Q:

What are common first signs of liver disease?

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Quick Answer

The first symptoms of liver disease include nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite and fatigue, states WebMD. As the disease advances, the symptoms worsen, and they include bleeding, swollen abdomen, jaundice, sleepiness and coma. Specific symptoms are different depending on the particular liver disease. Early symptoms of liver disease can occur due to other conditions, making the problem hard to diagnose.

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Full Answer

The common causes of liver disease include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, excessive alcohol use, cirrhosis and malnutrition, says WebMD. An overdose of acetaminophen is another possible cause of liver problems. There are also autoimmune disorders that can lead to liver problems, including autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, explains Mayo Clinic. Genetic factors also cause some liver diseases such as hemochromatosis, hyperoxaluria, oxalosis and Wilson's disease. Liver diseases also result from some types of cancers, including bile duct cancer, liver cancer and liver adenoma.

Acute liver disease due to an overdose of acetaminophen is treatable and reversible if detected early enough, says WebMD. Supportive care given by doctors can help liver disease caused by a virus clear up on its own. For severe liver disease, the focus of treatment is to save the functioning part of the liver. If it is impossible, doctors suggest a liver transplant, which in most cases is successful.

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