liver research Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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Hepatitis C is a liver infection from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For some people, HCV causes short-term illness. However, for more than half, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection that can result in severe and life-threatening health problems. Liver diseases like hepatitis C progressively damage the liver over many years without notice. Learning about how it affects the liver and ways you can prevent and manage it are the best possible steps to fight it.

hepatitis words

How HCV Affects the Liver

The hepatitis C virus spreads by coming into contact with an infected person’s blood. Hepatitis C can cause an acute or chronic infection:

  • Acute hepatitis C
    • Acute hepatitis C is a short-term infection where symptoms can last up to 6 months. In some cases, the body can sometimes fight off the infection, and the virus goes away.
  • Chronic hepatitis C
    • Chronic hepatitis C occurs when the body cannot fight off the virus, resulting in a long-lasting infection. Around 75 to 85 percent of people with acute hepatitis C will develop chronic hepatitis C.

Abdominal pain-HepC

Symptoms of hepatitis C include:

  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Gray-colored stools
  • Pain in the joints
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin

Hepatitis means “inflammation of the liver” from infection, autoimmune disorder, or other factors. Regardless of the cause, these events trigger the body’s healing response, which rushes oxygen-rich blood, vital nutrients, and other special repair cells to the liver to heal it. We know of this process as inflammation. Most people with HCV have no idea they have it, so nothing is done to suppress or treat the infection.

Without treatment, the healing response continues trying to repair the liver. Over time, chronic inflammation and excess repair materials like collagen begin to damage and scar the liver. HCV can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Managing Hepatitis C

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection. You can help keep your liver healthy by eating healthy, staying active, and kicking the habits that harm your health.

Remember, most people with HCV don’t know it, so understanding the risk factors can help with early diagnosis and prevention.

Risk factors for HCV:

  • Healthcare workers exposed to infected blood
  • History or a current user of injected or inhaled illicit drugs
  • Diagnosed with HIV
  • Have tattoos or body piercings
  • Underwent a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Were treated with clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • If your mother had a hepatitis C infection when you were born
  • If you ever worked or lived in prison
  • Have been on kidney dialysis

Liver disease can lead to hepatitis

Arizona Liver Health has a new hepatitis C study starting soon. To learn more, call us today at (480) 470-4000.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/symptoms-causes/syc-20354278

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/hepatitis-c


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Alcohol is one of the most widely used substances among America’s adult and teen populations, posing substantial health and safety risks. Even though most know the adverse effects of alcohol, many tend to do so without fully recognizing the health risks of consuming alcohol excessively. The liver is one of the essential organs in the body, and when it comes to alcohol, it can have devastating effects.

Your liver detoxifies your body, keeps you alert, and regulates your hormones

The Metabolization of Alcohol

On average, it takes the body about an hour to process one alcoholic beverage. Every additional drink increased that time frame. The more a person drinks, the longer it takes to process alcohol. That’s because the liver can only process so much at a time. When someone drinks too much, the alcohol left unprocessed by the liver circulates through the bloodstream and starts affecting the heart and brain. This is how people become intoxicated. Two liver enzymes begin to break apart the alcohol molecule so it the body can eventually eliminate them.

Woman on the floor with empty alcohol bottles

Alcohol’s Destruction

One of those enzymes, ADH, helps convert alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is only in the body for a short time, but it is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. Some small amounts of alcohol are also eliminated from the body by forming fatty acid compounds. These compounds can damage the liver and pancreas.

The toxic effects of acetaldehyde have been linked to the development of cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Upper respiratory tract
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Breasts

Chronic alcohol abuse (drinking 4 or 5 drinks in a row regularly) also destroys liver cells, which progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation) to cirrhosis (scarring). However, heavy drinkers may develop alcoholic cirrhosis without first developing hepatitis.

Is There a Safe Amount of Alcohol?

While there is no safe amount of alcohol you can consume, you can reduce your risk of liver damage by drinking less. Individuals can drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or one drink or less for women.

The purpose of a fibroscan

Does the health of your liver concern you? Arizona Liver Health offers a FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease. To learn more, call (480) 470-4000 or request an appointment online today!

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/alcohol-metabolism-key-to-alcohols-dangers-66524

https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/liver/


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You can start this year on the right foot by taking proactive steps for your health and well-being. If you’ve been diagnosed with liver disease, keeping your liver healthy is essential. It’s a new year, and it’s time to set some new liver health goals.

Fighting Liver Disease Starts with Prevention

Stages of liver disease

The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if possible. However, the same tips that can help reduce your risk of liver disease can also help individuals already living with it reduce complications and promote disease progression (in a good way). These include:

  • Weight loss plays a vital role in helping reduce fat accumulation in the liver. If you’re overweight, you could be in danger of developing a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the fastest-growing forms of liver disease.
  • Eat a sensible, well-balanced diet. Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Hydration is also essential, so drink plenty of water.

Healthy foods

  • Exercising consistently helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduces fat accumulation in the liver.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke and other toxins can injure liver cells.
  • Alcoholic beverages can create many health problems and can damage liver cells and scar your liver Talking to your doctor about what amount of alcohol is right for you can help you drink responsibly.
  • Taking medications incorrectly can harm your liver. Make sure to follow directions on all medications. Never take more than prescribed or mix them with alcohol.

Dedicated to Liver Health

A happy liver for a better you

If you are at risk or have been diagnosed with liver disease, Arizona Liver Health has resources to help. To learn more about our FREE liver scans or our enrolling liver health research studies, call us today at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.hepmag.com/blog/10-proactive-steps-help-liver

https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/


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February 11, 2021 Clinical ResearchliverPCOS0

Approximately 1 in 10 women of childbearing age experiences Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is the leading cause of infertility, among the many other symptoms this condition creates. A growing body of evidence shows PCOS is linked to other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and others. In the last few years, fatty liver has also been listed in connection with PCOS. More than ever, those diagnosed need to be vigilant about self-care and overall wellbeing. By falling in love with your health now, you can head off medical issues later.

Why PCOS and Fatty Liver are Linked

PCOS is the acronym for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and is an imbalance of the reproductive hormones. Higher than normal male hormone (androgens) and insulin levels are the top factors in developing PCOS. The imbalance causes issues in the ovaries that affect how the eggs develop and when they are released. Infertility, ovarian cysts, excess hair, weight gain, and acne are common signs.

15-55% of women with PCOS experience liver disease, explore research studies today

When you look at the connection of PCOS to other health conditions like diabetes, fatty liver, and heart disease, the answer is in the risk factors. Fatty liver is highly prevalent in women with PCOS due to the following factors:

  • Being overweight
  • High triglycerides
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol level
  • Excessive consumption of fat, sugar, and refined foods
  • Lack of exercise

The factors listed above can cause the unhealthy accumulation of fat cells in the liver. Though a healthy liver will contain some fat, too much fat can lead to fatty liver disease. Lifestyle changes must occur along with early testing and intervention to prevent the progression of NAFLD, NASH, liver cirrhosis, and failure.

You ARE at Risk with PCOS

If you have PCOS, talk with your doctor about regular screenings to check your liver’s health. In most cases, liver disease can be prevented or even reversed if caught early enough with healthier living. You can love your health by starting the changes now. Some examples include:

  • Exercising at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate pace.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Avoiding excess consumption of foods that are processed, high in sugar, and high in unhealthy fats. Instead, go for more vegetables, lean meats, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and are liver-friendly.
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Keep chronic conditions managed.

Volunteers make clinical research sweet, two hands holding heart shaped lollipops, happy valentines day, PCOS and fatty liver

The connection between fatty liver and PCOS is still relatively new. Clinical research studies continue to help us learn more about the relationships between the two conditions. The knowledge we gain allows us to design better ways to detect, prevent, and treat PCOS and fatty liver. Arizona Liver Health is seeking participants to join studies looking into potential new options for women with PCOS and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). To learn more, call (480) 470-4000, or visit our website.

 

References:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome

https://www.verywellhealth.com/pcos-preventing-fatty-liver-disease-2616334


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January 12, 2021 Clinical Researchliver0

Performing over 5,000 vital functions to sustain life and regeneration are some of the liver’s most remarkable features. It truly is an extraordinary organ, but it is not invincible. The celebrations of the holidays can add extra strain to your liver. If you have liver disease, these overindulgences can cause lasting effects. It’s the new year, but you have the same liver. While you are making your resolutions, consider a new diet to keep your liver healthy.

Your Liver’s Depending on You

The liver filters everything you eat and drink, and that is absorbed into your body. It can’t control what you put into it, but you can control how well it functions. Chronic alcohol consumption and foods high in saturated fats and processed sugars take a toll on the liver. These cause some of the most common liver conditions, such as alcohol and non-alcohol related fatty liver diseases.

Mediterranean diet foods, liver health, clinical research

Each liver patient has individual diet needs, so talk with your doctor about what’s right for you. Here are some general tips everyone’s liver can benefit from:

Foods good for the liver in addition to a balanced diet:

  • Coffee– Lowers the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with chronic liver disease.
  • Grapefruit– Grapefruit contain antioxidants that naturally protect the liver from injury.
  • Blueberries and Cranberries– Consuming these fruits for 3–4 weeks has been shown to protect the liver from damage.
  • Foods High in Fiber– Fiber helps your liver work at an optimal level.
  • Drink Plenty of Water– Water helps your liver function better by keeping your body hydrated.

Foods to avoid:

  • Any foods high in saturated fats
  • Those containing high levels of sugar and salt
  • Stay clear of fried foods, including fast food restaurant meals
  • Raw or undercooked shellfish should be avoided as well
  • If you are allowed alcohol, limit to one drink per day

The Silent Killer

Liver disease is progressive and typically takes years to develop. Often, there are no noticeable signs of an issue until the later stages. Diabetes, alcoholism, and obesity are the top risk factors. If you’re at risk, schedule a FREE fibroscan to check your liver health with us today. Fibroscans are a quick, non-invasive, painless scan that can determine if you have nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or other fatty liver diseases. If your results indicate an abnormal function, our staff will discuss enrolling you in one of our liver disease studies here at Arizona Liver Health.

Liver inflammation and liver cell damage equal NASH, clinical research

Clinical research studies and the volunteers who participate in them make advancements in liver patients’ healthcare possible. To learn how you can get involved, call us at (480) 470-4000, or visit our study listing on our website.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-for-your-liver#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/nutrition/?gclid=CjwKCAiAoOz-BRBdEiwAyuvA69fghB4XiYIBdlbZL4zIf8PEl2b-ju8gvq3IdkqgcN7Kl6VEn4gf6hoCNO0QAvD_BwE


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September 14, 2020 fibroscanliver0

Your liver performs over 500 vital functions in your body. If it is not functioning the way it should, your health could take a turn for the worse. If you are at risk of liver disease, checking your liver's health is extremely important to avoid irreversible damage.



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