The liver has many important functions, including digesting your food and processing and distributing nutrients.

The liver can be considered a factory, and among its many functions include:

  • Production of bile that is required in the digestion of food, in particular, fats
  • Storing of the extra glucose or sugar as glycogen, and then converting it back into glucose when the body needs it for energy
  • Production of blood clotting factors
  • Production of amino acids (the building blocks for making proteins), including those used to help fight infection
  • Processing and storage of iron necessary for red blood cell production
  • Manufacture of cholesterol and other chemicals required for fat transport
  • Conversion of waste products of body metabolism into urea that is excreted in the urine
  • Metabolizing medications into their active ingredient in the body

Common Causes of Liver Disease

  • Viruses
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Poor diet /obesity
  • Reactions to medications, street drugs, or toxic chemicals

Most liver diseases damage your liver in similar ways. Most of the times, liver disease progression looks the same regardless of the underlying disease.


Early diagnosis may prevent damage from occurring in your liver. Your liver is an incredible organ. If you’re diagnosed when some scar tissue has already formed, your liver can repair and even regenerate itself. Because of this, damage from liver disease can often be reversed with a well-managed treatment plan.

Many people with liver disease do not look or feel sick even though the damage is happening to their liver. At a certain point in the progression of the liver, disease damage can become irreversible and lead to liver failure, liver cancer, or death.

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