The liver performs a large number of functions in the body. One of them is protective. The digestive gland acts as a filter. She passes blood through herself, cleansing it of toxins. But what happens to the poisons in the organ?
Blood toxins, lingering in the liver, affect her. Some substances iron neutralizes, but with a large dose and strong or regular exposure - liver cells die. Toxins of various groups can have a detrimental effect. Symptoms of intoxication are very similar. Then how to distinguish what poisoned liver? And, most importantly, how to help a person in this situation?
Causes of liver intoxication
Liver intoxication can occur accidentally, during professional activity or intentionally. Hepatotoxic substances are also called liver poisons. How do they get into the human body? The main way is food. There is also the option of ingesting poisons through the respiratory system. In this case, they are absorbed into the blood from the lungs. Almost all liver poisons cause the death of hepatocytes (liver cells). There are two mechanisms of action of toxins on the liver.
- Direct effects on hepatocytes and their death.
- Blood circulation is impaired in the hepatic vessels, as a result of which the cells do not receive oxygen, nutrition and die.
What can cause liver poisoning? The following liver poisons exist:
- industrial substances;
- vegetable poisons.
They cause various pathological processes in the liver, but differ in a similar clinical picture.
Drug intoxication of the liver
Medicines, if taken in a dose determined by a doctor, have a slight toxic effect. But if the dosage was greatly exceeded, toxic hepatitis develops.
Intoxication of the liver with drugs may occur due to:
- sulfonamides (Biseptol, Sulfamethoxazole, Sulfasalazine, Sulfacetamide, etc.);
- antiviral drugs (interferons, "amantadine");
- anti-tuberculosis drugs (Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Nevirapine, tetracyclines, Oxacillin);
- anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drugs (Nimesulide, Celecoxib, Sulindak, acetylsalicylic acid, Analgin, Paracetamol);
- drugs widely used in cardiology ("Amiodarone", statins, "Labetalol", "Methyldopa", "Pelentan");
- drugs for weight loss (Orlistat);
- antidepressants (fluoxetine, carbamazepine, phenytoin);
- antifungal drugs (fluconazole, ketoconazole);
- hormones (anabolic steroids, androgens, estrogens);
- antitumor agents.
The insidiousness of these poisons lies in the fact that they can cause both acute poisoning due to the administration of a large dose of the drug, and hidden as a result of the cumulative effect. A person learns about this already at the stage of fatty degeneration, cirrhosis or massive liver necrosis.
Drugs have different mechanisms of damage to the liver. Some cause necrosis (death) of hepatocytes, others affect the bile ducts, blocking them, others - on the vessels, disrupting the trophism (nutrition) of the organ.
Alcoholic intoxication of the liver
Toxic poisoning of the liver by alcohol occurs when excessive use of alcoholic beverages. It is chronic. That is, formed a long time. There is also an acute massive necrosis of the liver, but it is rare, with the use of very large doses of alcohol simultaneously.
Alcohol itself can cause liver poisoning at a dose in excess of 20–30 grams / day. But modern alcohol products in addition to ethanol and water contain a lot of impurities that are more dangerous than the alcohol itself. It is low-quality alcohol that is a common cause of liver damage.
Initially, alcohol intoxication is still reversible, and at the termination of abuse, liver function will gradually recover almost completely. But if people continue to abuse alcohol, then irreversible changes occur in the body.
The fact is that all the alcohol that has entered the blood passes through the liver, where it is converted by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is much more toxic than ethanol itself. It not only kills hepatocytes, but also disrupts fat metabolism, causing accumulation of fat in healthy cells. Fatty dystrophy of the liver occurs, and it cannot perform its functions normally.
People working in production often encounter substances that have a toxic effect on the liver.
To industrial hepatotropic poisons include:
- arsenic and its compounds (metallurgy);
- phosphorus (metallurgical industry, production and use of agricultural fertilizers);
- pesticides, insecticides (agriculture);
- petroleum products;
- aldehydes (chemical, medical industry);
- phenols (production and use of antiseptics).
Both acute and chronic liver damage is possible. Chronic intoxication when exposed to small doses is more common.
Vegetable poisons are represented by alkaloids of the following plants and fungi:
- gorchak pink;
- death cap.
Vegetable toxins, acting on the digestive gland, cause acute damage.
Symptoms of liver intoxication
The clinical picture of liver intoxication depends on the nature of the course of poisoning. There is an acute, chronic course and massive necrosis of hepatocytes.
How does liver intoxication manifest?
- In chronic poisoning, there may be an absence or minor signs. Hepatic insufficiency slowly progresses, turning into cirrhosis, and only a few months later jaundice, hemorrhages, spider veins, signs of brain damage (memory loss, attention, mental decline), ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity), "jellyfish head" ( dilatation of the saphenous veins around the navel).
- Acute intoxication begins to occur after 2–3 days. There are cases when it is asymptomatic. It depends on the type of poison and the severity of the poison.
Signs of acute liver toxicity:
- pain in the liver (right hypochondrium);
- fever up to 38–39 ° C, headache, weakness, malaise, pain in the joints and muscles;
- nausea, vomiting;
- bleeding (from the nose, gums when brushing the teeth), minor skin hemorrhages, hematomas;
- encephalopathy (signs of brain damage — agitation or lethargy, impaired coordination, orientation, trembling of the limbs and head);
Yellowness of the skin and sclera, bleached feces, dark beer color urine;
- when palpating the liver, it feels enlarged, dense, tense and painful.
There is a type of acute hepatic poisoning - acute massive necrosis of hepatocytes. It is characterized by lightning, severe symptoms, rapid death. Encephalopathy in this pathology is more pronounced, may develop brain edema, hypoglycemia, a sharp decrease in blood pressure. Acute massive necrosis of hepatocytes can lead to death within a few days.
Treatment of toxic liver damage
In case of acute hepatic poisoning, it is necessary to urgently seek medical help and be treated exclusively in the hospital. The patient is shown bed rest, special nutrition, detoxification of the liver, the use of antidotes, drugs that protect the liver and accelerate regeneration, choleretic drugs, vitamin therapy.
How to relieve liver intoxication at home before the ambulance arrives?
- Lie down and create peace to the body.
- Wash the stomach with saline or water.
- Drink activated carbon.
- If available, you can take "Essentiale", "Phosphogliv" or other hepatoprotectors.
- Drink choleretic drugs or collection.
Liver detoxification preparations include: vitamins C, B, Heptral, Essentiale, Holosas, Cholensim, Enterosorb, Lactofiltrum. If necessary, plasmapheresis, hemosorption, hemodialysis are performed.
Diet with liver intoxication should be observed from the very beginning of the disease and for several months. It is forbidden to drink alcohol, smoke, it is necessary to eat often and fractionally. From the diet should be excluded:
- greasy food;
- fried foods;
- spicy, salted, smoked, spicy foods;
- sauces, mayonnaise, canned food, ketchup.
The following foods should be present daily in the diet:
- lean meat (rabbit, chicken, turkey);
- a fish;
- nuts, dried fruits;
- fruits vegetables;
- butter and vegetable oil;
- milk products.
When working in conditions associated with the risk of chronic hepatic intoxication, the diet should be maintained at all times, and dairy products should be consumed daily.
What to do at home if the liver hurts
Cleansing the liver at home using folk remedies is possible, but this can be done only if there is no allergy to the components.
For the treatment of liver intoxication at home fit:
- oats (liquid milk porridge made from oats - half a glass is used 5 times a day);
- infusion of leaves and berries of sea buckthorn (you can drink without restrictions);
- sea buckthorn oil (½ tablespoon 3 times a day);
- hawthorn fruit tea (1 tablespoon for a glass of boiling water, but you should be careful of those who have low blood pressure);
- juice of fresh raw potatoes.
Detoxification of the liver at home can be done using the following products: broccoli and all kinds of cabbage, onions, and garlic. In the diet you need to add glutathione and thistle extract, which have good neutralizing properties.
What to do at home if the liver hurts? Self-prescription of drugs is excluded, because the wrong choice of medication can aggravate the situation.
Relieve the pain of folk remedies by using:
- horseradish juice;
- horseradish mixture with milk (4 tablespoons of grated horseradish mixed with a glass of milk and bring to 90 ° C, use within 24 hours);
- mint infusion;
- infusion of wormwood, sage, juniper (4 tablespoons of the collection insist in a liter of boiling water, drink a glass 3 times a day);
- eat 2 raw egg yolks, then drink a glass of warm mineral water and lie under a blanket for 2 hours, putting a warm water bottle under the right side.
Folk remedies are a good helper for chronic intoxication or acute poisoning of moderate or mild severity. For severe toxic lesions, immediate hospitalization is strongly recommended.
The liver takes the brunt of the fight against poisons entering our bodies. And, although everyone knows that it regenerates and it restores its functionality even with a lot of damage, poisoning can still lead to serious consequences. Symptoms of toxic damage to the main digestive gland are similar for various toxic factors. Pain in the right hypochondrium, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, fever, hemorrhages - these are signs of acute hepatitis due to toxins.
Treatment of intoxication is a long process. It should be comprehensive and take place under the supervision of a physician. You can use both traditional and traditional methods.