk of malaria disease also have a high risk of liver enlargement.

Most of the time, if you have a slightly enlarged liver, you may have:

  • Feeling of fullness
  • Discomfort in your belly

As the stage of the disease progresses and the amount of growth in the liver increases, the disease begins to manifest itself with some symptoms. These symptoms are usually seen in cases where liver enlargement is caused by a different liver disease other than an unhealthy diet and obesity. The most common symptoms can be listed as follows:

  • Abdominal pain (liver pain)
  • Itching
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Tiredness and sleepiness
  • Muscle pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A mass in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Swelling (edema) in feet, ankles and legs
  • Bruises in certain parts of the body
  • Swelling in the abdomen (acid build-up)

The above symptoms are common symptoms that can be seen in liver enlargement and other liver diseases. The manifestation of liver diseases with such symptoms can be considered as an indicator that the disease has reached serious dimensions.

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How to Improve the Health of Your Liver?

Modern life can be physically and mentally stressful, which can have an extremely negative effect on our liver. Thus, healthy lifestyle changes include a healthy and balanced diet enriched with liver-friendly foods, regular exercise and a stress-free mind that accelerates the treatment of enlargement of the liver and liver diseases. 

TheLifeCo Wellbeing provides programs to eliminate the negative effects of a hectic lifestyle on the liver and help the mind, body and soul be at their best. You can join a liver cleanse program to regenerate your liver, improve your overall health and prevent liver diseases such as hepatosplenomegaly at TheLifeCo center.