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Liver Disease : Causes and Treatment

Liver disease is a disease that interferes with liver function. As previously known, the liver is the only organ in the body that can easily replace damaged cells, but if the cells needed are lost, the liver cannot possibly meet the body's needs.

The liver is the organ that works the hardest in the body. Measuring like a ball just below the ribs on the right side of your stomach. Consists of 2 parts: left lobe and right lobe. The liver is important for digesting food, getting rid of our bodies from toxic substances and storing energy for the body to use when needed.

Causes of Liver Disease

There are many causes and some of the main causes of liver disease are:


Parasites and viruses can infect the liver, cause inflammation and reduce liver function. Viruses that cause liver damage can spread through blood or urine, contaminated food or water, or come into close contact with an infected person. The most common types of liver infections are hepatitis viruses, including:

Immune system abnormalities

Diseases in which the body's immune system attacks certain parts of the body (autoimmune) can affect your heart. Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include:

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis


There are abnormal genes derived from one or both of your parents can cause various substances to accumulate in your liver, which results in liver damage. Genetic liver disease includes:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis
  • Wilson's disease


In addition, common causes of liver disease include:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Fat accumulates in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).

Types and Causes of Liver Disease

Types of liver disease are very diverse. Until now, liver disease that has been identified has reached around 100 different types of diseases with different causes. The following are some types of liver disease based on their causes:

  • Alcohol related liver disease. The cause of this liver disease is the habit of consuming alcohol for years. Alcohol is toxic to liver cells, especially when this organ filters alcohol from the blood. When alcohol is filtered by the liver, liver cells can experience death. Although the liver has the ability to regenerate, but if someone continues to consume alcohol, then the ability to regenerate the liver can be disrupted and can cause more serious and dangerous damage.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or fatty liver. Under normal conditions, liver cells should only contain a little fat, but in this liver disease there is a buildup of excess fat in the liver cells. Fatty liver often occurs in people who are obese and have high fat content in the body.
  • Hepatitis is a liver disease that occurs due to inflammation in the liver tissue. Some types of hepatitis are mild and can heal on their own. While some other types are serious hepatitis that can develop into cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. Hepatitis can occur acute or chronic. The causes of hepatitis are very diverse, including viral infections and autoimmune conditions. Types of hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Toxic hepatitis (toxic hepatitis). This is an inflammation of the liver tissue due to the body being exposed to toxic chemical compounds that cause liver tissue damage. The types of poisons that can cause toxic hepatitis are very diverse, both from drugs, food supplements, or other chemicals. Often the symptoms of toxic hepatitis will disappear by themselves when the body is no longer exposed to these compounds. However, in some cases, more serious toxic hepatitis can lead to permanent liver tissue damage, cirrhosis and life-threatening liver failure. Some drugs that can cause toxic hepatitis are paracetamol, isoniazid, amoxicillin, diclofenac, fenofibrate, and phenytoin.
  • Cholestatic liver disease (cholestatic liver disease). Cholestasis results from a disruption of bile flow, both due to reduced bile and because of bile duct obstruction. Disorders of bile flow can cause accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a waste product from the destruction of red blood cells and must be removed through feces and urine. The causes of cholestasis in the liver are quite diverse, both due to disorders in the liver cells (hepatocellular cholestasis) or due to disorders of the bile ducts in the liver (cholangiocellular cholestasis). Causes of cholangiocellular cholestasis include: primary biliary cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Liver disease (inherited liver disease). This disease is caused by a genetic disorder that causes disruption of liver function. The two best known types of genetic liver disease are hemochromatosis and alpha-1 deficiency. Antitrypsin alpha-1 deficiency is a disease caused by the lack of the antitrypsin alpha-1 protein produced in the liver to protect lung tissue from damage. In addition to lung damage, lack of the antitrypsin alpha-1 protein can also cause liver disease.
  • Heart cancer. Liver cancer is a type of cancer that appears early in the liver. There are several types of liver cancer, namely hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), hepatoblastoma, and cholangiocarcinoma. HCC is the most common form.

Liver Disease Risk Factors

People with several factors that can increase the risk of liver disease include:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Injecting drugs using a shared needle
  • Tattoos or piercings
  • Blood transfusion before 1992
  • Exposure to other people's blood and body fluids
  • Unprotected sex
  • Expose certain chemicals or poisons
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High levels of triglycerides in your blood.

Complications of Liver Disease

There are many complications of liver disease. When your heart starts to fail, other organs become affected. Following are some of the complications of acute liver failure:

  • Cerebral edema: This is excessive fluid in the brain that can cause pressure in the brain and prevent the brain from getting oxygen.
  • Bleeding disorders: Because the liver is responsible for producing blood clotting factors, acute liver failure will cause uncontrolled bleeding, usually in the digestive tract.
  • Infection: You become more at risk for infection, especially respiratory and urinary tract infections
  • Kidney failure: If the liver fails, the kidneys will work harder and harder to manage the filtering of toxins in the body. This can be the next organ that fails.

Complications can be prevented by managing the risk and development of your condition. It is important to talk to your doctor to find ways to prevent this complication.

Diagnosis of Liver Disease

There are several tests that can be done to detect this disease, including:

  • Blood test. These tests include examination of blood count, increase in liver enzymes, increase in GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) and ALP (alkaline phosphatase), increase in bilirubin, and low albumin levels.
  • Imaging Test. It is another diagnostic test used to confirm liver disease. This method is used primarily to check the size of the tumor or scar tissue in the liver.
  • Network Analysis. This action, also known as a liver biopsy, will examine liver tissue samples with little surgery.

Liver Disease Treatment

Treatment for liver disease depends on the cause and severity of your liver disease. For an overdose of paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen overdose), treatment by reversing the effects of paracetamol. If the cause is a viral infection such as hepatitis, the doctor will prescribe medication to treat the infection and monitor your liver regularly. Some liver problems can be treated easily with lifestyle modifications, such as stopping alcohol use or losing weight that might be part of your health program. But other liver problems may need to be treated with medication or may require surgery. In addition, treatment for liver disease that causes liver failure may require a liver transplant.

Living with liver disease

If you have liver disease, your heart will do its job more easily and can repair some liver damage if you have a healthy diet. An unhealthy diet can make your liver work harder and can cause a lot of damage.

Talk to your doctor about the best type of diet for you so that you get the right amount of nutrition.

General recommendations for patients with severe liver disease include:

  • Eat large amounts of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates must be the main source of calories in this diet.
  • Eat moderate amounts of fat, as determined by your doctor. Increased carbohydrates and fats help prevent protein breakdown in the liver.
  • It has about 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that people with 154-pounds (70 kilograms) must eat 70 grams of protein per day. This does not include protein from starchy foods and vegetables. A person with a severely damaged liver may need to eat less protein. Talk to your doctor about your protein needs.
  • Take vitamin supplements, especially vitamin B complex.
  • Reduce the amount of salt you consume (usually less than 1500 milligrams per day) if you maintain fluids.



Liver Diseases: MedlinePlus. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health.

American Liver Foundation. Your Liver. Your Life

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.