Enlarged Liver Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Enlarged Liver - Hepatomegaly

What is an enlarged liver?

A liver which is bigger than its usual size is called an enlarged liver. Enlarged liver is known as hepatomegaly, in medical term. Clearly, it is not a disease, but an indication towards a problem, for example cancer or liver disease. Its treatment involves determining and controlling what’s exactly causing an enlarged liver.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged liver?

Normally, an enlarged liver does not cause any obvious symptoms, however, when it occurs due to liver disease, your may experience:

  • Yellowing of sclera and skin.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Abdominal pain.

When is the high time to consult a doctor?

In case you observe any sign that is bothersome, immediately consult your doctor.

What causes an enlarged liver?

Certain conditions and diseases may lead an enlarged liver such as liver diseases, cancers, blood vessel and heart problems.

What are the risk factors of an enlarged liver?

People with liver disease are more likely to experience an enlarged liver. However certain factors that put you at a higher risk to develop liver problems are:

  • Taking more than the suggested doses of supplements, vitamins or medicines can cause damage to your liver.
  • Drinking excessive amount of alcohol tends to cause damage to the liver.
  • Infectious diseases for example Q fever and malaria.
  • Herbal supplements including mistletoe and black cohash can higher the chances of liver damage.
  • Hepatitis A, B and C.
  • Consuming unhealthy foods for example oily foods.
  • Being obese or overweight.

How is an enlarged liver diagnosed?

First of all, the doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination in order to detect your enlarged liver. He or she will estimate its size by feeling its extension below the rib cage. Furthermore, he will also observe the liver texture. Depending upon the causal problem, the enlarged liver tends to feel irregular, firm or soft. After the doctor concludes the patient has an enlarged liver, he or she may suggest the following tests in order to determine its cause:

  • Blood tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Magnetic resonance elastography.
  • Liver biopsy.

How is an enlarged liver treated?

The treatment of an enlarged liver merely focuses in determining and controlling the causal problem which has leaded an enlarged liver.


In order to minimize the chances of developing liver disease, follow the following:

  • Stick to the doses your doctor has prescribed while taking medications, supplements and vitamins.
  • Go for a healthy diet that includes whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • If you smoke, quit smoking!
  • If you drink alcohol, quit drinking or drink in moderation.
  • Maintaining normal weight is very important, in order to not just avoid liver disease but many other as well.
  • When using herbal supplements, always discuss with the doctor regarding its benefits and risks as few alternative treatments can cause harm to the liver.
  • Be careful while using chemicals.

By : Natural Health News


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