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Check out these initial signs of children with an enlarged liver | GetMeds.ph

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Check out these initial signs of children with an enlarged liver

Often known as hepatomegaly, enlarged liver problems in children is a common yet critical medical condition. The liver is the delicate and significant body organ that plays some primary roles such as controlling blood clotting, fighting off infections, digesting fats, producing proteins and hormones, breaking down medications and toxins and storing sugar in the form of glycogen. Enlarged liver in children often indicates toxin poisoning, a genetic disease, a liver disease, an infection, cancer, such as leukemia and heart and plasma vessel abnormalities. 

Liver problems in kids can impair your child's liver’s capacity to perform essential roles in the body. But it is to remember that, not all hepatomegaly is life-threatening and not every liver disease in children comes with severe underlying ailments that are recognised medical emergencies. Make an appointment with your pediatric physician if your children have symptoms or signs of an enlarged liver.

Symptoms of the enlarged liver in children

Children with an enlarged liver may not show symptoms but if a certain medical complication is causing liver disease in children, the kid may show traits like- 

  1. fatigue and vomiting
  2. itching and muscle aches
  3. poor appetite and nausea
  4. easy bruising and weight loss
  5. swelling of the feet and legs
  6. jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  7. increasing abdominal size
  8. abdominal pain or mass

If your kid is showing these symptoms, without delaying, do seek a doctor at earliest. In extreme cases, the children may show symptoms like- 

  1. High fever and jaundice
  2. shortness of breath
  3. severe abdominal pain
  4. bloody or coffee-ground vomit
  5. black, or bright red blood in stools

Causes of liver disease in children

Liver problems in kids like liver enlargement or hepatomegaly is usually a symptom that the tissue within the liver isn’t performing accurately. 

Enlargement of the liver in children causes an elevated level of liver enzymes. Taking several medicines, such as amiodarone and statins, may further generate liver damage. Some of the enlarged liver in children causes are-

  1. metastatic cancer
  2. nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  3. heart and blood vessel abnormalities
  4. liver cancer
  5. cirrhosis
  6. viral hepatitis (most commonly A, B, or C)
  7. congestive hepatomegaly.

Read Also: Everything You Must Know About Cholestatic Liver Disease and Its treatments

Less popular causes of liver enlargement include:

  1. Wilson’s disease: copper buildup in the liver
  2. lymphoma: blood cancer in the lymphatic system
  3. hemochromatosis: iron buildup in the liver
  4. leukemia: blood cancer of the bone marrow
  5. bile duct or gallbladder obstruction
  6. multiple myeloma: blood cancer of the bone marrow particular to plasma cells
  7. Gaucher’s disease: fatty substances build up in the liver
  8. hepatic cysts: fluid-filled sacs within the liver
  9. toxic hepatitis: liver inflammation by chemical poisoning

Risk factors regarding Enlarged liver in children

Elevated liver enzymes in child cause greater risk if not treated properly. Here are some risk factors-

  1. sickle cell disease
  2. chronic liver disease
  3. autoimmune disorders
  4. liver cancers
  5. inflammatory bowel disease
  6. obesity

Some of the causes of the enlarged liver in children are- 

  1. Hepatitis B and C
  2. travelling to international nations linked with prospects for malaria
  3. Taking herbs like ma huang, comfrey, and mistletoe
  4. Eating excessive junk food and drinking processed drinks 
  5. Improper meal pattern
  6. Dehydration
  7. A past medical record like jaundice

The possibility of feeling an enlarged liver is impossible. But because harm to your children's liver can create a collection of liquid within their stomach, you may discern that your child's stomach clings out more than normal. You kid may further see traits like loss of appetite and abdomen pain.

Treatment of liver problems in kids

The treatment opportunities depend upon the inner ailments that cause liver enlargement in your child. Some of the methods your physician will suggest may include:

  1. a liver transplant for liver damage
  2. radiation for liver cancer
  3. chemotherapy
  4. Liver Failure treatment
  5. Hepatitis C medications
  6. metastatic cancer root treatment
  7. treatment for lymphoma or leukemia

Treating liver disease in infants may be different than this, you should see a doctor to know further details and proceedings. 


If your children are showing significant symptoms of liver enlargement, it is smart to see a doctor. Initial treatment can bypass future complications and life-threatening diseases. Proper taking of medicines as directed by the physical, going for routine check-ups and taking preventive measures is very important to conquer this medical condition. Also, take care of your child's diet and decide a proper meal pattern. Control their crave for junk foods and processed drinks. Push them towards healthy foods like veggies and nuts.