The liver is one of the most vital body organs situated in the abdomen on the upper right side. Liver disease is a broad term referring to conditions that will damage or cause inflammation of the liver thence impacting negatively on functioning of the liver. The size of the liver in an adult could be as large as a football and weighing more than two pounds. The range of body functions that the liver performs include manufacturing essential components of the blood from food nutrients, production of enzymes and proteins, storage of vitamins and minerals, maintaining and correcting hormonal imbalances, regulation of clotting of the blood, detoxification of harmful substances that get their way into the body physiological processes, bile production, bacteria removal from blood and most importantly, manufacture of elements that helps strengthen the body immune system.
Because of the wide variety of functions that the liver performs, there exists a wide variety of conditions that lead to malfunctioning of the liver since any factor that negatively impacts on the proper execution of liver functions affect the liver. Liver diseases are categorized both by causation agents and effects on the proper functioning of the liver. Causes range from genetic defects that will at one time cause the liver to build up and deposit toxic substance like heavy metals e.g. ferrum to injuries, infections, exposure to drugs and toxic substances and in some instances autoimmune processes.
The effects that liver diseases have on the liver are numerous. They include obstruction of liver tubes, abnormalities of clotting, inflammation, tissue damage, scarring and in advanced stages liver failure which results in death unless liver transplantation is performed. While most liver diseases are causal, inheritance is a possibility as in the case of hemochromatosis. The liver, luckily, is such a resistant body organ that can easily replace damaged cells and will need to lose considerable percentage of cells to be in no position to meet its functions. Precisely, more than 75 percent of the live tissues need to be affected to decrease its functions.