What Is Liver Disease?

The lever is the second-largest organ of the human body. It serves as a filter, which separates the nutrients and waste as the food moves through the digestive system. The waste is nothing but toxins, and the liver is responsible for eliminating these toxic substances from the body.

In the case of liver disease, the liver will fail to get the toxins out of the body, which can affect the person’s overall health significantly.The liver might malfunction because of factors such as genetics, viral infection, obesity, and alcohol abuse.

Several conditions can lead to the development of liver disease, which can in turn cause cirrhosis or scarring. The scar may spread on the liver surface, as the scar issues replace the healthy tissues. If it is not treated early, it might lead to liver failure or cancer.

Various factors might contribute to damage to the liver over time and potentiate the risk of liver failure, which can be fatal. The damage can be prevented when the treatment is taken on time. Early treatment will reduce the risk of life-threatening complications.


Generally, one of the most common symptoms of liver disease is jaundice, which can be indicated by the yellowing of the skin and the white portion of the eyes.According to the Mayo Clinic website, sometimes the person may even show any symptoms of liver disease and it might go unnoticed. But in case a person develops some symptoms related to liver disease, then it is necessary to get it checked by a healthcare professional. Some symptoms of liver disease can be:

  • Yellowing of skin and eyes (Jaundice)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark color urine
  • Getting bruises easily
  • Pale color stools
  • Itchy skin


Liver disease can be caused by one of the factors that are listed below:

  • Viral infections – Parasites and viruses can lead to liver infections, which can affect its function. The infection can spread throughout the body and affect the other organs. Viral infections potentiate the risk of liver infections, which include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
  • Genetics – The liver disease can run in the family. A person might inherit this genetic makeup from one or both of their parents. Liver diseases caused due to abnormal genes are – Hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
  • Immune system disorders – When the immune system accidentally attacks the liver, it can damage its functions and cause autoimmune liver diseases, which may include autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Tumors and cancer – Sometimes the cells inside the liver might undergo rapid multiplication, which can cause the development of tumors inside. The tumor thus formed can be noncancerous or benign, which are generally harmless, or it can be malignant, which leads to liver cancer.
  • Chronic alcoholism – Heavy use of alcohol potentiates the risk of alcoholic liver diseases that include fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis.Fatty liver can lead to the accumulation of fat in the liver cells, which inflates the liver.
  • Prescription/non-prescription drugs – The side effects of certain drugs can contribute to liver damage.


Your healthcare provider will conduct a physical examination and ask you some questions about your health history, symptoms, etc., and order some tests. The tests will be helpful in identifying the cause of liver disease and the extent of damage that is already done.

Generally, they may recommend some common tests that are as follows:

  • Blood sample test – This test will reveal the cause of liver dysfunction, which is necessary for starting the treatment. The test will check for liver problems or genetic abnormalities.
  • Imaging tests – Your doctor will order a CT scan or MRI scan of your liver. This will be helpful in determining the degree of liver damage.
  • Liver biopsy – This involves the removal of a tissue sample from the liver to identify the root cause of liver disorder and to perform diagnosis. To perform a biopsy, the healthcare provider will insert a thin needle inside your liver and collect the liver tissue sample to analyze it.


The treatment will depend on the severity of the disease. Your healthcare provider will prescribe you appropriate treatments after a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Treatments include:

  • Medications – Liver diseases can be managed and treated with certain medications. They can slow down liver damage.
  • Liver transplant – When the disease becomes severe and reaches the advanced stage progressing to failure, then liver transplant is the only option. It involves the removal of the damaged liver and replacing it with a healthy liver.
  • Lifestyle changes – In combination with the other treatments, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary. You need to make changes in your diet. Consumption of fatty meals must be avoided. Those who consume alcohol must give it up completely, otherwise, it will worsen the condition.


  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Always use protection while having unprotected sex.
  • Never share the needles.
  • Avoid using OTC medications excessively.
  • Keep your weight in check.
  • Maintain hygiene.
  • Get vaccinated against infections.

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