Liver disease is a general term that can describe any problem that damages the liver and affects its function. Possible causes include infections, genetic diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. As liver disease progresses, the liver’s ability to function may decrease to the point where it can no longer sustain the person’s life.
A person with symptoms of liver disease should see a doctor to determine the best treatment. Early treatment can often stop or slow the progression of liver disease and improve a person’s quality of life. This article discusses the symptoms of liver disease, along with its diagnosis and treatment options.

What is liver disease?

Liver disease describes several different medical conditions that damage the liver and lead to reduced functioning. There are many different types of liver disease, which can be due to viruses, genetic conditions, and cancer, among other causes. Treatments can cure certain diseases that affect the liver and prevent them from leading to life-threatening liver failure. Liver disease can be acute or chronic. Acute liver disease occurs when something suddenly damages the liver. Chronic liver disease occurs when a condition continues to affect the liver for 6 months or more.

General symptoms

Acute liver disease can present with several symptoms, including:
– fever
– fatigue or weakness
– yellowing of the skin and eyes, called jaundice
– dark urine
– pallor
– nausea and vomiting
– pain under the ribs on the right side of the body

In some cases, depending on the cause of liver disease, these symptoms may appear suddenly. It is also possible that around 50% of people with acute liver disease have no symptoms. People with chronic liver disease may have no symptoms until the disease has progressed for many years.

Hepatitis symptoms

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The most common types of viral hepatitis are A, B, and C. A person can also develop hepatitis from drugs, toxins, or heavy alcohol consumption. Symptoms of acute illness may appear between two weeks and six months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis can take decades to appear.

Here are some common symptoms:

– tiredness
– loss of appetite
– fever
– nausea
– jaundice
– abdominal pain
– vomiting
– dark urine
– joint pain
However, some people living with hepatitis may not have any symptoms.

Symptoms of fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease occurs when fat builds up in the liver. Accumulated fat can damage a person’s liver over time, impairing its functioning.
As with other liver diseases, fatty liver disease may not produce any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include:

– weakness
– itching that lasts a long time
– significant tiredness
– unexplained weight loss
– jaundice
– blood vessels that look like cobwebs on the skin

Liver Cancer Symptoms

Liver cancer has several common symptoms with other liver diseases. Talk to her doctor as soon as possible if she notices these symptoms. Early diagnosis can help improve the chances of successful treatment.

Common symptoms of liver cancer are:
– loss of appetite
– unintentional weight loss
– enlarged liver
– enlarged spleen
– feeling full after a small meal or snack
– nausea
– vomiting
– abdominal pain
– itching
– accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
– jaundice

Symptoms of cirrhosis

Cirrhosis occurs when the liver is permanently scarred and damaged. Cirrhosis often develops due to other conditions, such as hepatitis or alcohol-related liver disease. It can cause several early-stage symptoms, including:

– discomfort or pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
– poor appetite
– feeling tired or weak
– vomiting
– unintentional weight loss
– nausea

Over time, symptoms may worsen. Other symptoms that may develop include

– jaundice
– bruise or bleed easily
– cognitive disorders
– very itchy skin
– swelling in the lower legs, ankles or feet
– abdominal bloating
– dark urine

Liver Failure Symptoms

Liver failure occurs when the liver slows down or stops its normal function. This condition is life-threatening and requires treatment.
Symptoms may be mild at first and worsen as the condition worsens.
Some of the most common early symptoms include

– fatigue
– nausea
– loss of appetite
– diarrhea

As the condition progresses, symptoms may worsen and include:
– confusion or disorientation
– extreme drowsiness
– coma

Liver failure can be fatal.

Risk factors for liver disease

There are several potential risk factors for the development of liver disease.
The most common factors are:

– excessive alcohol consumption, which increases the risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer
– living with diabetes
– obesity
– high cholesterol
– have a history of liver disease, such as hepatitis B or C, both of which increase the risk of liver cancer
– harmful dietary supplements
– exposure to environmental toxins, such as household cleaners or fertilizers or pesticides on fruits and vegetables
– risky sex
– Substance addiction

Liver disease describes many different conditions that affect the liver and its functioning. A person may not show any symptoms of their condition until they have lived with it for years. It is important to talk to a doctor about any symptoms that could indicate a liver problem. Many types of liver disease produce similar symptoms. This is why a doctor may need to order tests to help make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment options.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.