Liver Diseases


Main symptoms


many types of liver disease may not give symptoms in the first stages but the most common symptoms of presentation are

Jaundice

  • is a yellow pigmentation of the eyes and skin, due to a compromised liver's production of bile. Bile can back up into the blood, causing the skin and eyes to turn yellow and the urine to become dark.

 

Pain

  • typical pain related to the liver in the right upper abdomen with possible radiation to the back and/or right shoulder. Similar pain can be caused by the gallbladder, duodenum and diaphragm; therefore the diagnosis can be made only by liver specialists after a series of investigations.

 

Ascites (swollen abdomen) and oedema (swollen legs and ankles)

  • this is due to fluid retention in the legs and abdomen as a result of impaired production of a protein called albumin.

 

Bruising

  • of the skin can occur if the liver is not making clotting factor proteins properly.

 

What is hepatitis?

 

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver parenchyma, which can be caused by 1- viral infection (hepatitis A, B or C) 2- Alcohol 3- drugs such as high doses of paracetamol overdose) or disorders of the immune system.

 

What is cirrhosis?

 

When there has been longstanding inflammation of the liver, it develops areas of chronic scarring and fibrous tissue around patches of regenerating liver cells. This pattern of scarring (fibrosis) and regeneration is the start of cirrhosis of the liver.