Liver failure needs immediate medical attention and care. Otherwise, it can be life-threatening. Hence, this condition happens when parts of the liver can’t work anymore, probably from damage beyond repair. As a result, signs of liver failure will happen.
Liver failure usually happens over time. It may be the final stage of most liver problems. Also, it happens with chronic liver failure. The other type, which is usually rare, is called acute kidney failure. Also, it can happen immediately. Your kidney stops working within days or weeks. Those who have this type may not have a liver problem before.
Early signs of liver failure are mostly similar to other liver problems. The following are the symptoms you need to look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- The signs will be more serious once it progresses. You need medical care right away if you notice the following:
- Easily bleeding
- Swollen belly
- Feeling sleepy all the time
- Yellow appearance
Acute liver failure may happen because of:
- Medicine overdose. Hence, there is a certain medicine that can damage the liver when taken in large doses over time. It may then lead to liver failure.
- Reaction to medicine. Some medications may kill your liver cells. Therefore, others can wreak havoc in the processes in your liver.
- Virus. Viruses can cause liver problems.
- Poisonous food. Poisonous mushrooms called death caps have harmful stuff that damages your liver cell.
- Excess fat. When excess fat gathers in your liver, it can cause problems.
- Other diseases. Wilson’s disease prevents your body from eliminating copper. Also, the buildup of this destroys the liver. Another disease called Budd Chiari syndrome leads to liver failure because it blocks blood flow in your liver.
The common causes of chronic liver failure are:
- Hepatitis. Type B will cause your liver to swell. When this happens, your organ will stop working. Likewise, type C leads to liver failure, especially if you have for a long time.
- Genetic disorder. There is a certain disorder that results in too much absorption and storage of iron. Also, the buildup of this can lead to this condition.
- Alcohol Consumption. Too much intake of alcoholic beverages for a long time will damage your liver.
Signs of liver failure will depend on the stage that you are experiencing.
Stage 1. An inflamed liver characterizes this stage. Therefore, the organ will be tender, and it usually does not bring symptoms.
Stage 2. Scarring occurs at this stage. If stage 1 is not treated, it will lead to this. Also, a scar tissue buildup in the liver stops the blood flow. The liver needs blood to perform its processes.
Stage 3. The scar tissue will grow in the liver. The small number of healthy tissues will have a hard time doing their parts. In some cases, they will not work at all.
Stage 4. It is the last stage. You will have internal bleeding, loss of kidney function, a buildup of fluid in the belly, lung problems, and an enlarged liver.
Doctors will perform tests to determine what type and stage of liver failure you have. Hence, it is important to assist you with proper care and treatment. They will likely perform blood tests. Also, they will take blood samples and check its clotting rate. A fast blood clotting is a sign of a healthy liver. However, it may not be enough in some cases, and doctors will have to take pictures of your liver. This way, they can precisely know what is causing your problem. Also, this may be done through ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. A biopsy is another lab test doctors will perform. They will take a small piece of your liver tissue.
Doctors will recommend medications. Hene, they will prescribe medicine that will reverse the condition caused by medicine overdose. Of course, this has to be taken quickly. Some medicine can stop the effects of poisonous mushrooms.
The liver can recover on its own if the condition is the result of a virus. It is better to stay in the hospital for a while until the virus goes away. Moreover, it can help manage your symptoms. Transplant is the last resort for liver treatment. Doctors will do their best to save parts that still work. However, a transplant is likely when the case is severe.