Hepatitis And Jaundice: Difference Between The Liver Diseases

Written by Dr. Lynda Odoh - Anikwe on Wed, 16 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • The liver has a key role in the metabolic process, digestion, and elimination of waste products.
  • Liver diseases do not always have clear symptoms.
  • Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by viruses, excessive alcohol consumption, or an autoimmune condition.
  • Hepatitis can be considered chronic if it persists for more than 6 months and can cause liver cirrhosis (permanent liver scarring) and liver cancer.
  • Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin due to excess bilirubin. It is more of a symptom than a disorder in itself.
  • Jaundice can be caused by hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, etc.

The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body and the hub for metabolism. Anything that enters the body gets through to the liver, where it's metabolized and the waste products are excreted. The liver helps to keep the body going. With all this hard work, and the regular exposure to various toxins and pathogens, sometimes the liver itself needs help.

Other than fatty liver disease, which is the build-up of excess fat in the liver, two common ailments associated with the liver are hepatitis and jaundice. The difference between hepatitis and jaundice is that while the former is a full-blown disease in itself, causing inflammation of the liver, the latter is more an outward symptom of an internal issue, which is the rising level of bilirubin because of liver dysfunction.

Main liver functions, common diseases, symptoms


Dr. Lynda Odoh - Anikwe

Dr. Lynda Odoh - Anikwe (M. B. B. S) is a MPH  candidate at the University of Manchester. Dr Odoh is also currently a member of the Society of Lifestyle Medicine Nigeria, and aiming to get certified by the International board of lifestyle medicine as a Lifestyle Medicine Physician by the last quarter of 2022.

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