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

The Danger of a Fatty Meal
The Danger of a Fatty Meal
King Henry VIII is renowned for having six wives, two of whom he executed. But he is also an infamous glutton. He expanded the kitchens at Hampton Cou...
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Can non-alcoholic fatty liver disease cause cirrhosis?
St Francis Medical CenterSt Francis Medical Center
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can cause cirrhosis. All people with diabetes, high cholesterol or ...
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How do primary biliary cirrhosis and primary biliary cholangitis differ?
Primary biliary cirrhosis and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) are the same condition. Experts chan...
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How can I protect my liver?
You can protect your liver by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding intake of tox...
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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.