Liver disease

Hepatic disease
File:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease1.jpg
Classification and external resources
MedlinePlus 000205
NCI Liver disease
Patient UK Liver disease
MeSH D008107

Liver disease (also called hepatic disease) is a type of damage to or disease of the liver.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms[1] related to liver dysfunction include both physical signs and a variety of symptoms related to digestive problems, coagulopathies,[2] blood sugar problems, immune disorders, abnormal absorption of fats, and metabolism problems.[citation needed]

The malabsorption of fats may lead to symptoms that include indigestion, reflux, deficit of fat soluble vitamins, hemorrhoids, gallstones, intolerance to fatty foods, intolerance to alcohol, nausea and vomiting attacks, abdominal bloating, and constipation.

Nervous system disorders include depression, mood changes, especially anger and irritability, poor concentration and "foggy brain", overheating of the body, especially the face and torso, and recurrent headaches (including migraine) associated with nausea.

The blood sugar problems include hypoglycaemia.

Hypercholesterolemia: elevated LDL cholesterol, reduced HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, clogged arteries leading to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, buildup of fat in other body organs (fatty degeneration of organs), lumps of fat in the skin (lipomas and other fatty tumors), excessive weight gain (which may lead to obesity), inability to lose weight even while dieting, sluggish metabolism, protuberant abdomen (pot belly), cellulite, fatty liver, and a roll of fat around the upper abdomen (liver roll) etc.[citation needed] Or too low levels of lipids: hypocholesterolemia: low total cholesterol, low LDL and VLDL cholesterol, low triglycerides.


There are more than a hundred kinds of liver disease. The most widely spread are as follows:

There are also many pediatric liver diseases including: biliary atresia, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Alagille syndrome, and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis.


A number of liver function tests (LFTs) are available to test the proper function of the liver. These test for the presence of enzymes in blood that are normally most abundant in liver tissue, metabolites or products. serum proteins, serum albumin, serum globulin, A/G Ratio, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, platelet count.


The most effective way to treat alcoholic liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is to make lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Cutting out alcohol
  • Improving the diet
  • Engaging in regular exercise

Anti-viral medications are available to treat infections such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This is an area of active research and drug development and today many treatments offer improved outcomes, by clearing or controlling the virus to slow any decline in the condition of your liver.

Other conditions may be managed by slowing down disease progression, for example:

  • By using steroid-based drugs in autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Regularly removing a quantity of blood from a vein (venesection) in the iron overload condition, hemochromatosis.
  • Wilson’s disease, a condition where copper builds up in the body, can be managed with drugs which bind copper allowing it to be passed from your body in urine.
  • In cholestatic liver disease (where the flow of bile is affected) a medication called ursodeoxycholic acid (URSO, also referred to as UDCA) may be given. Made from naturally occurring bile acid, it may offer some protection for the liver from the harmful chemicals in the bile, slowing damage.


  1. "Early signs and symptoms of LIVER disease"
  2. "Coagulopathy in liver disease". Current Treat Options Gastroenterol 10 (6): 464–73. 2007. 
  3. YashRoy R.C. (2000) Salmonella 3,10:r:- toxicity in rabbit ileum and liver by light and electron microscopy Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology, vol. 43(1), pp. 17-22.

See also