View Table of Contents
- Liver Disease Facts
- What is liver disease?
- What is liver disease? (Continued)
- What are the causes of liver disease?
- What are the causes of liver disease? (Part 2)
- What are the causes of liver disease? (Part 3)
- What are the causes of liver disease? (Part 4)
- What are the risk factors for liver disease?
- What are the symptoms of liver disease?
- When to seek medical care for liver disease
- How is liver disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for liver disease?
- What are the complications of liver disease?
- Can liver disease be prevented?
- What is the outlook for a patient with liver disease?
What are the causes of liver disease?
The liver can be damaged in a variety of ways.
- Cells can become inflamed (such as in hepatitis: hepar=liver + itis=inflammation).
- Bile flow can be obstructed (such as in cholestasis: chole=bile + stasis=standing).
- Cholesterol or triglycerides can accumulate (such as in steatosis; steat=fat + osis=accumulation).
- Blood flow to the liver may be compromised.
- Liver tissue can be damaged by chemicals and minerals, or infiltrated by abnormal cells.
Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver disease in North America. Alcohol is directly toxic to liver cells and can cause liver inflammation, referred to as alcoholic hepatitis. In chronic alcohol abuse, fat accumulation occurs in liver cells.
Cirrhosis is a late-stage of liver disease. Scarring of the liver and loss of functioning liver cells cause the liver to fail.