Liver Health Facts

Types of Liver Diseases

  • Cirrhosis

    • Researchers estimate that about 1 in 400 adults in the United States has cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is more common in adults ages 45 to 54. About 1 in 200 adults ages 45 to 54 in the United States has cirrhosis. Researchers believe the actual numbers may be higher because many people with cirrhosis are not diagnosed

  • Hepatitis A

    • Since the hepatitis A vaccine was first recommended in 1996, cases of hepatitis A in the United States have declined dramatically. Unfortunately, in recent years the number of people infected has been increasing because there have been multiple outbreaks of hepatitis A in the United States. These outbreaks have primarily been from person-to-person contact, especially among people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, and men who have sex with men.

  • Hepatitis B

    • 2 billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (1 out of 3 people)

  • Hepatitis C

    • Up to 85% of people who have acute hepatitis C progress to chronic hepatitis C. But you can have chronic hepatitis C for 15 years or longer before you realize you’re sick. 

  • Galactosemia

    • Galactosemia is a disorder that affects how the body processes a simple sugar called galactose. A small amount of galactose is present in many foods. It is primarily part of a larger sugar called lactose, which is found in all dairy products and many baby formulas.

  • Autoimmune Hepatitis

    • Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease in which your body’s immune system attacks the liver and causes inflammation and liver damage. Without treatment, autoimmune hepatitis may get worse and lead to complications, such as cirrhosis

  • Alagille Syndrome

    • Alagille syndrome is a genetic disorder that may affect many different parts of the body, including the liver. A person with Alagille syndrome has fewer than the normal number of small bile ducts inside the liver. As bile builds up in the liver, it may cause liver damage

  • Liver Cancer

    • Liver cancer affects over 42,000 people in the United States each year and the numbers are rising. But, liver cancer—caught early enough—can be successfully treated.

  • Hepatorenal Syndrome

    • Hepatorenal Syndrome (HRS) is a life-threatening condition that affects kidney function in people with advanced liver disease. HRS is most common in people with advanced cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver) and ascites, an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen that is often related to liver disease

  • Gilbert Syndrome

    • Gilbert's syndrome happens when one of the enzymes that helps the liver remove bilirubin from the blood is not working properly. Apart from the minor problem with clearing bilirubin, the liver functions quite normally

  • Newborn Jaundice

    • Mild jaundice is quiet common in newborn babies and is usually a temporary condition that causes no problems. However, severe cases of jaundice can be harmful, so if you think your baby has jaundice, it is always best to let your doctor know

  • Reye Syndrome

    • Reye's syndrome (RS) is primarily a children's disease, although it can occur at any age. It affects all organs of the body but is most harmful to the brain and the liver--causing an acute increase of pressure within the brain and, often, massive accumulations of fat in the liver and other organs. RS is defined as a two-phase illness because it generally occurs in conjunction with a previous viral infection, such as the flu or chicken pox

  • Wilson Disease

    • Wilson disease (WD) is a rare inherited disorder of copper metabolism in which excessive amounts of copper accumulate in the body.  The buildup of copper leads to damage in the liver, brain, and eyes.  Although copper accumulation begins at birth, symptoms of the disorder only appear later in life

  • Lysosomal Acid Lipase Deficiency

    • Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency is an inherited condition characterized by problems with the breakdown and use of fats and cholesterol in the body (lipid metabolism). In affected individuals, harmful amounts of fats (lipids) accumulate in cells and tissues throughout the body, which typically causes liver disease

  • Primary Biliary Cholangitis

    • Primary biliary cholangitis is a chronic disease in which the small bile ducts in the liver become injured and inflamed and are eventually destroyed. When there are no bile ducts, bile builds up and causes liver damage. This damage can lead to liver scarring, cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure


Common Liver Disease Symptoms

  • Skin and eyes appear yellow

  • Dark urine color

  • Itchy skin

  • Tendency to bruise easily

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Swelling in ankles and legs


Liver Disease Risk Factors

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • Obesity

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Unprotected sex

  • Sharing of needles

  • Family history of liver disease


Liver Fast Facts

  • Our liver simultaneously performs over 200 important functions for the body. Some of these important functions include supplying glucose to the brain, combating infections, and storing nutrients

  • The liver creates the blood that circulates in our bodies. In fact, the liver starts producing blood before we are born. Without the liver there would be no blood and no life.

  • Our liver has the amazing ability to regenerate itself, making liver transplant possible. When people donate half their liver, the remaining part of the liver regenerates the section that was removed


The liver stores vitamins and minerals. The liver stores vitamins A, E, and K which are fat soluble vitamins. Here are some of the uses for each of these vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A keeps the eyes, skin and mucus membranes healthy.  It is involved in bone formation and healing of wounds.  Vitamin A  is essential for cell differentiation, that is the process by which cells become specialized.  This means that it is important during pregnancy for fetal development.

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is antioxidant, a substance that helps prevent cell damage.  It is involved in healthy blood cell development.  It also works with Vitamin K.

  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is involved in clotting and in bone health.

Liver Health Figures

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Across the World
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