What are the risk factors for liver disease?
- Some liver diseases are potentially preventable and are associated with lifestyle choices. Alcohol-related liver disease is due to excessive consumption and is the most common preventable cause of liver disease.
- Hepatitis B is a viral infection most often spread through the exchange of bodily fluids (for example, unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing unsterilized drug injecting equipment, using non-sterilized equipment for tattoos or body piercing).
- Hereditary liver disease can be passed genetically from generation to generation. Examples include Wilson's disease (copper metabolism abnormalities) and hemochromatosis (iron overload).
- Chemical exposure may damage the liver by irritating the liver cells resulting in inflammation (hepatitis), reducing bile flow through the liver (cholestasis) and accumulation of triglycerides (steatosis). Chemicals such as anabolic steroids, vinyl chloride, and carbon tetrachloride can cause liver cancers.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose is a common cause of liver failure. It is important to review the dosing guidelines for all over-the-counter medications and to ask for guidance from your health care professional or pharmacist as to how much of any medication may be taken safely. While over the counter medications are relatively safe, they may cause complications directly or as an interaction with a prescription medication.
- Medications may irritate the liver blood vessels causing narrowing or the formation of blood clots (thrombosis). Birth control pills may cause hepatic vein thrombosis, especially in smokers. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 7/15/2015