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Liver disease (also called hepatic disease) is a broad term describing any single number of diseases affecting the liver. Many are accompanied by jaundice caused by increased levels of bilirubin in the system. The bilirubin results from the breakup of the hemoglobin of dead red blood cells; normally, the liver removes bilirubin from the blood and excretes it through bile.
Hepatitis, inflammation of the liver, caused mainly by various viruses but also by some poisons (e.g. alcohol), autoimmunity (autoimmune hepatitis) or hereditary conditions. Diagnosis is done by checking levels of Alanine transaminase
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a spectrum in disease, associated with obesity and characterized as an abundance of fat in the liver; may lead to a hepatitis, i.e. steatohepatitis and/or cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is the formation of fibrous tissue in the liver from replacing dead liver cells. The death of the liver cells can be caused by viral hepatitis, alcoholism or contact with other liver-toxic chemicals. Diagnosis is done by checking levels of Alanine transaminase and Asparatine transaminase (SGOT).
Haemochromatosis, a hereditary disease causing the accumulation of iron in the body, eventually leading to liver damage.
Cancer of the liver (primary hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma and metastatic cancers, usually from other parts of the gastrointestinal tract).
Wilson's disease, a hereditary disease which causes the body to retain copper.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis, an inflammatory disease of the bile duct, likely autoimmune in nature.
Primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune disease of small bile ducts.
Budd-Chiari syndrome, obstruction of the hepatic vein.
Gilbert's syndrome, a genetic disorder of bilirubin metabolism, found in about 5% of the population.
Glycogen storage disease type II, the build-up of glycogen causes progressive muscle weakness (myopathy) throughout the body and affects various body tissues, particularly in the heart, skeletal muscles, liver and nervous system.
There are also many pediatric liver disease, including biliary atresia, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, alagille syndrome, and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, to name but a few.
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