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 Liver disease encompasses a variety of conditions, with many of the most common types being manageable through dietary and lifestyle adjustments. However, if these conditions progress, some liver diseases may necessitate lifelong medication. Early detection and treatment are crucial in preventing significant liver damage. Unfortunately, it’s possible to have liver disease without exhibiting any symptoms in its initial stages, making early detection challenging. Conversely, late-stage liver disease is often difficult to treat.

Early Signs Symptoms of Liver Disease

Chronic liver diseases typically don’t present symptoms early on. Frequently, they begin with an acute hepatitis episode. For instance, a viral hepatitis infection will first go through an acute phase, where you might experience a fever, stomachache, or nausea. During this period, your immune system attempts to combat the infection. If it fails, the condition can become chronic.

Other causes of liver disease may also start with acute symptoms or sporadic acute episodes. Early symptoms can vary significantly from person to person and might include signs such as:

  • Upper Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea or Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue

Signs & Symptoms of Late-stage Liver Disease

When your liver’s function begins to deteriorate, especially in the advanced stages of liver disease, your body may exhibit several noticeable signs. One of the most significant indicators is the disruption of bile flow within the biliary tract. As a result, your liver fails to produce and deliver sufficient bile to your small intestines. Instead of reaching the small intestine, bile leaks into your bloodstream. This leakage can lead to common signs and symptoms such as:

  • Jaundice (Yellowing of Skin & Eyes)
  • Dark-colored Urine
  • Light-colored Stool
  • Digestive Problems
  • Weight & Muscle Loss
  • Bad Breath
  • Itchy Skin

What are the stages of chronic liver disease?


Chronic liver disease usually progresses in roughly 4 Stages;

  • Hepatitis
  • Liver Fibrosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Failure Hepatitis

Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver tissues. This inflammation occurs when the liver responds to injury in an effort to eliminate infections and initiate healing. Acute hepatitis, which is an immediate and temporary response, often manages this effectively. However, if the injury or toxicity persists, so does the inflammation. Chronic hepatitis leads to prolonged healing activity, resulting in the scarring of liver tissues, known as liver fibrosis.


Liver fibrosis is characterized by the gradual stiffening of the liver as thin bands of scar tissue accumulate. This scar tissue impedes blood flow through the liver, limiting its access to oxygen and nutrients, which in turn reduces the liver’s vitality. Interestingly, some degree of fibrosis is reversible. Liver cells can regenerate, and the scarring can diminish if the damage slows enough to allow recovery.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis represents severe and permanent scarring of the liver. At this stage, fibrosis is no longer reversible. The liver loses its capacity to regenerate due to a shortage of healthy cells. Despite this, further damage can still be slowed or managed. Although cirrhosis significantly impairs liver function, the body often compensates for the loss, which may delay noticeable symptoms. If not treated promptly, cirrhosis can progress to liver failure or liver cancer.

Liver Failure

Liver failure occurs when the liver can no longer meet the body’s needs. This situation arises when the body can no longer compensate for the liver’s declining function. As liver function deteriorates, the effects are felt throughout the body. Chronic liver failure is a gradual process but is ultimately fatal without a liver transplant. In essence, a functioning liver is essential for life.

Causes of Liver Disease?

You can get liver disease, due to multiple reasons. The most common causes of liver diseases are mentioned below;


Viral infections

Viral hepatitis infections that become chronic can cause chronic hepatitis, including Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C.

Alcohol-induced Hepatitis

Heavy alcohol addiction is also one of the major reasons for chronic hepatitis. If it goes on long enough, it can cause cirrhosis and even liver failure.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Metabolic conditions such as obesity, elevated blood sugar levels, and disturbed lipid profiles can cause excess fat storage in your liver. This fat eventually becomes the cause of liver inflammation.

Biliary Stasis

Congenital (present at birth) conditions that obstruct or stall the flow of bile through your bile ducts can cause bile to build up and injure your liver, including biliary atresia and cystic fibrosis. Non-congenital causes include biliary stricture and gallstones.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune conditions can cause chronic inflammation and scarring in your liver or your Bile Ducts, including Autoimmune Hepatitis, Primary Biliary Cholangitis, and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

Inherited Metabolic Disorders

Disorders that cause toxic products to build up in your blood, such as glycogen storage disease (GSD), Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, and Gaucher disease. These diseases can cause chronic liver damage.

Cardiovascular Diseases

These are those diseases that affect blood flow to and from your liver, including Budd-Chiari Syndrome, Ischemia, Arterial Diseases, and Right-Sided Heart Failure. These Cardiovascular Diseases can cause chronic liver damage.

Professor Faisal Dar – Liver Transplant Pioneer in Pakistan

If you are also having problems or any possible complication with your Liver Functions, you may contact the team of Professor Faisal Dar, one of the best doctors in Pakistan, and book an appointment for a detailed consultation and guidance.

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