Shining a light on rare liver diseases

February 23, 2024

At LiverWELL we tend to focus on viral hepatitis and common liver diseases like fatty liver disease. But there is a wide range of rare liver diseases that don’t get as much attention.

For Rare Disease Day 2024, we wanted to raise awareness of rare liver conditions such as Wilson’s Disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and Haemochromatosis. These conditions might be less common but they still affect the health of Australians.

Some less common disorders of the liver include:

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

This is a condition that is passed on from parents to their children through genes. This condition may result in serious lung and/or liver disease at various ages in life.
Learn more about Alpha-1. Alpha-1 Liver disease. See a fact sheet.

Autoimmune liver disorders

These disorders see an abnormal increase in immune cells that damage the liver cells. Autoimmune Hepatitis is a serious condition that may worsen over time if not treated, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. These rare conditions include autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis (mostly affecting women) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (more common in men). Learn more.


This is a rare inherited disorder where the body’s reaction to particular milk sugars damages the liver and other organs. Learn more.


This inherited disease makes the body absorb and store higher than normal amounts of iron damaging many organs including the liver, pancreas and heart. Learn more.

Wilson’s disease

Wilson’s disease occurs when the liver can’t excrete copper. Various organs of the body, including the liver and brain, are affected by the excessively high copper levels. Learn more.

A person living with a rare liver disease may feel more alone in their health journey, so it is important we show our friends, family and community support when they are living with rare diseases and take the time to educate ourselves about them.

Learn more about these diseases and Rare Disease Awareness Day 2024

Rare Disease Day
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We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where we work - the lands of the Woi-Wurrung Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We express our gratitude to them for their continued care and curation of these lands and waters. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

LiverWELL observes and honours the Kulin Nation's intrinsic connection to land, sky and water, and the creator Bunjil. LiverWELL is committed to being led and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on bridging health outcomes for communities and improving liver health.