Health and MedicineDiseasesLiver diseases: The main diseases of the liver

Liver diseases: The main diseases of the liver

What are the main liver diseases? The truth is that there are a number of diseases that commonly affect the liver. We find out what they are.

The liver can be the source of all kinds of conditions and diseases that can seriously affect our health and well-being. In fact, we must not forget something fundamental: the liver is one of the most important organs in our body, since it participates in countless basic functions.

Most of them can appear due to not having a rich and healthy diet or also due to excessive intake of alcoholic beverages. It can also appear simply due to the appearance of all kinds of viral processes or some metabolic dysfunctions such as hemochromatosis.

In one way or another, it is important to know in great detail the main liver diseases that exist so that we know the symptoms and the treatment that can be given as soon as possible. Although for this, it will be necessary to consult our doctor before:

Liver disease or cirrhosis

This liver disease is one of the most common in developed countries, known medically by the name of liver cirrhosis. Around thirty thousand people a year die from this condition and that is why it is very important to tackle it when the first symptoms appear.

This is characterized by the fact that the liver is unable to process large amounts of alcohol, causing a chemical imbalance within the cavities of this organ.

This later translates into the cells of the same being destroyed little by little. This entire process can be divided into three clearly different phases:

  1. Extremely fatty liver. One of the first symptoms of this disease is the appearance of a fatty liver. If you want to reverse it, the best thing to do is to cut out any alcohol consumption.
  2. Brief alcoholic hepatitis. Here there is an increase in transaminases. This situation can also be prevented by abstinence from any alcoholic beverage.
  3. Severecirrhosis. All those people who consume between 150 and 200 grams daily for at least a decade are very likely to suffer from cirrhosis. This can even cause liver cancer and even death.

Viral liver disease

Viruses in the liver can also present themselves in very different ways. That is why each of them has been assigned a letter to each of these viral diseases:

  • Hepatitis A. This is usually transmitted from people who are completely healthy and come into direct contact with others infected with this virus. This disease is linked to a lack of personal hygiene, poor sanitation or eating spoiled food. 
  • Hepatitis B. Needless to say, hepatitis B is an infection that carries a very high risk of death or even liver cancer. According to the WHO, this disease is considered one of the most serious in the world. And it usually appears among the populations of East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is usually transmitted from mothers to children during the gestation period or through contact between the two during the first years of life.
  • Hepatitis C. This type of hepatitis is also usually caught through spoiled food or through blood contact between two people. It can also be caused by poisoning from infected needles or even during sexual intercourse.
  • Hepatitis D. Like the previous one, this is a viral process that can also appear through contact with blood fluids or through sexual transmission. Among its most common symptoms is high fever, milling of the skin and eyes, and urine that is too dark in color.

Hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease

Apart from the two diseases described above, there is another one that is entirely hereditary and therefore only transmitted from parents to children. A clear example of this is what is called hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) and is characterized above all by increased iron absorption throughout the intestine. This can later lead to serious cases of cirrhosis, heart disease or diabetes.

For its part, Wilson’s disease is characterized by an excessive accumulation of copper in the liver. This irremediably causes a malfunction in it. And among its clearest symptoms it is worth highlighting respiratory insufficiencies or the appearance of other liver diseases.

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