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LIVER DISEASES

Autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis is liver inflammation that occurs when your body's immune system turns against liver cells. Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and eventually to liver failure. When diagnosed and treated early, however, autoimmune hepatitis often can be controlled with drugs that suppress the immune system.

 

Biliary atresia

Biliary atresia is a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This congenital condition occurs when the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not develop normally. It is not known why the biliary system fails to develop normally.

 

Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver from repeated or long-lasting injury, such as from drinking alcohol excessively over a long period of time or chronic Hepatitis infection. As scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver loses its ability to function. Initially patients may experience fatigue, weakness and weight loss. During later stages, patients may develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin), gastrointestinal bleeding, abdominal swelling and confusion. Treatments focus on the underlying cause(s). In advanced cases, a liver transplant may be required.

 

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition where fat accumulates in the liver and can lead to serious complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer and other heart health issues. 

​There are two types of fatty liver disease:

  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by heavy alcohol consumption

  • Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD) which is caused by an increase in age, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. 

 

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a viral infection of your liver. It causes inflammation and liver damage, making it difficult for your liver to function as it should. All types of hepatitis are contagious, but you can reduce your risk by getting vaccinated for types A and B or taking other preventive steps, including practicing safe sex and not sharing needles. There are five types of hepatitis:

  • Hepatitis A is typically spread through contact with contaminated food or water. Symptoms may clear up without treatment, but recovery can take a few weeks.

  • Hepatitis B can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). It’s spread through bodily fluids, such as blood and semen. While hepatitis B is treatable, there’s no cure for it. Early treatment is key to avoiding complications, so it’s best to get regular screenings if you’re at risk.

  • Hepatitis C can also be acute or chronic. It’s often spread through contact with blood from someone with hepatitis C. While it often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, it can lead to permanent liver damage in its later stages.

  • Hepatitis D is a serious form of hepatitis that only develops in people with hepatitis B — it can’t be contracted on its own. It can also be either acute or chronic.

  • Hepatitis E is usually caused by drinking contaminated water. Generally, it clears up on its own within a few weeks without any lasting complications.

 

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer)
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma occurs most often in people with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, is higher in people with long-term liver diseases. It's also higher if the liver is scarred by infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Hepatocellular carcinoma is more common in people who drink large amounts of alcohol and who have an accumulation of fat in the liver.

Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is a condition in which your body stores too much iron. It's often genetic. It can cause serious damage to your body, including to your heart, liver and pancreas. You can't prevent the disease, but early diagnosis and treatment can avoid, slow or reverse organ damage.

 

Liver failure
Liver failure occurs when your liver isn’t working well enough to perform its functions (for example, manufacturing bile and ridding the body of harmful substances). Symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, and blood in the stool. Treatments include avoiding alcohol and avoiding certain foods. In many cases, chronic liver failure results from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver from repeated or long-lasting injury, such as from drinking alcohol excessively over a long period of time or chronic hepatitis infection. As scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver loses its ability to function.

 

Wilson Disease

Wilson disease is a relatively rare genetic disorder that prevents the body from eliminating copper. The build-up of copper damages certain structures including the liver, nervous system, brain, kidneys and eyes. Wilson disease is fatal without medical treatment. There is no cure, but the condition can be managed.