The liver is an organ in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It is triangular and has a size of about 2000 grams (4 pounds). The liver cleanses the blood, produces bile acids, and stores energy from food. The liver also controls all chemical substances in our body. It regulates the level of glucose, fat, amino acid content, etc. Therefore it can be said that the liver acts as a factory for controlling metabolism.
The liver may become sick or injured by infectious diseases, poisoning, or non-infectious diseases such as cancerous tumors (hepatocellular carcinomas) metastasis to the liver tissue, etc. The non-infectious hepatitis disease usually develops after years with slow progression causing hepatocytes damage and leading to cirrhosis and liver failure.
The most common diseases of the liver are
1) Alcoholic hepatitis
This is a form of hepatitis that is caused by excessive alcohol consumption. It is a serious condition that can lead to cirrhosis and death if not treated. Symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and jaundice.
2) Viral hepatitis
There are several types of viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. These diseases are caused by viruses that attack the liver and can lead to inflammation (hepatitis), cirrhosis, and even death. Symptoms vary depending on the type of virus involved but may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, jaundice, and abdominal tenderness.
3) Bacterial infection
Acute or chronic bacterial infections can affect different areas of the liver. Several types of bacteria may affect the liver like tuberculosis (TB), syphilis (one form is known as lues), actinomycosis (causes abscesses on the liver). Symptoms of acute bacterial hepatitis include fever chills, jaundice(yellowing skin & eyes), malaise (feeling unwell), an enlarged painful spleen in some cases. Chronic active hepatitis symptoms include feeling very tired (fatigue), general ill health, weight loss, a swollen abdomen (due to an enlarged liver), and jaundice.
4) Autoimmune hepatitis
Another common disease of the liver is autoimmune hepatitis, the body’s immune system attacks the liver cells. This can lead to inflammation (hepatitis), cirrhosis, and even death. Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis include fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and skin rashes.
Both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors can develop in the liver. Benign tumors are usually not life-threatening but may cause problems if they grow large or press on other organs in the abdomen. Malignant tumors are much more serious and can often metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Symptoms of liver tumors depend on the type and size of the tumor but may include abdominal pain, jaundice, weight loss, fever, and fatigue.
Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver becomes severely scarred and no longer functions properly. This can lead to life-threatening complications such as liver failure or cancer. Symptoms of cirrhosis vary depending on the cause but may include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels on the skin, changes in mental status (confusion), and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites).
The liver is an important organ that cleans the blood, produces bile acids, and stores energy from food. It also regulates all chemical substances in our body by controlling metabolism. The liver may become sick or injured as a result of infectious diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, viral hepatitis, bacterial infection, autoimmune hepatitis, and tumors. These are just some of many common diseases of the liver and if you suspect this could be your issue then it’s time to visit a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options.