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Liver Disease

A liver disease is a medical condition that negatively affects the liver. Not all such conditions will necessarily cause elevated liver enzymes, at least not in every case, but it is possible that an increase in enzymes could be noted when one of these medical problems is present. Below are some of the many conditions that relate to this part of the body:

Types of Liver disease

Budd-Chiari syndrome
Cirrhosis of the liver
Fatty liver disease (FLD)
Gilbert's syndrome
Glycogen storage disease type II
Hemochromatosis
Hepatitis - viral, autoimmune, etc.
Liver cancer
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)
Wilson's disease

Pediatric liver disease

Alagille syndrome
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD)
Biliary atresia
Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC)

Symptoms

Liver disease symptoms can differ widely in different conditions and patients. Included on this page are some symptoms that might occur. Keep in mind that having these does not necessarily mean that one has liver disease. On the other hand, a lack of them does not indicate that it is impossible for the individual to have such a condition.

Acid reflux
Atherosclerosis
Appearance of blood vessels in the face
Bloating (abdomen)
Brown skin spots
Coated tongue
Confusion
Dark urine
Digestive symptoms
Fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies
High blood pressure (hypertension)
High cholesterol (high LDL and triglycerides, low HDL)
Jaundice
Low cholesterol
Much weight gain, might end up at obesity
Pale stools
Spider angiomas



Diagnosis

Liver disease can often be diagnosed using liver function tests to check for elevated liver enzymes. It may be that particular enzymes are raised in some conditions, while others are abnormally high in other conditions. The enzymes usually tested in a standard panel are Alb, ALT, AST, ALP, DBIL, GGT, TBIL. The AST/ALT ratio (or De Ritis ratio) may also be looked into, as it is sometimes used to distinguish between particular liver damage causes. These tests should be performed by qualified medical personnel.

Treatment

Methods of treatment may be different based upon what kind of liver disease is present. Other factors, such as the overall health of the patient, may also be taken into consideration. In some cases of chronic illness, a liver transplant may be considered.

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