The liver has many functions. Some of the functions are: to produce substances that break down fats, convert glucose to glycogen, produce urea, make certain amino acids, filter harmful substances from the blood (such as alcohol), storage of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, D, K and B12) and maintain a proper level of glucose in the blood.
The destruction of the normal architecture and the loss of liver cells prevent the liver from functioning normally. Excess Alcohol, chronic viral hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, drugs and chemicals, metabolic and inherited disorders etc. cause destruction of liver.
Some of the diseases affecting the liver function are hepatitis, liver cancer, and cirrhosis (a chronic inflammation that progresses ultimately to organ failure).
Cirrhosis is a serious condition. Only 30 per cent of patients with this problem survive five years after diagnosis and the outlook is worse if the cause is alcohol and the patient continues to drink.
Cirrhosis leads to edema and ascites (accumulation of fluid in abdomen).