The 5 Deadliest Diseases for Women (That Aren’t Heart Disease or Cancer)

1. Chronic Liver Disease


Your liver is responsible for a handful of vital biological functions, from flushing your system of waste and toxins to helping your body absorb vitamins, nutrients, and energy from the foods you eat, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Chronic liver disease—also known as cirrhosis—is the gradual breakdown of your liver function. Symptoms include feeling weak or tired, a loss of appetite, nausea, and bloating, says the NIH. (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s 12-day liver detox for total body health.)

Viruses like hepatitis, a heavy drinking habit, and some other disorders or infections can all lead to chronic liver disease, according to resources from Johns Hopkins Medicine. So can obesity and some blood diseases, says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic.

While you can’t do much to protect yourself from some of those risk factors, Hayes says watching your weight, eating right, exercising, and keeping your alcohol intake to one drink per day are all proven ways to protect your liver from disease.