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Dr. Shailendra Lalwani

HOD & Senior Surgeon –
Liver Transplantation And Hepato-Pancraetic Biliary Surgery

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Liver Diseases

The liver is the largest internal organ and performs vital physiological functions. Due care of the liver should be taken for leading an overall healthy life. Any disease in the liver affects many organs and organ systems including the digestive system, cardiovascular system, brain, and kidney. Any symptoms indicating a problem in the liver should be comprehensively evaluated by fixing an appointment with the doctor expert in treating liver diseases.

What Are The Types Of Liver Disease?

The condition which reduces the capacity of the liver in performing its physiological functions can be categorized as liver disease. The severity and seriousness of the disease may be mild to severe and the treatment is also provided based on severity. Following are some of the common liver diseases:

  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cancer

What Are The Symptoms Of Liver Disease?

The liver has a high capacity to perform its functions. Substantial damage to the liver is required to experience signs and symptoms of liver disease. Disease in the liver interferes with the physiological functioning of the liver. Following are some of the symptoms of liver disease:

  • Jaundice which causes yellowing of skin and eyes. This is due to the abnormal metabolic functioning of the liver.
  • Swelling or edema in legs due to low level of albumin.
  • Reduced synthesis of blood coagulating substances leading to bleeding.
  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

What Are The Causes Of Liver Disease?

Following are some of the causes of liver diseases:

Infection: Infection due to virus and parasite interferes in the liver functions and cause liver disease. The viral infection includes hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Medications: Various medications such as tamoxifen, griseofulvin, methotrexate, steroids, and amiodarone are known to cause fatty liver disease.

Liver cancer: Cancer in liver, cancer in the bile duct and liver adenoma also reduces the functional capacity of the liver and may cause liver failure.

Abnormal immune system: Autoimmune liver diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis affect liver.

Genetics: Because of the genetic variation in an individual, various toxic substances accumulate in the liver causing liver diseases. These diseases include Wilson’s disease, Hemochromatosis, hyperoxaluria, and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Miscellaneous: Drinking too much alcohol may also cause liver disease. Accumulation of fat in the liver causes fatty liver disease.

What Are The Risk Factors For Liver Disease?

Various factors increase the risk of liver disease:

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Unprotected sex
  • Bloodborne diseases
  • Obesity
  • Tattoos

What Are The Treatment Options For Liver Diseases?

Treatment of the liver disease depends upon the cause and severity of the condition. Some disease can be treated through making few modifications in lifestyle such as maintaining healthy weight and restriction on alcohol intake. Certain other liver diseases require medications and surgery. Liver transplant is the last option in people with liver failure due to progressive diseases.

What Are The Complications Due To Untreated Liver Disease?

Untreated liver diseases not only have an impact on the liver but it spreads to other organs. Brain, kidney and digestive system are severely affected by the complications due to untreated liver diseases. This may also lead to liver failure which may cause death.

How Liver Diseases Can Be Prevented?

Following are some measures to prevent or reduce the risk of liver disease:

  • Restrict the quantity of alcohol intake.
  • Get a vaccination for hepatitis
  • Avoid sharing needles
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Use condoms while having sex
  • Avoid tattoos on the skin and if you need them to ensure that they are under proper hygiene.


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