The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. People may not know that the liver is also the largest gland in the body. The liver is actually two different types of gland. It is a secretory gland because it has a specialized structure that is designed to allow it to make and secrete bile into the bile ducts. It also is an endocrine gland since it makes and secretes chemicals directly into the blood that have effects on other organs in the body. Bile is a fluid that both aids in digestion and absorption of fats as well as carries waste products into the intestine.
Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol use. Obesity is also associated with liver damage.
Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition