Your liver does a lot of things that keep you healthy. It turns nutrients into chemicals your body needs. It filters out poisons. It helps turn food into energy. So when your doesn’t work well, that can affect your whole body.
Different things can cause serious liver conditions. You’ll want to know about the top causes.
Sometimes, the problem is that you have an infection that inflames your liver. Viral hepatitis is the most common cause, including:
. Most people get it by eating or drinking something that’s tainted by fecal matter. You might not have any symptoms. It usually goes away by itself within 6 months without any long-term harm.
. You get it from somebody else, such as through unprotected sex or taking drugs with shared needles. If it lasts longer than 6 months, it makes you more likely to get liver cancer or other diseases.
comes from infected blood that gets into your blood. You might get it if you take drugs with shared needles or in connection with HIV. If you’re a health-care worker, you might get it from an infected needle that accidentally sticks you. Symptoms may not show up for many years. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, baby boomers are at risk for hepatitis C and should be tested for it.
Immune System Problems
Your fights off invaders including bacteria and viruses. But it might go wrong and attack one or more parts of your body, such as your liver.
inflames your liver. It can lead to other disorders and even liver failure. It strikes girls and women more often than boys or men.
attacks tiny tubes in your liver called bile ducts. They carry bile, a chemical that helps you digest food. When the ducts are injured, the bile backs up inside your liver and scars it. Women come down with this more often than men.
scars your bile ducts, and it can eventually block them. The bile builds up inside your liver, and that makes it harder for your liver to work. It may lead to liver cancer, and you might someday need a liver transplant. Men are more likely than women to get it.
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