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What are the most common ailments involving the liver?

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Quick Answer

Liver disease is commonly associated with alcoholism, obesity and certain viruses and cancers, according to Mayo Clinic. The most common viruses associated with liver disease include hepatitis A, B and C. Liver adenoma, bile duct cancer and liver cancer are other common causes of liver disease. Over time, damage to the liver causes scarring, or cirrhosis, which ultimately leads to liver failure and death.

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Full Answer

Infection and inflammation caused by viruses can result from the consumption of contaminated food or water, the transmission of blood or semen, or from coming into close contact with an infected person, as detailed by Mayo Clinic. Fat accumulation in the liver, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver, is another common cause of liver disease. Genetics is also a factor in liver disease, and hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease and hyperoxaluria are some of the more common genetic disorders that lead to liver damage.

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, sharing needles, engaging in unprotected sex, exposure to dangerous toxins and chemicals, and having tattoos and body piercings increases the risk of developing liver disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Additionally, individuals with high triglycerides, diabetics and obese people are high-risk groups for liver disease.

The liver is responsible for digestion and cleansing toxins from the body, as Mayo Clinic notes. Indications of liver disease include jaundice, chronic fatigue, pale-colored stool, dark-colored urine, and pain and swelling in the abdominal area, legs and ankles.

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