Hepatomegaly or enlarged liver is a non-medical indefinite condition, which may be a result of infection, metabolic issue, or tumor. People who have the condition usually have abdominal mass, the indicator of liver enlargement, as well as jaundice or yellowing of the skin.
A number of conditions lead to an enlarged liver, according to Health Line. As per the publication, alcohol liver disease is the the most frequent cause and it usually follows excessive alcohol intake. It stands as the lead cause, as consuming alcohol for years results to liver inflammation and this condition further escalates to liver cirrhosis or scarring.
According to Mayo Clinic, liver enlargement does not usually have symptoms. However, a person who has the condition may experience pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, jaundice or yellowing of the skin and white of the eyes, poor appetite and weight loss, myalgia or muscle aches, and fatigue among others.
Treatment for liver enlargement is case-based and symptomatic, which means the management plan is dependent to the case and the symptom or symptoms present, as per Mayo Clinic. For example, if the liver enlargement is caused by excessive alcohol intake, the medical plan will include reduction or elimination of alcohol consumption.Conversely, if the case is related to fatty liver, the treatment is geared towards fat reduction, such as participating in exercise programs.
Nutrition helps in the management of liver enlargement. Since the condition can be associated to alcoholism, fatty food intake, and diabetes, the diet plan is adapted to address each cause.
According to Live Strong, liver enlargement related to excessive alcoholic intake suggests a diet that has limited alcohol and may even include absence of alcohol. As per the publication, reducing or eliminating alcohol helps in hepatomegaly management, as this decreases liver stress and relieves the symptoms. Also, a protein diet can also integrated in the treatment plan, as protein helps repair the scarred tissues.
Fatty food intake is another cause of hepatomegaly, so diet can be directed towards fat reduction. This means a low fat diet is applicable to this case. In line with this diet, the person eliminates intake of food choices that are high in saturate fats or trans fats, which include fatty meat, cheese, and processed foods. According to the National Institutes of Health, intake of unsaturated fatty acids, which can be obtained from fish oil, can reduce blood triglyceride levels and help manage the disease process.
For people who have diabetes-related hepatomegaly, the diet aims to reduce high blood sugar levels. According to a Japanese clinical trial, this kind of liver enlargement is managed with low calorie diet, plus a more intensive insulin administration. Foods high in sugar are avoided and these include sugar, flour, and simple starches. Also, overeating should be avoided as doing so elevates blood sugar levels. Moreover, a person may opt to choose eating foods rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fats, as they have lower glycemic index values, as compared to other food choices.
While hepatomegaly may suggest an underlying disease, some remedies can be done to control it. According to Find Home Remedy, increasing oral fluid intake, especially water, aids in the elimination of toxins from the body. Also, one can also combine white radish juice and sugar candy to control the liver enlargement. As per the publication, the person can take the mixture every morning on empty stomach. Another option as remedy is mixing powdered Sprague with salt. The publication details that the person should take it twice a day, preferably after meals with water. Also, the pulp from an aloe vera leaf mixed with ginger and salt can be consumed in the morning for ten days.
Overall, an enlarged liver may be an indication of a more serious medical condition. Thus, it is essential to see a health professional if the person experiences one or more of the aforementioned symptoms.