When liver damages go beyond repair then it indicates that the organ has failed. Liver failure does not occur instantly, it takes months to years. Acute liver failure is a rare condition that occurs rapidly in a couple of days.
Causes of liver failure
- Long term alcohol abuse
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis B
Acute liver failure causes are different.
- Overdose of Acetaminophen
- Poisonous wild mushroom consumption
- Reaction to herbal or prescribed medications
Liver failure symptoms
Initial symptoms are hard to indicate that there are issues in the liver. It can due to several health conditions.
- Appetite loss
As liver starts to deteriorate the symptoms aggravate and needs urgent care. Aggravating symptoms are –
- Easy bleeding
- Mental disorientation
- Swollen abdomen
Diagnosis & treatment
digestive and liver disease consultants are experts in treating conditions related to the digestive tract, liver, pancreas, and bowel system. If you posses a history of genetic abnormalities, alcohol abuse, or other medical disorders than discuss it with the doctors. They prescribe specific blood screening tests to identify blood abnormalities that can indicate liver failure.
Tests & procedures for diagnosing liver failure
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests
- Liver biopsy
Liver damage treatment involves controlling the complications and allowing the liver to heal. Acute liver failures are treated in ICU with a liver transplant surgery.
Medication to reverse the poisoning
- Overdose of Acetaminophen is treated using medication like Acetylcysteine.
- Mushrooms or medication poisonings are treated with drugs capable to reverse toxic effects and thus decrease liver damage.
- Cirrhosis is a condition, which poisons active liver cells and its treatment helps to slow or stop liver damage progression but cannot be reversed.
- Overweight people or those with diet high in fat can suffer from fatty liver disease. With some medicines and lifestyle changes the progress of damage can be reversed.
Treatment depends on different stages of the disease. Doctors prescribe medication or if a part is damaged then that part will be removed. In case of severe damage, liver transplant can be recommended. In a liver transplant, the surgeon removes and replaces damaged part with healthy liver from the donor.
Liver failure prevention
- Get hepatitis vaccine
- Avoid alcohol when on Tylenol
- Practice proper hygiene
- Never share toiletry items
- Get tattoo or piercings under sanitary conditions
- Have safe sex
- Never share needles, while using IV drugs
In case, you see symptoms mentioned above, see a doctor. Early detection can prevent progress of damage and liver failure.