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Is liver disease serious?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Liver disease can be serious and sometimes fatal. Your liver processes drugs and other foreign substances, and it produces a variety of proteins your body needs to metabolize nourishment. If you damage your liver, it can regenerate tissue up to a point. Too much damage, and it may stop working the way it's supposed to. Liver damage is more common in older adults, who are less likely to recover from stress and toxins.

Liver disease is serious when it becomes chronic, such as chronic hepatitis C, fatty liver, or when there is long-term chronic alcohol use. The liver undergoes repeated injury, leading to a stage of cirrhosis where liver tissue is essentially replaced by scar tissue with regenerating nodules. With chronic liver disease people run into trouble on a long-term basis, and that's where they end up needing services for transplant.

With acute liver disease, in most cases with support therapy, it is self-limited. The liver does have a remarkable capacity to regenerate itself.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.