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What is liver disease?

Liver disease is a general term that refers to any abnormal process (infection, poisoning or cancer, for example) that affects liver tissues. Without a functioning liver, the body cannot sustain life. If about three-quarters of your liver tissue is severely damaged, your liver will begin to fail and you may need a liver transplant.

There are more than 100 liver diseases. Some of the most common liver diseases are:
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • primary biliary cholangitis
  • alcohol-related liver disease

Liver disease includes a variety of conditions that affect the function or structure of the liver, an organ in the lower right abdominal region. Your liver not only helps rid the body of toxic materials, it also aids in food digestion and nutrient absorption. Disease can be genetic or can be a result of environmental factors, such as viruses, toxic compounds, excessive consumption of alcohol, and some others.

Continue Learning about Liver Disease

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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.