Liver Disease

Liver Conditions

The liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. There are many kinds of liver diseases:

• Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C

• Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

• Liver cancer

• Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease

Symptoms of liver disease can vary, but they often include swelling of the abdomen and legs, bruising easily, changes in the color of your stool and urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Sometimes there are no symptoms. Imaging tests and liver function tests can check for liver damage and help with diagnosis for liver diseases. Factors that may increase your risk of liver disease include:

• Heavy alcohol use

• Obesity

• Type 2 diabetes

• Injecting drugs using shared needles

• Exposure to blood or body fluids

• Family history

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any symptoms that persist or worry you. Seek immediate medical help if you have severe abdominal pain.