Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or AAT deficiency, is a genetic disorder in which the body does not produce enough of the AAT protein to protect the lungs. People with severe AAT deficiency can develop emphysema or liver disease. AAT deficiency symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and multiple lung infections.
Autoimmune hepatitis is when a person’s immune system attacks the healthy cells of the liver, causing inflammation. Autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Common autoimmune hepatitis symptoms include fatigue, dark-colored urine, itchiness and abdominal discomfort. Autoimmune hepatitis is an autoimmune disease.
Alcohol, infections, toxins and genetic disorders can cause liver damage, including inflammation, scarring and disease. If left untreated, liver disease develops into cirrhosis, a chronic, life-threatening condition.
Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease occurs when an above-normal amount of fat builds up in the liver due to alcohol abuse, obesity, a high-fat diet, hepatitis C, heredity or other factors. Fatty liver disease can lead to serious health problems, including cirrhosis and liver failure.
Hemochromatosis is a condition in which too much iron builds up in the body. Too much iron can cause damage to the liver, heart and pancreas, in particular. In the liver, hemochromatosis can cause liver failure and cirrhosis. In the heart, too much iron can cause arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and heart failure. In the pancreas, hemochromatosis can lead to diabetes.
When cancer starts in the tissue of the liver it is referred to as primary liver cancer.
When cancer has spread (or metastasized) from another organ into the liver, it is referred to as secondary liver cancer or metastatic liver cancer. In the U.S., metastatic liver cancer is more common than primary liver cancer.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a long-term liver disease caused by the slow destruction of the bile ducts. When the bile ducts are damaged, waste builds up in the liver. This buildup causes the liver to slowly deteriorate and lose the ability to function.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
Primary sclerosing cholangitis is the inflammation and narrowing of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. When the bile ducts are damaged, waste builds up in the liver. This buildup causes the liver to slowly deteriorate and lose the ability to function.