Liver diseases: Different Types and their Symptoms
December 07, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Liver diseases: Different Types and their Symptoms

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The liver is an essential organ located in the upper right portion of the abdomen, just above the stomach. This football-sized organ also happens to be the largest internal organ in the body and plays an essential role in digestion and keeping the body toxin-free. 

Liver diseases may be genetic, or one may develop them with time. If left undiagnosed or untreated for too long the disease may lead to liver failure or scarring. Following are some of the most common types of Liver diseases:



Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by infections or alcohol consumption. There are a total of 5 kinds of Hepatitis a person may be diagnosed with:

Hepatitis A

Usually caused by consuming contaminated food or coming in contact with contaminated feces, the virus responsible for this kind of Hepatitis is called Hepatitis Virus A (HAV).

Hepatitis A is usually not life-threatening and can pass within a few months. The only medications available are for symptom-relief; for high-risk individuals, safe vaccines are also available.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B spreads through the blood or semen of a person infected with the virus. It may be transmitted to the child from the mother during pregnancy, or through unsafe sex practices. 

Most adults can recover from this viral disease in a few months; however, children may or may not develop long-term infections. 

Hepatitis C

Caused by the Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual. The most common modes of transmission include sharing needles during drug use, birth, and unprotected sex.

Hepatitis D

Only those already infected with Hepatitis B Virus can get Hepatitis D. This is because the Hepatitis D virus needs the hepatitis B virus to survive in the body. Hepatitis D is a far more serious disease than A, B, and C.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is caused by the Hepatitis E virus and is spread through contaminated food and water. It is prevalent in countries with poor sewage systems and sanitation. 

Symptoms of Hepatitis 

Pain in the abdomen

Losing weight without trying


Nausea and vomiting

Joint pain

Dark urine




Fatty Liver

A healthy liver will have fat around it, but the problem arises when too many fat cells build up around the liver. You are more likely to have a fatty liver if you are obese, have excess belly fat, or suffer from insulin resistance (type 2 diabetic) 

Symptoms of Fatty Liver

Weakness or fatigue

Pain in the abdomen

Nausea or vomiting


Swollen abdomen or legs

Inherited Liver diseases



Hemochromatosis is caused by excess iron levels in your body, poisoning your organs. If left untreated, it can even lead to liver failure or even liver cancer. 

There are two types of Hemochromatosis: Primary and Secondary. Out of the two, primary Hemochromatosis is caused by genetic defects and is inherited from parents. On the other hand, the secondary type is caused as a result of another disease. 

Symptoms of Hemochromatosis


Weight loss

Pain in the joints

Irregular periods

Erectile dysfunction


Wilson’s disease

Another genetic liver disease, Wilson’s disease occurs due to excess levels of copper in the patient’s tissues. It mainly affects the liver and brain of an individual. It is caused by the mutation of a gene responsible for transporting excess copper in the body. 

Symptoms of Wilson’s disease


Abdominal pain

Swollen legs and abdomen

Muscle stiffness

Poor muscle coordination


To get a diagnosis from a medical health professional, you can visit Shifa4U. Shifa4U allows you to book online consultations with doctors all over the country. Visit Shifa4U today!

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.