Liver Disease

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

Can liver disease be prevented?

  • Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver disease in North America. Consuming alcohol in moderation may help minimize the risk of alcohol-related liver disease.
  • The risk of contracting Hepatitis B and C can be decreased by minimizing the risk of exposure to other another person's bodily fluids.
  • Vaccination is available for Hepatitis A and B.
  • Screening for Hepatitis C is recommended in some populations.
  • Fatty liver disease is a preventable illness with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet, weight control, avoiding excess alcohol consumption and routine exercise program. These lifestyle modifications do not guarantee success in disease prevention as some people will develop fatty liver disease even with maximized lifestyle practices.

What is the outlook for a patient with liver disease?

The outlook and outcome for a patient depends upon the underlying diagnosis.

Interestingly, in patients with cirrhosis, there may be little correlation between the amount of damage found on liver biopsy and the ultimate outcome. A patient may never develop symptoms and have a normal life-span or may develop significant symptoms with seemingly minimal disease.

Reviewed on 7/15/2015
References
REFERENCES:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Liver."

IMAGES:

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3.iStock / CDC

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8.Photolibrary.com

9.Ed Uthman, MD

10.Getty Images / Bigstock / iStock

11.iStock

12.Veer

13.iStock

14.iStock / Mikael Häggström / MedicineNet

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