Hepatic disease

    Last updated date: 13-Mar-2023

    Originally Written in English

    Hepatic Disease

    Hepatic Disease


    There are numerous types of hepatic disease that can be caused by infections, inherited conditions, obesity, and alcohol abuse. Hepatic disease can cause scarring and other serious complications over time. Early treatment can aid in the healing process and prevent liver failure.


    What is Hepatic Disease?

    liver disease

    The hepatic (liver) is the body's second largest organ (after the skin). It's about the size of a football and sits just under your ribcage on the right side. The liver separates nutrients and waste as they pass through your digestive system. It also produces bile, a substance that transports toxins from your body and aids digestion. The term " Hepatic disease" refers to any of several conditions that can affect and damage your liver. Cirrhosis can develop from the liver disease over time (scarring). As scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver can no longer function properly. If untreated, liver disease can progress to liver failure and cancer.

    Overall, approximately one in every ten Americans (30 million people) has some form of liver disease. Cirrhosis affects approximately 5.5 million people in the United States. Some types of liver disease are becoming more common in the United States as obesity rates rise. A condition known as the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects an estimated 20% to 30% of adults (NAFD). To reflect its connection to metabolic syndrome and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, this may be renamed metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD).


    What are the symptoms of Hepatic disease?

    symptoms of Hepatic disease

    The hepatic disease does not always manifest as visible signs and symptoms. If hepatic disease symptoms do appear, they may include:

    • Yellowish-colored skin and eyes (jaundice)
    • Pain and swelling in the abdomen
    • Leg and ankle swelling
    • Skin itch
    • Urine color is dark.
    • Stool color is light.
    • Chronic exhaustion
    • Vomiting or nausea
    • Appetite loss
    • Proclivity to bruise easily


    What causes different types of Hepatic disease?

    causes of Hepatic disease

    There are numerous causes of hepatic disease include:

    • Infection

    Infections from parasites and viruses can infect the liver, causing inflammation and reducing liver function. The viruses that cause liver damage can be transmitted through blood or sperm, contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of liver infection, and they include:

    • Acute Hepatitis
    • B Hepatitis
    • The Hepatitis C virus

    • Immune system dysfunction

    Autoimmune diseases, in which your immune system attacks specific parts of your body, can affect your liver. The following are some examples of autoimmune liver diseases:

    • Hepatitis with autoimmunity
    • Biliary cholangitis (primary)
    • Sclerosing cholangitis (primary)
    • Genetics

    An abnormal gene inherited from one or both parents can cause a buildup of various substances in your liver, resulting in liver damage. Among the genetic liver diseases are:

    • Hemochromatosis
    • Wilson's disease
    • Deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin
    • Cancer and other tumors

    Here are some examples:

    • Cancer of the liver
    • Cancer of the bile duct
    • Adenoma of the liver

    Other common causes of liver disease are as follows:

    • Chronic alcoholism
    • Fat accumulation in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
    • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
    • Several herbal compounds


    What are some common hepatic diseases?

    Hepatic disease chart

    Many conditions can affect your liver. Which include:


    Hepatitis blood samples

    Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation of the liver. When that inflammation is caused by a virus, it’s referred to as viral hepatitis. Hepatitis can cause liver damage, making it difficult for your liver to function as it should.

    Most types of viral hepatitis are contagious, but you can lower your risk by getting vaccinated against types A and B and taking other precautions, such as using a condom during sex and not sharing needles.

    There are five types of hepatitis:

    • Hepatitis A: Acute hepatitis is usually transmitted through contact with tainted food or water. Although symptoms may resolve without treatment, recovery can take several weeks.
    • Hepatitis B: This type of viral hepatitis can be acute or chronic (long-term). It spreads through bodily fluids like blood and sperm. Hepatitis B is treatable, but there is no cure. Early treatment is critical to avoiding complications, so if you're at risk, get regular screenings.
    • Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C can be both acute and chronic. It is frequently transmitted through contact with hepatitis C-infected blood. While it rarely causes symptoms in the early stages, it can cause permanent liver damage in the later stages.
    • Hepatitis D: This is a severe form of hepatitis that can only be contracted by people who have hepatitis B; it cannot be contracted on its own. It can also be acute or chronic in nature.
    • Hepatitis E: Drinking contaminated water is the most common cause of Hepatitis E. In most cases, it clears up on its own within a few weeks with no long-term consequences.


    Fatty liver disease 

    Fatty liver disease 

    Fatty liver disease is caused by fat accumulation in the liver. Fatty liver disease is classified into two types. These two types can appear separately or together:

    • Heavy alcohol consumption causes alcoholic fatty liver disease.
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by factors that experts are still trying to figure out.

    Both types of fatty liver disease can cause liver damage, leading to cirrhosis and liver failure if not treated. Changes in diet and lifestyle can often improve symptoms and reduce your risk of complications.


    Autoimmune diseases

    Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body. Several autoimmune diseases involve your immune system attacking liver cells, including:

    • Hepatitis caused by autoimmunity. Because of this condition, your immune system attacks your liver, causing inflammation. It can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure if not treated.
    • Cirrhosis of the bile duct (PBC). This is caused by bile buildup in your liver due to damage to the bile ducts. Cirrhosis and liver failure can result from PBC.
    • Sclerosing cholangitis (primary). This inflammatory condition gradually destroys your bile ducts. They eventually clog, causing bile to accumulate in your liver. Cirrhosis or liver failure can result from this.


    Genetic disorders

    Several genetic conditions inherited from one of your parents can also have an impact on your liver:

    • Hemochromatosis: is a condition in which your body stores more iron than it requires. This iron is still present in your organs, including your liver. If not managed properly, this can cause long-term damage.
    • Wilson's disease: causes your liver to absorb copper rather than excrete it through your bile ducts. Your liver may eventually become too damaged to store more copper, allowing it to travel through your bloodstream and damage other parts of your body, including your brain.
    • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: When your liver is unable to produce enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, a protein that aids in the prevention of enzyme breakdowns throughout your body, you have alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. This condition can result in both lung and liver disease. Although there is no cure, treatment can help.




    Cirrhosis is the scarring caused by liver diseases and other causes of liver damage, such as alcoholism. Cystic fibrosis and syphilis can also cause liver damage and, eventually, cirrhosis, though these are much fewer common causes.

    In response to injury, your liver can regenerate, but this usually results in the formation of scar tissue. The more scar tissue that forms, the more difficult it is for your liver to function properly. Cirrhosis is often treatable in its early stages by addressing the underlying cause. However, if not managed properly, it can lead to other complications and even death.


    Liver Failure

    liver Failure

    Chronic liver failure occurs when a significant portion of your liver is damaged and unable to function properly. In general, liver failure caused by liver disease and cirrhosis progresses slowly. You might not notice any symptoms at first. However, you may begin to notice:

    • jaundice
    • diarrhea
    • confusion
    • exhaustion and weakness
    • nausea

    It is a serious condition that must be managed on an ongoing basis. Acute liver failure, on the other hand, occurs suddenly, and frequently as a result of an overdose or poisoning.


    Can hepatic disease be prevented?

    Consult for physician

    Some types of hepatic disease, particularly those caused by diet and lifestyle, can be prevented. If a patient is at risk for hepatic disease, his provider may suggest lifestyle changes such as:

    • Consume alcohol in moderation: For healthy adults, this equates to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. More than eight drinks per week for women and more than 15 drinks per week for men is considered heavy or high-risk drinking.
    • Avoid dangerous behavior: Use a condom when having sex. When choosing a shop for tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety. Seek help if you use illegal intravenous drugs, and never share needles when injecting drugs.
    • Avoid accidents behavior: Use a condom when having sex. When choosing a shop for tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety. Seek help if you use illegal intravenous drugs, and never share needles when injecting drugs.
    • Receive a vaccination: If you are at high risk of contracting hepatitis or have already been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus, consult your doctor about getting the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
    • Use medications with extreme care: Take prescription and over-the-counter medications only when necessary and in the recommended doses. Never combine medications and alcohol. Before combining herbal supplements with prescription or nonprescription drugs, consult your doctor.
    • Avoid coming into contact with other people's blood or bodily fluids: Hepatitis viruses can be spread through accidental needle sticks or improper blood or body fluid cleanup.
    • Maintain the safety of the food: Before eating or preparing foods, thoroughly wash your hands. When visiting a developing country, drink bottled water, wash your hands, and brush your teeth.
    • Use caution when using aerosol sprays: When spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint, and other toxic chemicals, use them in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
    • Skin should be protected: Wear gloves, long sleeves, a hat, and a mask when using insecticides and other toxic chemicals to prevent chemicals from being absorbed through your skin.
    • Keep a healthy weight: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can be caused by obesity.


    How is hepatic disease diagnosed?

    Hepatic  diagnosed

    Your provider will also recommend one or more tests to accurately diagnose and determine the cause of hepatic disease. These could include:

    • Blood tests: Hepatic enzymes are blood tests that measure the levels of liver enzymes in blood. Another test for liver function is the international normalized ratio, which measures blood clotting (INR). Abnormal levels may indicate liver function issues.
    • Imaging tests: Ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans can be used by your provider to look for signs of damage, scarring, or tumors in your liver. The degree of scarring and fat deposition in the liver can be determined using a specialized type of ultrasound called fibroscan.
    • Examining a tissue sample: Taking a tissue sample (biopsy) from your liver may aid in the diagnosis of liver disease and the detection of signs of liver damage. A liver biopsy is typically performed by inserting a long needle through the skin to extract a tissue sample that is then sent to a lab for testing.


    How is hepatic disease managed or treated?

    treatment for hepatic

    The treatment for hepatic disease is determined by the diagnosis. Some liver problems can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as quitting drinking or losing weight, usually as part of a medical program that includes careful monitoring of liver function. Other liver problems may be treated with medications or surgically.

    Treatment for hepatic disease that causes or has caused liver failure may require a liver transplant in the end.


    Home remedies and a lifestyle

    Changing some lifestyle habits can often help improve liver health. If patient have been diagnosed with liver disease, doctor may advise to:

    • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
    • Red meat, trans fats, processed carbohydrates, and foods containing high-fructose corn syrup should all be avoided.
    • Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at a moderate intensity three to four times per week.
    • If you're overweight, reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories.


    Alternative medication

    There is no evidence that alternative medicine therapies can treat liver disease. Some studies have suggested potential benefits, but more research is needed. Some dietary and herbal supplements, on the other hand, can be harmful to your liver. Over a thousand medications and herbal supplements have been linked to liver damage, including:

    • Ma-huang
    • Germander 
    • Vitamin A
    • Valerian
    • Mistletoe
    • Skullcap
    • Chaparral
    • Comfrey
    • Kava
    • Pennyroyal oils

    Before taking any complementary or alternative medicines, talk to the doctor about the potential risks to the liver.


    Liver transplant

    A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that removes a failed liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from a deceased donor or a portion of a healthy liver from a living donor. Some people with liver cancer and those with liver failure whose condition cannot be controlled with other treatments may benefit from a liver transplant. Liver failure can occur suddenly or gradually over time. Acute liver failure is defined as liver failure that occurs in a matter of weeks. Acute liver failure is a rare condition that is usually caused by side effects from certain medications.

    A liver transplant may be used to treat acute liver failure, but it is more commonly used to treat chronic liver failure. Chronic liver failure develops gradually over months and years. A variety of conditions can result in chronic liver failure. Scarring of the liver is the most common cause of chronic liver failure (cirrhosis). Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces normal liver tissue, causing the liver to malfunction. The most common reason for a liver transplant is cirrhosis.


    When should I consult a doctor?

    Hepatic infection

    If you have any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor:

    • Color changes in your urine or stool.
    • Yellowing of the eyes, also known as jaundice.
    • Patients are experiencing pain on the upper right side of your abdomen.
    • Swelling of the arms or legs



    Infection, an inherited condition, cancer, or an overload of toxic substances can all cause hepatic disease. Many types of hepatic disease can be effectively treated by healthcare providers through medication or lifestyle changes. If you have severe hepatic disease, a liver transplant may help you recover and live longer.