Category:Liver disease

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The liver has several important functions, such as the production of bile, the synthesis of proteins, the regulation of vitamins and minerals, and the detoxification of drugs and toxins. Pathological processes may result in the abnormal functioning of the liver. One out of every 12 Canadians suffers from some type of liver disease, and liver cirrhosis is the second most common cause of death in men age 30-50, though liver diseases affect people of all ages.

Liver disease may be caused by nonneoplastic liver diseases such as chronic viral hepatitis B and C, alcoholic liver disease, medication-induced liver disease, genetic factors (e.g., hemochromatosis), or they may be idiopathic (e.g., primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and autoimmune hepatitis).

Pain over the liver is uncommon, and signs and symptoms may be vague and include fatigue, jaundice, dark urine, itching, edema, abdominal swelling, confusion, or they may be asymptomatic. Chronic liver diseases additionally may show palmar erythema, ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, or hematemesis.