Liver failure is a condition, where the liver is unable to function due to irreversible damage of cells, tissues and other parts of the organ. It is one of the severe and life-threatening conditions of the organ that needs immediate medical care and attention. Liver failure doesn’t happen overnight in most cases, although there are exceptions to this. Here’s a quick take on the causes, symptoms and other aspects.
What are the causes?
Liver failure can be categorized into two parts – acute liver failure and chronic liver failure. There are varied factors that eventually lead to chronic liver failure. In case of chronic liver failure, the liver is damaged over months and years, depending on the cause. Some of the common causes include viral infections, such as Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B, alcohol abuse, liver cirrhosis, malnutrition, and hemochromatosis. In case of acute liver failure, the organ fails rapidly, and the causes can be very different. One of the known causes is overdosing on acetaminophen. In children, acute liver failure can be triggered by viral infection of the liver too. Certain medications and consumptions of specific mushrooms can be responsible too.
Check for the signs
More often than not, it is hard to find about liver failure, because the signs and symptoms are common as many of the other diseases. However, you should keep an eye on early symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea and fatigue, especially if all of these seem evident and persistent at the same time. In many cases, liver failure is detected by the advanced symptoms, which include easy brushing/bleeding, yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), swelling in the abdomen and sleepiness. Some patients also suffer from a condition called “hepatic encephalopathy”, which causes disorientation of the mind.
Consider visiting Memorial Hermann North Houston Endoscopy and Surgery or any known clinic to get checked for liver disease. It is possible to treat acute liver failure if detected early, so do not ignore the initial signs. If it is caused by one of the known viral infections, treatment can be started immediately, especially for acute liver failure. In case of chronic liver failure, doctors try to save the part of the organ that’s still working normally. The final solution is a liver transplant, which is a safe and fairly successful procedure.
Check with your doctor to know more on chronic liver failure.