Liver disorders

What Is Liver Disease?

Liver disease, or liver disorder, is any disturbance of liver function that causes illness. The liver is responsible for many critical functions within the body and should it become diseased or injured, the loss of those functions can cause significant damage to the body. Liver disease is also referred to as hepatic disease.

Types of Liver Disease

The most common types of liver disease include:

  • Cirrhosis: A condition caused by long-term damage to the liver due to chronic disease, such as hepatitis or alcoholism.
  • Hepatic steatosis: Also known as fatty liver disease, this is a condition caused by excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • Hepatitis: A group of viral infections that cause inflammation of the liver, which can lead to permanent damage.
  • Alcoholic liver disease: A condition caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Hemochromatosis: A condition caused by too much iron being stored in the liver.
  • Cholestatic liver disease: A condition caused by disruption of the flow of bile from the liver.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

The symptoms of liver disease can vary greatly depending on the type and severity of the disorder. Common signs and symptoms of liver disease include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Abdominal pain and/or swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Itching
  • Confusion and memory problems

Treatment of Liver Disease

Treatment of liver disease will depend on the type and severity of the disorder. Treatment may include medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery. If the disease is caught in an early stage, it is usually easier to treat and may even resolve without any treatment. In more severe cases, liver transplant may be necessary.