Your Liver is your body’s second-largest organ (after the skin). It sits just under your ribcage on the right side and is about the size of a football. The liver separates nutrients and waste as they move through your digestive system. It also produces bile, a substance that carries toxins out of your body and aids in digestion.

The term “liver disease” refers to any of several conditions that can affect and damage your liver. Over time, liver disease can cause cirrhosis (scarring). As more scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver can no longer function properly. Left untreated, liver disease can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.

How common is liver disease?

Overall, about 1 in 10 Americans (30 million in total) have some type of liver disease. About 5.5 million people in the U.S. have chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.

Some types of liver disease are becoming more common in the U.S. because they are related to rising rates of obesity. An estimated 20% to 30% of adults have excess fat in their liver, a condition called non-alcohol rekated fatty liver disease (NAFD). This may be renamed metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) to reflect its relationship to metabolic syndrome  and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity.