Hepatomegaly is a swelling or enlargement of the liver or spleen, making it larger than its normal size. This could cause it to spill over into areas where other organs lie, causing certain types of discomfort.
The liver is one of the body’s primary organs, and it performs a long list of bodily functions. It is the largest organ in the body and one of the fastest to regenerate. It can repair itself. Some of its most important functions include transforming food to energy, absorbing cholesterol, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and fats in the small intestine, as well as eliminating alcohol, toxins and harmful substances, which is why it is considered to be an extremely important cleansing organ. It also metabolized carbohydrates, balances glucose, synthesizes, stores and mobilizes glycogen, it metabolizes lipids, bilirubin, and breaks down proteins for hormones.
The spleen, on the other hand, is the size of a fist and is located close to the stomach. It is absolutely fundamental for the body’s defense systems, and helps produce and store blood cells as part of the circulatory system. It is vital for survival.
Causes that lead to a swollen liver or spleen, or that could cause it to grow disproportionately, include:
- Excessive or disproportionate alcohol consumption.
- Liver cancer or metastasis
- High triglycerides
- Heart failure
- Niemann-Pick disease
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
- Fructose intolerance
- Cirrhosis of the liver
Generally there are no symptoms in cases that are not severe. The liver has no nerve endings, and the brain is unable to receive signals of imbalances. However, an abnormally large liver will create noticeable symptoms when the liver starts to overtake other organs, like the pancreas, stomach, etc. In this case, one would experience the following symptoms:
- Intense pain and abdominal distension (very inflamed stomach)
- Nausea, sometimes vomiting or dizziness
- Sensitivity or feeling heavy in the right side of the abdomen (when the liver is inflamed), or on the left side of the abdomen (when the spleen is inflamed).
- Jaundice, yellow skin discoloration.
- Color of the urine or feces may change.
What to do if you have hepatomegaly
DIET: Support your healing with a light diet, eating papaya for breakfast with a bit of raw oatmeal. When following this diet, you should eat a lot of raw and steamed vegetables, vegetable soups, and avoid anything that contains alcohol, vinagers and irritating products. Leave all meats out for the moment, along with cow’s milk and its byproducts. You should avoid cheeses and butter, especially if it is the liver that is affected. White sugar should be substituted for brown sugar or honey, but you should use as little sweeteners as possible. Try to snack on seeds, walnuts, almonds, etc., along with whole grain rice, dandelion teas that help the liver, and include aloe in your vegetables juices and lentils. Eat whole grain bread and extra-virgin olive oil. Remember that at this moment, your liver or spleen is having a very difficult time in processing what you are eating, which is why it is important that you eat the lightest diet possible.
REST: You need absolute rest, getting out of all of your obligations and resting. Let the world go on turning without you, and meditate a little on things that worry you, that make you tense or that irritate you. Rest is absolutely necessary for your body to regain energy once again. Resting also cultivates your spirit.
SPIRITUAL CULTIVATION: often times we live such a quick life, full of so many worries, that we ignore our feelings. It is important that you pay attention to what you feel, surround yourself with books that help feed your spirit at this moment. This condition is related to how you focus on your life. Make sure you are not worrying too much about the people around you, or that you’re not angry about something that hasn’t been completely resolved. I recommend you read the book “You can Heal your Life” by Louise L. Hay.