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Liver Disorders

Liver is located in the upper part of your abdomen just beneath rib cage on the right side. It plays a pivotal role in the body metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of protein, fat, carbohydrates, iron etc.

A myriad of pathologies and diseases can affect the liver. These include but are not limited to hepatitis, fatty infiltration of the liver, cancers, genetic disorders and so forth. Various viruses affect the liver. Some of them can cause lifelong and irreversible damage like Cirrhosis of liver. Some of the viral infections of liver include Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, Epstein Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Simplex virus.

Alcohol is one of the commonest liver toxin and a very important cause of liver diseases including cirrhosis. This can result in complications like accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, vomiting blood, mental changes, protein malnutrition, infections and liver cancer.

Fatty infiltration of the liver or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term used to describe the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common and, for most people, causes no signs and symptoms and no complications. However, in some people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the fat that accumulates can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver ultimately leading to cirrhosis.

Cancers can develop within the liver itself and is called as hepatocellular cancer or cancer can spread to the liver from any other organs. Cirrhosis is one of the most important precursors to development of cancer in the liver.

Various metabolic disorders like hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, sarcoidosis, alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency can cause liver involvement and damage.

Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease in which the body's immune system attacks the cells, of the liver and causes inflammation and liver damage. The immune system normally protects people from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances. Autoimmune hepatitis is a serious condition that may worsen over time if not treated. Autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Cirrhosis is the end result of many liver diseases like viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, alcohol related liver disease, NAFLD, hemochromatosis etc. Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and blocks the normal flow of blood through the liver. Liver failure occurs when the liver stops working properly.

The preceding information is intended only to provide general information and not as a definitive basis for diagnosis or treatment in any particular case. It is very important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.