|Liver Disease And Parasitic Infections
Parasites are organisms that live inside our bodies and derive all their food requirements from the food we eat. In return, they excrete toxins and waste into our bodies, which can make many people sick.
In the United States, a number of parasites have been controlled due to proper sanitation but this does not mean that there are no parasites. In rural America, parasitic infestation is a problem and so also in the states bordering Mexico, where poverty is abject.
Since the parasites live inside the human body, they can cause a lot of infections including liver disease. In fact, a number of liver diseases have been linked to parasitic infections. For instance, there are certain amoebae that are parasitic in nature. Entamoeba histolytica is found to a cause of many intestinal diseases. This amoeba is known to cause lesions in the liver when severe infestation occurs. It reaches the liver through the circulating blood after it invades the intestinal mucosa. This form of infestation is very invasive and occurs in around 10 percent of the people who are infected by the amoeba.
Trophozoites are another type of parasites that reach the liver from the intestine and on reaching cause liver disease. The liver disease caused in this case is characterized by abdominal pain, fever, enlargement of the liver and tenderness in the abdominal area. Doctors believe that the pain is caused due to enlargement as the liver gets stretched, and abdominal pain is one of the main symptoms of trophozoite infection.
Similarly, a blood fluke known as Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for infecting 200 million people, who primarily live in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. The females of this species produce eggs in the liver causing inflammation of the liver, which ultimately leads to hepatic fibrosis and portal vein hypertension. As the number of eggs increase, the liver disease due to parasitic infection becomes extremely severe.
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