Information for Patients
Also called: Hepatic disease
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons.
There are many kinds of liver diseases:
- Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
- Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
- Liver cancer
- Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease
Symptoms of liver disease can vary, but they often include swelling of the abdomen and legs, bruising easily, changes in the color of your stool and urine, and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Tests such as imaging tests and liver function tests can check for liver damage and help to diagnose liver diseases.
- ALP isoenzyme test (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Ascites (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Diet - liver disease (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hepatic encephalopathy (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hepatomegaly (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Liver disease (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Liver scan (Medical Encyclopedia)
Gilbert syndrome Gilbert syndrome is a relatively mild condition characterized by periods of elevated levels of a toxic substance called bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia). Bilirubin, which has an orange-yellow tint, is produced when red blood cells are broken down. This substance is removed from the body only after it undergoes a chemical reaction in the liver, which converts the toxic form of bilirubin (unconjugated bilirubin) to a nontoxic form called conjugated bilirubin. People with Gilbert syndrome have a buildup of unconjugated bilirubin in their blood (unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia). In affected individuals, bilirubin levels fluctuate and very rarely increase to levels that cause jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.Gilbert syndrome is usually recognized in adolescence. If people with this condition have episodes of hyperbilirubinemia, these episodes are generally mild and typically occur when the body is under stress, for instance because of dehydration, prolonged periods without food (fasting), illness, vigorous exercise, or menstruation. Some people with Gilbert syndrome also experience abdominal discomfort or tiredness. However, approximately 30 percent of people with Gilbert syndrome have no signs or symptoms of the condition and are discovered only when routine blood tests reveal elevated unconjugated bilirubin levels.