There are a variety of disorders and diseases that affect the liver. They may be infectious in origin or develop over a period of time due to various causes.
Hepatitis is a disease of the liver characterised by inflammation that reduces the ability of the liver to function properly. Hepatitis can be infectious, when caused by viruses, and non-infectious when caused by alcohol, certain drugs, and toxic agents such as chemicals.
Jaundice is a condition in which there is yellowing of the skin and eyes due to an increase concentration of bilirubin in the blood. It is due to excessive breakdown of blood cells, excessive production of pigments, damaged liver cells or due to obstruction of the ducts leading from the liver to the intestines.
Alcoholic Liver Disease is a condition caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol causing a spectrum of clinical syndromes and pathological changes in the liver. This manifests as alcoholic hepatitis and progresses to alcoholic cirrhosis if it is not actively managed and alcohol consumption does not stop.
Fatty Infiltration of the Liver occurs as a result of excess accumulation of fats in liver cells, the most common response of the liver to injury. Despite having multiple causes, fatty liver occurs worldwide in those with excessive alcohol intake and those who are obese.
Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease marked by degeneration of cells, inflammation, fibrous thickening of tissue and regeneration of liver cells in lumps or nodules. The nodules distort the shape of the liver and interfere with the flow of blood through the liver.
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Source: Tibb Health Sciences (Pty) Ltd Representative Training Manual Dr. Grant Nijland (M.Tech.Hom) Copyright© 2015