The term “liver disease” refers to any condition that destroys the liver and impairs its function. Infections, hereditary diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer are all possible causes.
The liver’s ability to operate may deteriorate to the point that it can no longer keep the individual alive as the disease develops.
A person experiencing signs of liver illness should consult a doctor to identify the best course of action. Early treatment can typically prevent or reduce the progression of liver disease while also improving a person’s quality of life.
The symptoms of liver illness, as well as their diagnostic and treatment options, are discussed in this article.
What is the Definition of Liver Disease?
The term “liver disease” refers to a variety of medical diseases that affect the liver and cause it to malfunction. There are numerous types of liver disease, which can be caused by viruses, hereditary disorders, cancer, and other factors. Some liver illnesses can be cured, while others can be prevented from progressing to life-threatening liver failure. Acute and chronic liver disease is also possible. Acute liver disease occurs when the liver is rapidly damaged. When a problem affects the liver for six months or more it is called chronic liver disease.
What is the Location of the Liver?
The liver is generally found in the upper right section of the abdomen, mostly behind the ribs, just below the diaphragm (the muscular membrane that separates the chest from the belly). It does, however, extend over the middle of the upper abdomen and into the left upper abdomen in part. The liver is a solid structure with an irregularly formed dome-like shape that is made up of two main portions (a larger right lobe and a smaller left lobe) and two minor lobes.
Facts About Liver Disease
The liver is the body’s largest solid organ, weighing roughly 3.5 pounds on average.
liver performs a variety of important processes, including the production of vital proteins and fat and glucose metabolism.
The liver also detoxifies alcohol, some narcotics, and environmental pollutants, as well as eliminating dangerous biochemical waste products.
Bile acids are former and secrete by the liver to aid in the digestion and absorption of lipids and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K through the intestine.
Hepatitis (liver inflammation), cirrhosis (scarring), fatty liver, and liver cancer are among diseases that can affect the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma).
Here are some of the symptoms and indicators of liver disease:
- If you’re prone to bleeding or bruising easily,
- And exhaustion
- A yellow tinge to the skin (yellow coloring to the skin and whites of the eyes).
Acute liver illness can manifest itself in a variety of ways, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs:
Symptoms in General
- Fatigue or weakness
- A yellowing of the skin and eyes is known as jaundice.
- Urine that is dark in color
- Stool that is light in color
- Vomiting and nausea
- On the right side of the body, there is soreness under the ribcage.
These symptoms may appear suddenly in some situations, depending on the etiology of liver disease. It’s also likely that up to half of those who have acute liver illness show no symptoms.
Chronic liver disease patients may not show any symptoms until the disease has progressed for many years.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver.
The most frequent kinds of viral hepatitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, are A, B, and C.
Hepatitis can also be cause by drugs, chemicals, or excessive alcohol consumption.
According to the CDC, acute illness symptoms can appear anywhere from two weeks to six months after exposure. Chronic hepatitis symptoms can take decades to appear. Among the most common signs and symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Stools in a light color
- Stomach ache
- Urine that is dark in color
- Joint discomfort
Some people with hepatitis, on the other hand, may not show any signs or symptoms at all.
Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease
When fat accumulates in the liver, fatty liver disease develops. Over time, accumulating fat can harm a person’s liver, causing it to malfunction.
Fatty liver disease, like other liver diseases, can go unnoticed for a long time. The following symptoms may develop when symptoms do appear:
- Itching that persists for a lengthy period of time
- Acute exhaustion
- Weight loss that isn’t explaine
- On the skin, blood vessels that resemble spider webs
Symptoms of a Genetic Disorder
There are numerous types of genetic liver disease, many of which are poorly understood. The American Liver Foundation lists alpha-1 antitrypsin insufficiency and Alagille syndrome as two of the most frequent.
These disorders can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Bloating in the stomach
- A lack of appetite
- Findings of a liver test that are abnormal
- Inflammation of the legs
- Stools that are pale and loose
- In the first three months of life, there is a low rate of growth.
- Skin that is itchy
Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease
There are several kinds of autoimmune liver disease, with autoimmune hepatitis being the most frequent. Symptoms that a person with this illness may experience include:
- A decrease in appetite
More severe symptoms may occur as the condition advances. Loss of cognitive function, swelling in the legs, and fluid in the belly are all possible symptoms.
Symptoms of Cancer
Several signs of liver cancer are similar to those of other liver illnesses.
If a person notices these symptoms, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible. Early detection can increase the chances of a successful treatment.
The following are some of the most common signs of liver cancer:
A decrease in appetite
Weight loss that is unintentional
An accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
Liver Disease Treatment
The term “liver disease” refers to a variety of disorders that impact the liver’s function.
It’s possible that a person won’t notice any signs of their ailment until they’ve had it for years. Any symptoms that could indicate a liver disease should be discusse with a physician. Because many types of liver illness have similar symptoms, a doctor may need to perform tests to assist diagnose the problem and establish the best treatment options.