Liver Conditions and Diseases

Education plays a vital role at the Bon Secours Liver Institute because patients can best improve their health through treatments, medications and lifestyle changes if they understand how liver conditions and diseases affect them. 

In addition to treating people before and after a liver transplant, the Liver Institute also sees patients with a broad range of liver health issues including those with acute and chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Liver Conditions and Diseases:

A genetic disease that can put a person at risk for cirrhosis or lung disease. There is no treatment for alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Patients who develop cirrhosis and liver failure can undergo liver transplant as long as they do not also have significant lung disease.
 A chronic or long-lasting disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the liver, causing inflammation and liver damage.
Scarring of the liver caused by injury or long-term disease. Cirrhosis can lead to easy bruising, nosebleeds, gallstones, intense itching, kidney failure and liver cancer. It is most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis.
Too much iron in the body causes hemochromatosis. If a buildup of extra iron is left untreated, it can damage the liver, heart, pancreas, endocrine glands and joints.
A virus that can cause serious liver damage. Symptoms include jaundice, dark urine, fever and flu­like symptoms. It can be prevented with hepatitis A vaccine.
A virus that causes liver disease and inflammation. Most people show no symptoms but some may experience feeling tired, upset stomach, fever, diarrhea and yellowish eyes and skin, called jaundice. People can prevent hepatitis B by receiving the hepatitis B vaccine. 
A virus that causes hepatitis. Symptoms may not be noticeable. Left untreated, hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. People become infected through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested for hepatitis C because they are five times more likely to have the virus.
Cancer that starts in the liver. It is not the same as cancer that begins in the colon or the lung and spreads to the liver. Some people may not notice any symptoms of early liver cancer. As it grows, symptoms may include pain in the upper abdomen on the right side, a lump in the upper abdomen, bloating, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, fever and yellow skin and eyes. These symptoms may be caused by other health problems.
A range of liver disorders – also called NAFLD -- that are associated with having too much fat in the liver. A mild form, steatosis, may cause inflammation of the liver and occur with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, which can lead to liver damage with scarring and cirrhosis. Risk factors for NAFLD include obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia.
A chronic, or long-lasting, disease that causes the small bile ducts in the liver to become inflamed and damaged and ultimately disappear. It can lead to a buildup of scar tissue that causes cirrhosis.
A disease that damages and blocks bile ducts inside and outside the liver. As bile builds and damages cells, scar tissue can spread causing cirrhosis and liver failure.
Vaccines offer protection from hepatitis A and hepatitis B. No vaccines are available for hepatitis C, D and E. Reducing your exposure to the viruses offers the best protection. 
A genetic disease that prevents the body from removing extra copper. Having high copper levels can cause life-threatening damage to the body’s organs.