There are many different types of liver disease. You can help prevent some of them by maintaining a healthy weight and staying within the recommended alcohol limits, if you drink.
Types of liver disease
Some of the most common types of liver disease include:
|Alcohol-related liver disease||regularly drinking too much alcohol|
|Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease||being very overweight (obese) – this may cause fat to build up in the liver|
|Hepatitis||catching a viral infection, regularly drinking too much alcohol|
|Haemochromatosis||a gene that runs in families and may be passed from parents to children|
|Primary biliary cirrhosis||may be caused by a problem with the immune system|
Symptoms of liver disease
Most types of liver disease don't cause any symptoms in the early stages.
Once you start to get symptoms of liver disease, your liver is already damaged and scarred. This is known as cirrhosis.
See a GP if you have symptoms of cirrhosis, such as:
- feeling very tired and weak all the time
- loss of appetite – which may lead to weight loss
- loss of sex drive (libido)
- yellow skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
Other symptoms may include itchy skin, or feeling or being sick.
How to prevent liver disease
The three main causes of liver disease are:
You can reduce your risk of many types of liver disease with some simple lifestyle changes:
- try to maintain a healthy weight for your height – try the BMI healthy weight calculator or read about losing weight
- avoid drinking too much alcohol – read some tips on cutting down
There are vaccines available for two types of hepatitis. These are recommended if you're at risk. Read about:
You don't have to be an alcoholic to risk damaging your health by drinking. Regularly drinking just over the recommended levels can be harmful.
Read about the risks of drinking too much.