What Diseases Can Affect the Liver?

Your liver’s health can be affected by several conditions and diseases. Unhealthy lifestyles or viral infections can be the cause for some liver diseases, but there are others that have unknown causes.
Here are some of the most common diseases and conditions that affect the liver:

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when there are fat deposits in the liver, which may prevent it from functioning properly and may eventually lead to serious liver damage.
  • DILI (drug-induced liver injury). Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is an adverse reaction to different medications such as cardiovascular, oncological, or antibiotic drugs, that occurs either as a predictable event when an individual is exposed to toxic doses of some compounds or as an unpredictable event with many drugs in common use. Drugs can be harmful to the liver in susceptible individuals owing to genetic and environmental risk factors.
  • Hepatitis. In the case of viral hepatitis, viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, cause inflammation of the liver. They have similar liver symptoms such as fever, pain in the upper right area of the abdomen, loss of appetite and jaundice, among others.
  • Cirrhosis. There are various causes that can cause long-term damage to the liver, like a hepatitis infection or alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis refers to the permanent scarring of the liver. When your liver undergoes damage, it will heal and repair itself, but leaves scar tissue behind. Too much scar tissue and the liver will be unable to function as it should.
  • Autoimmune hepatitis. This is a chronic disease caused by the body’s own immune system, which attacks the liver and causes inflammation and liver damage. It can lead to complications, such as cirrhosis, if left untreated.
  • Liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer and usually occurs following cirrhosis.
  • Liver failure. There are several causes for liver failure, such as infection, genetic diseases, and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Alcoholic liver disease. This arises due to alcohol abuse. There are many adults who drink alcohol; however, liver disease tends to appear in those who consume alcohol excessively.
  • Cholestasis. Cholestasis is a condition when the flow of bile from the liver is blocked or restricted. It can be caused by certain medications or pregnancy. Sometimes it can be due to a tumour or a gallstone.
  • Wilson’s disease. Wilson’s disease is a rare inherited disorder causing copper to accumulate in the liver, brain, and other organs. It’s normally absorbed from your food and any excess is excreted through the liver. However, in those with Wilson’s disease, copper is not eliminated and accumulates to even a life-threatening level. If it’s diagnosed, it’s treatable, and those with the condition can lead normal lives.