Q:

How is liver disease treated?

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Quick Answer

Depending on the exact diagnosis, lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight and avoiding alcohol, may be enough to treat liver disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Other treatments for liver disease include medications, surgery and a liver transplant.

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Liver disease can have genetic origins, but viruses, obesity and alcohol use can cause liver damage as well, explains Mayo Clinic. The liver is the only body organ that can regenerate, so addressing the cause of liver disease in its early stages may allow the liver to recover, states MedicineNet. If damage to the liver continues and scar tissue replaces too many normal liver cells, cirrhosis occurs, and that can lead to liver failure.

Infection with hepatitis A, B or C can cause liver disease, notes Mayo Clinic. Alcohol abuse, accumulation of fat in the liver, autoimmune disease, genetic conditions and cancer can also cause liver disease. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, itching, fatigue, dark urine and abdominal pain and swelling.

To prevent the development of liver disease, individuals can limit alcohol consumption; maintain a healthy weight; avoid contact with other people's blood and body fluids, unprotected sex, and sharing needles for intravenous drug use; and receive vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, states Mayo Clinic. They can also avoid ingesting unnecessary medications and limit contact with and inhalation of toxic chemicals.

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