Found this info on the net.
There are few symptoms of liver disease, such as pain in the lower right chest region, a noticeable size increase of the liver below the rib cage on the right, and visible jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) can all indicate liver disease. The causes of elevated liver enzymes vary widely depending upon the level and duration of elevation as well as the overall comparison of many other blood test indications.
Alcohol Liver Diseases
The three types of alcohol liver disease are fatty liver, acute alcoholic hepatitis, and chronic alcoholic liver disease cirrhosis. A fatty liver is commonly the first manifestation of alcohol injury to the liver producing symptoms of an increased size of the liver due to fat buildup within the liver tissue. Fatty liver is reversible at this point if healthy changes are made. Symptoms of acute alcoholic hepatitis are acute onset of a fever, jaundice, tender enlargement of the liver, and commonly occur after a bout of heavy drinking. Severe hepatitis can result in death. Most patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease have consumed the equivalency of a 350mL bottle of 80 proof whisky daily for at least 10 years. About 30% of these heavy drinkers will have alcoholic hepatitis and about 20% will develop cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Commonly induced by alcohol 30-60%, viral hepatitis infections 10-30%, biliary blockage as with gall stones 10%, and immune deficiency liver disease 10%. Cirrhosis is characterized as liver cell death over an extended period of time with a progressive pattern leading to liver failure and death. In the early stages, there is enlargement of the liver, but then a reduction in size is observed with a nodular characteristic. The poor flow of blood return through the liver will result in portal hypertension which will produce symptoms that include vomiting blood, tarry black stool as a result of the blood, enlarged spleen, dilated veins and swelling in the abdomen, and hemorrhoids. The symptoms from the death of the liver cells will commonly also produce foul smelling breath, spider veins on the skin, enlarged breasts, jaundice, ankle edema, anemia, and a tendency toward bleeding problems. Cirrhosis is a major risk factor for primary liver cancer.
[This message has been edited by lakelady (edited 09-06-2003).]