Liver ProblemsYour liver is an organabout the size of a football that sitsjust under your rib cage on theright side of your abdomen.Without your liver, you couldntdigest food and absorb nutrients,get rid of toxic substances fromyour body or stay alive.Liver problems include a widerange of diseases that can affectthe liver such as: Cancer, Cysts,Hepatitis and Fibrosis.
CancerLiver cancer iscancer that begins in thecells of your liver. It is oneof the most commonforms of cancer in theworld.
SymptomsMost people dont have signs and symptoms in the earlystages of primary liver cancer. When signs and symptoms doappear, they may include:• Losing weight without trying• Loss of appetite• Upper abdominal pain• Nausea and vomiting• General weakness and fatigue• An enlarged liver• Abdominal swelling• Yellow discoloration of your skinand the whites of your eyes• White, chalky stools
CystsA Liver Cyst is a thin-walled"bubble" or cavity in the liver that may beempty or contain fluid.Occasionally, Cysts may becomelarge or infected. Treatment depends onthe underlying cause. Most often, nospecific treatment is needed. The mostimportant thing to remember about livercysts is that they are usually benign.
SymptomsUsually, liver cysts donot cause any symptoms.Occasionally, if they becomevery large, they can cause liverenlargement, abdominal pain,bile duct infection, orobstruction of the bile ducts,causing the cyst itself tobecome infected.
HepatitisHepatitis is the Greek term for liverinflammation. It is characterized by thedestruction of a number of liver cells and thepresence of inflammatory cells in the livertissue.Hepatitis can be caused by virusesthat primarily attack the liver cells, such ashepatitis A and B. Patients with glandularfever can also suffer from an attack ofhepatitis.
• Abdominal pain or distention• Breast development in males• Dark urine and pale or clay-colored stools• Fatigue• Fever, usually low-grade• General itching• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)• Loss of appetite• Nausea and vomiting• Weight lossHepatitis may start andget better quickly (acutehepatitis), or cause long-termdisease (chronic hepatitis). Insome instances, it may lead toliver damage, liver failure, oreven liver cancer. The symptomsof hepatitis include:Symptoms
FibrosisLiver fibrosis occurs whenhealthy liver cells are replaced by anexcess of fibrous tissue (connectivetissue composed mostly of fibers).The fibrous tissue isincapable of carrying out normalliver functions. Thus, if it replaces asignificant amount of healthy tissue,the effects are felt throughout thebody.
• Abdominal pain• Abnormal accumulation of fluid in theabdominal cavity (ascites)• Bleeding from engorged veins in theesophagus or intestines• Dark, cola-colored urine• Easy bruising• Exhaustion• Fatigue• Itchy hands and feet• Lack of appetite• Loss of interest in sex• Nausea• Small, spider-like blood vessels under the skin• Swelling of legs and feet from retained fluid(edema)• Tenderness and enlargement of the liver• Weakness• Weight loss• Yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)Symptoms