Liver diseases affect several people across the world. In most cases liver diseases can be attributed to bad lifestyles and poor eating habits. Although it is also possible to genetically inherit weak livers or suffer from problems due to ill health or defects at birth.

As an organ the liver is the largest and most important organ in the body. It performs several important and necessary tasks within the body. The liver is the organ that converts food to energy or cleans alcoholic elements and toxins from the body. It also produces bile, an essential liquid that aids in better and effective digestion.

When it comes to the subject of liver diseases, there are several different forms. Some people may suffer from liver related problems due to external viruses like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or Jaundice. Drugs, consumption of poison, eating wrong foods or constantly indulging in alcohol may also lead to several kinds of liver problems.

In severe cases doctors may suggest a liver transplant when patients suffer from jaundice or the general yellowing of the skin. These are usually signs that the liver is not healthy enough to perform the normal functions required for daily upkeep of health.

When people suffer from liver diseases they may experience physical and mental discomfort.

A few early signs of liver disease may include:

  • Problems with general digestion
  • Blood sugar and related problems
  • Constant stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Sudden change in metabolic activity
  • General weakening of the immune system and related disorders
  • Formation of Hemorrhoids
  • Formation of gall bladder stones
  • Intolerance to fatty foods
  • Extreme nausea, vomiting and bloating
  • Chronic constipation

Some patients may suffer from nervous system disorders like depression, sudden anxiety, extreme mood changes, anger and irritability over small things, difficulty in concentrating, sudden confusion etc.

Migraines, general headaches and a heavy head are normal signs of liver problems if associated with other symptoms too.

Hypoglycemia is also a related problem or symptom of liver disease

How does a doctor test for liver disease?

There are a number of tests available for doctors to check if a patient is suffering from liver disease. Most of these tests are formulated to check the presence of enzymes in the blood. The enzymes that are most prevalent in the liver tissue are checked along with other features. These therefore help doctors verify the severity or presence of liver disease in patients.

Common types of liver disease

The most common types of liver disease include:

  • Several kinds of hepatitis like viral hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis etc.
  • Inflammation of the liver
  • Fatty liver disease:  where large amounts of triglyceride fats accumulate in the liver.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver: This is a severe scarring of the liver that may eventually be fatal.
  • Hereditary diseases, the most common one being Hemochromatosis which involves the accumulation of Iron within the body.
  • Wilson’s disease may also affect the liver, a problem which leads to accumulation of Copper.
  • Gilbert’s syndrome is another common liver problem that is usually a cause of genetic disorders.
  • Variceal Bleeding