Liver Disease Information
General Liver Disease Info
The liver is located in the upper right section of the abdomen. The liver performs key functions that include filtering the blood, processing sugars and fats and helping to store energy for use later. The liver also produces bile to remove harmful substances from the body and to aid the digestion of food. Liver disease is the terminology for an assortment of diseases, infections and conditions that affect the functions, tissues, cells or structures of the liver. The livers ability to perform key functions can be impaired if the liver becomes infected or inflamed. Malnutrition is the most common cause of liver damage. This is heightened when alcoholism is also present. However, liver disease can be caused by numerous conditions including bacterial invasion, chemical changes within the body and viral infections.
Liver Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of liver disease can be both chronic and acute. Some common symptoms include:
- Vomiting of blood
- Liver enlargement
- Dark urine
- Tendency to bleed and bruise easily
- Liver failure
- Severe itching
Liver Disease Prevention/Treatment
Liver disease at birth can not be prevented. However, the risk of developing other liver diseases can be reduced in a number of ways:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Avoiding excess alcohol consumption
- Practicing safe sex
- Avoid sharing needles
- Vaccinations for hepatitis A and B
- Practicing good hygiene
- When abroad avoid tap water when advised to do so
The treatment of liver disease varies according to the condition. In some circumstances the only effective treatment may be a liver transplant. For other conditions less drastic treatment can be effective such as avoiding alcohol, drinking extra fluids, bed rest and eating a balanced diet. Medications can also be prescribed for particular conditions. Antiviral medical alpha interferon medication can be used to treat hepatitis B, C and D. Complications from primary biliary cirrhosis can be prevented by taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Other procedures include removing a pint of blood once a week for hemochromatosis, which depletes the excess iron in the liver. There are many other forms of treatment. If you feel that you may be suffering from a form of liver disease it is important to consult your doctor.
Suffering from liver disease can in some circumstances be a life long battle, requiring both inpatient and outpatient hospital treatment. In the worse case scenario a liver transplant may be required. The costs associated with treatments and surgery away from your home country can be very expensive. Most expatriate medical insurance plans provide cover for chronic conditions where there is no pre-existing condition at the point of policy commencement. Expatriate medical insurance plans are guaranteed renewable allowing you to keep your policy for life. If you move countries you can also take you're plan with you. Please feel free to contact our consultants to discuss your health insurance requirements further.
This information is provided for reference purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.
If you think you may have liver disease or that you may be at risk of developing a liver disease, please contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Expatriate Medical Insurance
In some cases, expatriate medical insurance plans may cover you for treatments relating to liver diseases. Levels of coverage for liver disease may vary between expatriate medical insurance providers. If you would like to find out more about expatriate medical insurance coverage option, contact one of our expert medical insurance advisors today.