Chronic liver disease causes many different symptoms, including jaundice, hair loss, itching, weight loss and gallstones, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Cirrhosis of the liver or fibrosis of the liver often cause chronic liver disease.
The liver is essential in the digestion of foods, according to Mayo Clinic. It is about the size of a football and is located on the right side of the abdomen just under the rib cage. Chronic liver disease may be hereditary, due to other diseases or due to ingested toxins, such as alcohol. Once cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, occurs, the damage is irreversible. In many cases, it is possible to prevent further damage by lifestyle changes, such as stopping the use of alcohol or losing weight. Medications may also help; however, in most cases, the only cure for chronic liver disease is a liver transplant.
Doctors consider factors such as the patient’s age and overall health in determining the treatment plan for chronic liver disease, reports Johns Hopkins Medicine. They look at the patient’s tolerance to treatments and medications and the extent of his disease. Before deciding to seek a liver transplant, they consider the expected progression of the disease and the patient’s preferences for treatment