The liver plays a vital role in maintaining overall health by processing nutrients, filtering toxins, and regulating metabolism. However, the liver can be affected by a variety of diseases that can cause significant damage and potentially lead to life-threatening complications.
In this blog, we will discuss the various types of liver disease and its symptoms.
What is a Liver Disease?
Liver disease is a condition that affects the liver, which is the largest internal organ in the body responsible for performing many important functions, such as detoxifying harmful substances, producing bile to aid in digestion, and storing glycogen as a source of energy for the body.
Common Liver Problems
There are many conditions that affect your liver. Some of the common types of liver disease are:
An infection can inflame your liver and the most common cause is viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis is caused when the liver becomes inflamed due to a viral infection. Several types of hepatitis include: Hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis A is usually contracted through contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B and C are typically spread through blood or bodily fluids. Symptoms include fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain, and dark urine.
Drug-Induced Liver Disease
Cirrhosis is one of the types of liver disease that occurs when the liver becomes severely scarred. This can be caused by chronic hepatitis, alcoholism, or other conditions that cause inflammation and damage to the liver over time. Symptoms of cirrhosis can include fatigue, jaundice, itching, and a swollen abdomen.
Your liver is where liver cancer initially arises. When cancer originates from other parts of the body and then extends to the liver, it is referred to as secondary liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the prevailing form of liver cancer. Typically, this disease emerges as various small cancerous regions in the liver, but they can also commence as solitary tumors.
Fatty Liver Disease
The fat build-up in the liver leads to fatty liver disease. They are of two types which can either manifest alone or they can overlap.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is one of the types of liver disease that occurs when there is an excess of fat in the liver. It is commonly seen in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes. NAFLD can be asymptomatic or may cause abdominal pain, fatigue, or an enlarged liver.
Alcoholic Liver Disease
Alcoholic liver disease is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol over a prolonged period. This can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver, which can ultimately lead to liver failure. Symptoms of alcoholic liver disease can include fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain, and a loss of appetite.
The immune system is responsible for defending the body against foreign agents, such as viruses and bacteria. However, there are instances when these types of liver disease malfunction and attack specific parts of the body, including the liver.
Autoimmune hepatitis is one different type of liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver, causing inflammation and damage. Symptoms can include jaundice, fatigue, and abdominal pain.
Primary Biliary Cholangitis
Primary biliary cholangitis occurs when the bile ducts in the liver become inflamed and damaged. These types of liver disease can lead to scarring and ultimately liver failure. Symptoms of primary biliary cholangitis can include fatigue, itching, and dry eyes or mouth.
Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes the body to accumulate too much copper, which can lead to liver damage. Symptoms of Wilson’s disease can include fatigue, jaundice, and neurological problems such as tremors or difficulty speaking.
Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron, which can lead to liver damage. Symptoms of these types of liver disease can include fatigue, joint pain, and abdominal pain.
To sum up, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms or different types of liver disease as mentioned above, it is important to consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible because early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious complications and improve long-term outcomes.
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