Liver Disease

Facts about your liver

  • Your liver is really important and helps keep your body healthy.
  • It helps your body fight infection and disease
  • It cleans your blood
  • Your liver gets rid of things that are bad for your body like poisons, drugs and alcohol.
  • It controls the amount of cholesterol (a fatty substance) in your blood.
  • It helps your body process food.

What is liver disease?

Liver disease is when the liver is damaged and doesn’t work as well as it should.

Who is at risk of liver disease?

You may be at risk of liver disease if you:

  • Have hepatitis C and it hasn’t been treated.
  • Have chronic hep B and it hasn’t been treated.
  • Drink too much alcohol.
  • Have a waist measurement of more than 94cm.
  • If you smoke.

How will I know if I have it?

Symptoms for liver disease often don’t appear until there is scarring on the liver (called cirrhosis). When this happens, people can:

  • Feel unwell and tired a lot
  • Feel sick a lot and vomit
  • Lose weight
  • Notice a lot of red spider-like small veins on the skin above the waist or red palms
  • Sleep badly
  • Lose their appetite

If you are worried about any of these symptoms talk to a nurse in your health centre.

How can I prevent it?

Get tested for hepatitis B and C. If you have hepatitis C, talk to a nurse in the health centre about treatment.

  • Reduce alcohol and other drug use
  • Stay Quit smoking or smoke less.