This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. An enlarged liver is one that’s bigger than normal. Rather than a disease, an enlarged liver is a sign of an underlying problem, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or cancer. Treatment involves identifying and controlling the cause of the condition. When to see a doctor Make an appointment with your doctor if you have symptoms that worry you.
The size of the liver varies with age, sex and body size. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can be damaging to your liver. Large doses of medicines, vitamins or supplements. Acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Besides being the ingredient in OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol, it’s in more than 600 medications, both OTC and prescription.
Know what’s in the medications you take. Look for “acetaminophen,” “acetam” or “APAP. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure what’s too much. Certain supplements, including black cohosh, ma huang and valerian, can increase your risk of liver damage. Infectious diseases, viral, bacterial or parasitic, can increase your risk of liver damage. Hepatitis A, B and C can cause liver damage. Being overweight increases your risk of liver disease, as does eating unhealthy foods, such as those with excess fat or sugar.
Choose a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Check with your doctor to find out what’s the right amount of alcohol for you, if any. Follow directions when taking medications, vitamins or supplements. Limit yourself to the recommended doses. Use aerosol cleaners, insecticides and other toxic chemicals only in well-ventilated areas. Wear gloves, long sleeves and a mask.
Eat a balanced diet and limit foods that are high in sugar and fat. If you’re overweight, ask your doctor or a nutritionist about the best way for you to lose weight. Ask your doctor about strategies to help you quit. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of herbal supplements before you take them. Some alternative medicine treatments can harm your liver. Herbs and supplements to avoid include black cohosh, ma huang and other Chinese herbs, comfrey, germander, greater celandine, kava, pennyroyal, skullcap, and valerian. In: Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine. Drug record: Herbal and dietary supplements. Approach to the patient with liver disease.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Mayo Clinic Healthy Living,” and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Constipation in a young child seen on X-ray. Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass. The stool is often hard and dry. Common causes include slow movement of stool within the colon, irritable bowel syndrome, and pelvic floor disorders. Treatment of constipation depends on the underlying cause and the duration that it has been present. Measures that may help include drinking enough fluids, eating more fiber, and exercise.
Constipation is a symptom, not a disease. Most commonly, constipation is thought of as infrequent bowel movements, usually less than 3 stools per week. The Rome Criteria are a set of symptoms that help standardize the diagnosis of constipation in various age groups. These criteria help physicians to better define constipation in a standardized manner. The causes of constipation can be divided into congenital, primary, and secondary. The most common kind is primary and not life-threatening. It can also be divided by the age group affected such as children and adults.
Primary or functional constipation is defined by ongoing symptoms for greater than six months not due to an underlying cause such as medication side effects or an underlying medical condition. Secondary causes include side effects of medications such as opiates, endocrine and metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism, and obstruction such as from colorectal cancer. Constipation can be caused or exacerbated by a low-fiber diet, low liquid intake, or dieting. Dietary fiber helps to decrease colonic transport time, increases stool bulk but simultaneously softens stool. Therefore, diets low in fiber can lead to primary constipation. Many medications have constipation as a side effect. Systemic diseases that may present with constipation include celiac disease and systemic sclerosis. Constipation also has neurological causes, including anismus, descending perineum syndrome, and Hirschsprung’s disease.
Spinal cord lesions and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and pelvic floor dysfunction can also lead to constipation. Voluntary withholding of the stool is a common cause of constipation. The choice to withhold can be due to factors such as fear of pain, fear of public restrooms, or laziness. A number of diseases present at birth can result in constipation in children. The diagnosis is typically made based on a person’s description of the symptoms. Constipation is traditionally defined as three or fewer bowel movements per week. This in the context of accompanied symptoms help physicians discover the cause of constipation.
Poor dietary habits, previous abdominal surgeries, and certain medical conditions can contribute to constipation. Diseases associated with constipation include hypothyroidism, certain types of cancer, and irritable bowel syndrome. Separating non-life-threatening from serious causes may be partly based on symptoms. For example, colon cancer may be suspected if a person has a family history of colon cancer, fever, weight loss, and rectal bleeding. A physical examination should involve at least an abdominal exam and rectal exam. Abdominal exam may reveal an abdominal mass if there is significant stool burden and may reveal abdominal discomfort. Rectal examination gives an impression of the anal sphincter tone and whether the lower rectum contains any feces or not. Functional constipation is common and does not warrant diagnostic testing.
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