Liver Life Cafe

Liver Disease

Types of liver disease

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 limit, if you drink. Some of the most common types of liver disease include (please click on each of the titles for more information): Condition Possible causes 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 PBC is a chronic disease that can, little by little, destroy some of the tubes linking your liver to your gut. Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is a long-term progressive disease of the liver and gallbladder. Wilson's Disease Wilson’s disease is a disorder in which you have a higher than normal amount of copper in your body. Liver Cancer Liver cancer can be categorised as either primary or secondary. Liver disease is the fifth most common cause of premature death in the UK and the national liver disease health outcomes are far worse than in other western European countries. Over the last decade, the number of liver disease-related hospital admissions in England has increased by a half, placing an even great strain on our health service. Liver disease disproportionally affects the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and is a major factor in generating socioeconomic health inequalities. Back in 2017, The national average liver disease mortality rate was 17.8 per 100,000. At this time, the mortality rate in Stoke-on-Trent stood at 22.4 per 100,000.

But what if Depression could cause liver disease?

Back in May 2015, a 10-year old study revealed a startling link between high levels of anxiety and an increased risk of death from liver disease. The research, carried out by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, took account of obvious sociological and physiological factors, such as alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes and class, but still, the data pointed to a clear relationship between the psychological conditions of stress and depression and the physical health of the hepatic system.   There were over 165,000 participants surveyed for mental distress. They were each tracked for over a decade during which time the causes of death for those who passed on were recorded and categorised. What was found was that those who’d scored highly for signs of depression and stress were far more likely to suffer fatal liver disease:   Dr Tom Russ of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences stated that this study provides further evidence for the important links between mind and body, and of the damaging effects psychological distress can have on physical wellbeing.   The work did not uncover any reasons for direct cause and effect but is the first to identify such a link between mental states and liver damage. Previous research has described how psychological conditions can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease which, in turn, may develop into obesity, raised blood pressure and then eventually to liver failure but, with this methodology controlling for such factors, it appears that the link is more direct than was previously thought.

Dr. Julie Heimbach, explains