Table of Contents
- Liver Disease Facts
- What is liver disease?
- What is liver disease? (Continued)
- What are the causes of liver disease (alcohol and cirrhosis)?
- What are the causes of liver disease (drug-induced liver disease)?
- What are the causes of liver disease (hepatitis and others)?
- What are the causes of liver disease (cancer and others)?
- 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 (alcohol and cirrhosis)?
The liver can be damaged in a variety of ways.
- Cells can become inflamed, for example, hepatitis.
- Bile flow can be obstructed, for example, cholestasis).
- Cholesterol ortriglycerides can accumulate, for example, steatosis).
- Blood flow to the liver may be compromised.
- Liver tissue can be damaged by chemicals and minerals, or infiltrated by abnormal cells, like cancer 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 affecting their ability to function.
Cirrhosis is a late-stage of liver disease. Scarring of the liver and loss of functioning liver cells cause the liver to fail. Significant amounts of liver cells need to be damaged before the hole organ fails to function.
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."
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9.Ed Uthman, MD
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