Liver & Gallbladder Diseases

Liver Disease, Jaundice, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C

About Liver Diseases

The liver is an organ that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances. The liver plays an important role in many bodily functions from protein production and blood clotting to cholesterol, glucose (sugar), and iron metabolism.

Many diseases and conditions can affect the liver, for example, certain drugs like excessive amounts of acetaminophen, cirrhosis, alcohol abuse, hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, infectious mononucleosis (Epstein Barr virus), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH), and iron overload (hemochromatosis).

Types of Liver Diseases


Cirrhosis is a term that describes permanent scarring of the liver. In cirrhosis, the normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue that cannot perform any liver function.


Hepatitis means inflammation, and liver cells can become inflamed because of infection. Typically infection is through a virus that gets into the system via food or exchange of body fluids. Most important Hepatitis are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C infections. Both are Chronic infections and quite often can be asymptomatic or produce very minimal nonspecific symptoms like tiredness weakness fatigue etc. This can be diagnosed with blood tests and need to be treated as untreated can lead to permanent damage to the liver called cirrhosis or even liver cancer. There are effective treatments available for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C and your liver specialist will be able to advise you on the effective steps to combat this problem.

Immune system Abnormality:

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

  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis


An abnormal gene inherited from one or both of your parents can cause various substances to build up in your liver, resulting in liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Liver disease is a broad term that covers all the potential problems that cause the liver to fail to perform its designated functions. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body; and is also considered a gland because among its many functions, it makes and secretes bile, which is essential to digest fats. The liver is located in the upper right portion of the abdomen protected by the rib cage

Symptoms of Liver Diseases

Symptoms associated with liver disease vary and are dependent upon the exact type of liver disease that is present. Examples of signs and symptoms of liver disease include

  • Jaundice,
  • Abdominal Pain And Swelling,
  • Itchy Skin,
  • Dark Urine Color,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Chronic Fatigue,
  • Tar-Coloured Stool,
  • Bloody Stool
  • Swelling In The Ankles And Legs,
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Easy Bruising.

Prevention of Liver Diseases

To prevent liver disease:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Avoid risky behaviour – practice safe sex, don’t indulge in intravenous drugs etc.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Use medications wisely
  • Avoid contact with other people’s blood and body fluids.
  • Keep your food safe
  • Take care with aerosol sprays.
  • Protect your skin.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.