Liver Disease (cont.)
Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
In this Article
- Liver Disease Facts
- What is liver disease?
- What are the causes of liver disease?
- What are the risk factors for liver disease?
- What are the symptoms of liver disease?
- When to seek medical care for liver disease
- How is liver disease diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for liver disease?
- What are the complications of liver disease?
- Can liver disease be prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for a person with liver disease?
- Liver Disease FAQs
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What are the risk factors for liver disease?
- Some liver diseases are potentially preventable and are associated with lifestyle choices. Alcohol-related liver disease is due to excessive consumption and is the most common preventable cause of liver disease.
- Hepatitis B and C are viral infections that are most often spread through the exchange of bodily fluids (for example, unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing unsterilized drug injecting equipment, using non-sterilized equipment for tattoos or body piercing).
- Hereditary liver disease can be passed genetically from generation to generation. Examples include Wilson's disease (copper metabolism abnormalaties) and hemochromatosis (iron overload).
- Chemical exposure may damage the liver by irritating the liver cells resulting in inflammation (hepatitis), reducing bile flow through the liver (cholestasis) and accumulation of triglycerides (steatosis). Chemicals such as anabolic steroids, vinyl chloride, and carbon tetrachloride can cause liver cancers.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose is a common cause of liver failure. It is important to review the dosing guidelines for all over-the-counter medications and to ask for guidance from your health care professional or pharmacist as to how much may be taken safely.
- Medications may irritate the blood vessels causing narrowing or formation blood clots (thrombosis). Birth control pills may cause hepatic vein thrombosis, especially in smokers.
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