Liver disease, also called hepatic disease, refers to any number of diseases that may affect the liver and its function. The liver plays a role in the production of bile, blood-clotting and amino acids, and it aids in the processing and storage of iron for red blood cell production.
Symptoms of liver disease include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain in the upper right quadrant and jaundice (yellowing of the skin due to high concentrations of the bile pigment bilirubin). Unexplained fatigue, weakness and weight loss may also be associated with liver disease and should prompt a visit to the doctor.
Some of the diseases that affect the liver include infectious hepatitis, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), cancers, bile flow abnormalities, blood flow abnormalities and alcohol abuse. Some medications may also cause liver damage, including acetaminophen (Tylenol). Treatments for these conditions vary depending on the disease and its causes.