The liver is the largest internal organ of the body, almost the size of a football. It is responsible for more than 500 functions and helps in flushing toxins out of the blood. Since all the blood passes through the liver, it is also more accessible for cancer cells. The liver is the only organ of the body that can regenerate on its own. So, when a donor gives a part of his/her liver to the recipient, the liver heals itself and regenerates to the original size. Liver diseases can be fatal, and there are all sorts of categories, right from virus infections to genetic diseases and cancer. In this post, we will talk about liver diseases in general.

What are the different types of liver diseases?

Liver diseases like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are caused by a virus, and it is possible to get vaccinated for each. Experts like Dr Gurunath Reddy often suggest patients get vaccinated for viruses and parasites that affect the organ in different ways. Some of the autoimmune diseases, such as Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) and Autoimmune Hepatitis can also impact the liver. Genetic diseases, not limited to Galactosemia, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, and Wilson’s Disease, are also known to affect the organ in adverse ways. Chronic alcohol abuse (Cirrhosis) is one of the many causes of liver damage and diseases, while liver can be impacted by the growth of cancer cells, either in the organ or from cancers that impact other organs.

What are the signs of liver diseases?

In many cases, it is hard to detect the signs of liver damage, especially in cases of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. However, if you have liver conditions, you may have certain common signs like jaundice that may cause change in skin and urine color, pain in the abdomen and swelling in the body. There can be changes in the color of urine, and the patient may suffer from additional symptoms, including vomiting, fatigue, and nausea. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these signs.

What can increase the risk of liver diseases?

Many factors increase the risk of liver diseases, such as extensive abuse of alcohol, injecting illegal drugs, sharing needles, getting tattoos from unsterilized needles, blood transfusions (before 1992), and unprotected sex. If you get exposed to body fluids of patients who are suffering from different liver ailments, you may get a few conditions that are caused by viruses and parasites. Diabetes and obesity also increase the risk of liver conditions.

Check with a healthcare expert now to know more!