Diseases and Conditions

Enlarged liver

Risk factors

You're more likely to develop an enlarged liver if you have a liver disease. Factors that can increase your risk of liver problems include:

  • Excessive alcohol use. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can be damaging to your liver.
  • Large doses of medicines, vitamins or supplements. Taking larger than recommended doses of vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicines can increase your risk of liver damage.

    Acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Besides being the ingredient in OTC pain relievers such as Tylenol, it's in more than 600 medications, both OTC and prescription.

    Know what's in the medications you take. Read labels. Look for "acetaminophen," "acetam" or "APAP." Check with your doctor if you're not sure what's too much.

  • Herbal supplements. Certain supplements, including black cohosh, ma huang and valerian, can increase your risk of liver damage.
  • Infections. Infectious diseases, viral, bacterial or parasitic, can increase your risk of liver damage.
  • Hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis A, B and C can cause liver damage.
  • Poor eating habits. Being overweight increases your risk of liver disease, as does eating unhealthy foods, such as those with excess fat or sugar.