There are many different causes of liver disease:
alcohol consumption, medication toxifications,
chemical exposure, fatty liver disease,
metabolic disorders, hereditary conditions,
viral or parasite infections, cardiac/vascular
problems, mushroom poisoning,
auto immune disease, and many others.
Some of these causes can be stopped which
gives the liver cells time to heal and the disease
can be reversed (if caught early enough by blood
testing). It is only when the liver cells start to die off
and form scar tissue inside the liver (known as
Cirrhosis) that it can no longer be reversed.
Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and eyes. This
is caused by a substance that is made from our dead
red blood cells known as Bilirubin. Bilirubin is changed
to a soluble form to become part of the bile (by the liver).
Bile flows to the intestines to help emulsify the fats we
eat so they can be digested and absorbed into the body.
Bilirubin is greenish/brownish substance that colors other
things. The liver cells are what does all the functions of
the liver including converting the Bilirubin...if they are
damaged then this cannot be done efficiently and then
the Bilirubin will go higher in the blood. It has to reach
a certain level on the blood testing results before the
coloring will show up on a person's appearance.
She may have caught the disease early on, which is a good thing.
Taking alcohol with medications can cause such an interaction
between the two that it can instantly and permanently damage the
liver cells. This is well known with Alcohol combined with taking
acetaminophen...but, it can happen with other medications, also.
I hope this info has been of help to you.
caregiver to a liver transplant patient