The liver is a major organ located on the upper right portion of the ribcage. It weighs about three pounds and is reddish-brown in color. The organ has two large sections, namely the right and the left lobes. Its primary function is to detoxify the blood coming from the digestive tract, before sending it to other body parts. This helps in the production of blood cells, bile juice, and other fluids. The liver also breaks down food and toxins while making proteins important for blood clotting and other functions. However, like all other organs, it is also susceptible to chronic illness, which can be life-threatening if left untreated. One such condition is liver failure. It is a serious medical concern that occurs when this organ can no longer function correctly.
Liver disease can be inherited or caused by a variety of factors, such as obesity, alcohol, infections, and many more. Curious to know more? Here’s a comprehensive guide covering all essential aspects related to liver failure , including symptoms, causes, and possible solutions. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Failure?
Liver failure doesn’t always cause noticeable signs and symptoms, owing to which is it pretty hard to identify at the early stage. However, if you have a family history of liver disease or have ever been concerned with the doctor about the liver-related trouble, then you must pay attention to the below-mentioned symptoms to seek early treatment.
The common symptoms may include:
- Pale-colored stool
- Loss of appetite
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Itchy skin
- Chronic fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dark urine color
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Mental confusion, also known as hepatic encephalopathy
A Guide To Major Causes Of Liver Failure
There are two types of liver failure, acute and chronic. While acute failure is when your liver stops working within a matter of days, chronic conditions occur when the damage to your liver builds up over time and causes it to stop working.
The primary cause of this medical concern depends on the type of organ failure. Here’re mentioned the major reasons leading to both acute and chronic liver failure. Check them out here.
Causes of Acute Liver Failure
The most common causes of acute liver conditions include:-
Parasites and viruses can infect the liver, causing inflammation that makes the organ unable to function properly. The most common types of virus infections are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and E, herpes simplex virus, Epstein-barr virus, and cytomegalovirus.
It is a genetic disease that prevents the body from removing copper. It leads to the build-up, which further damages your liver.
Acute fatty liver
Sometimes, liver failure occurs due to the excess fat that gathers around the organ.
It is a kind of infection that can damage your liver and cause it to stop working.
Eating Amanita Phalloides, also known as death caps, can damage liver cells, leading to this medical ailment.
Industrial chemics like carbon tetrachloride, are equally hazardous to damage the liver
Causes of Chronic Liver Failure
Since you are now aware of the causes of acute failure, let’s now find what exactly leads to the chronic condition:-
The attack of the Hepatitis B virus on your body can make your liver swell and stops it from working appropriately.
If you regularly drink alcoholic beverages, it leads to cirrhosis, which might be life-threatening.
It is a kind of inherited disorder that causes your body to absorb too much iron, which then builds up and leads to chronic liver failure.
This might not be the common reason for the organ failure and usually goes away on its own, you must seek timely treatment to avoid further trouble. If left untreated, Hepatitis A might cause liver inflammation, which in turn leads to severe disease later on.
This situation occurs when your kidneys cannot get rid of calcium oxalate crystals through urination.
Yet another major cause leading to organ failure is fatty liver. It is a condition that happens when extra fat cells build up in your liver. This often affects people who are overweight, obese, or have high cholesterol.
This condition happens when your body cannot process galactose, found in many foods, thus leading to liver damage.
How to Manage Liver Failure?
While liver failure is a serious health concern, there’re a few ways to handle the illness. However, the treatment of the condition depends on your diagnosis. While lifestyle modifications and medications might help a bit, the ultimate solution to deal with this problem is a liver transplant.
Here’re mentioned some effective solutions to manage this serious health condition:-
If your liver gets damaged due to the virus attack, consult the doctor immediately as they can treat the symptoms until the virus runs its course. In such a case, your organ might recover on its own.
The best way to reverse acute chronic liver failure is to opt for regular medications, including Acetylcysteine. It can reverse the problem that arose due to an overdose of acetaminophen. However, your action should be quick to get timely results. Also, be sure to take the medication daily as per prescription for an effective outcome.
Since organ failure is usually caused due to alcohol consumption, obesity, or virus infection, it clearly indicates that your lifestyle needs an immediate makeover. Avoid drinking alcohol and be picky about cleanliness and safety. Also, practice mindful eating and exercise regularly to maintain weight.
Liver Transplant – An Ultimate Solution To Liver Failure
While the above-mentioned methods might reverse your early-stage condition, a liver transplant is the only treatment option for those with end-stage chronic liver failure. A liver transplant is a surgery that replaces a malfunctioning liver with a healthy one.
It is one of the most common surgeries in the world and it is often successful. However, there are a few risks associated with it, including blood clots, mental confusion, bile duct complications, bleeding, or infection.
But, luckily these complications are typically minor and can be avoided by following the proper care and regular medications.
So, that’s all about liver failure!! We hope now you are familiar with all aspects related to this medical ailment. While it is a serious condition, treatment of the same is still possible. Hence, pay attention to the early symptoms and seek immediate medical care to add years to your life.