A doctor with more than 22 years of medical experience, Soloman Shah, MD, is a certified gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician who has worked with Gastrointestinal Medical Associates in Reston, Virginia, for 17 years. Dr. Soloman Shah specializes in liver disorders.
There are many different liver disorders, which may be caused by a range of factors, including infection, an abnormal immune system, genetics, or cancer. The following gives examples of liver disorders that may stem from each of these influences.
– Infection – Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that transfers through blood and bodily fluids. About three-quarters of people infected with hepatitis C develop a chronic form of the illness, which can lead to other liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer.
–Immune system – Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) gradually destroys the bile ducts in the liver, interrupting the body’s ability to digest food and remove toxins. An autoimmune disease, PBC is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and environment. There is no cure for PBC, but if the disorder is caught early, medication can slow its progress and ease symptoms.
–Genetics – Hemochromatosis is a disorder that forces the body to absorb too much iron. The excess mineral is stored in organs such as the liver and heart, and this overabundance can lead to various diseases. Though hemochromatosis is genetic, most people with the relevant genetic factors never develop serious problems. For those who do, the most common treatment is phlebotomy, regular removal of iron-rich blood from the body.
–Cancer – Cancer of the liver often develops due to the presence of cancer elsewhere in the body. The liver filters blood from all over the body, which gives cancerous cells the opportunity to attach and spread in the organ. Tumors that develop in the liver may be benign or malignant.