Can Liver Failure Be Life Threatening?
YES. Liver failure is a life-threatening condition that demands urgent medical care.
What is liver failure?
The liver processes everything you eat and drink, which it converts into energy and nutrients for your body to use. It filters out harmful substances, such as alcohol, from your blood, and helps your body to fight off infection.
Liver failure occurs when your liver isn’t working well enough to perform its functions. Liver failure is a serious condition. If you develop liver failure, you should receive liver failure treatment immediately.
There are two types of live failure:
Acute: This is when your liver stops working within a matter of days or weeks. Most people who get this don’t have any type of liver disease or problem before this event.
Chronic: Damage to your liver builds up over time and causes it to stop working.
Causes of liver failure
Many different diseases and conditions cause liver failure, including Hepatitis B and C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol abuse and hemochromatosis. In many cases, chronic liver failure results from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver
Acute liver failure is most often caused by:
- certain prescription medicines
- viral infections, such as hepatitis, including hepatitis A, B, and C
- certain autoimmune diseases
Acute liver failure can also be genetic, passed along by an abnormal gene from one or both of your parents.
Symptoms of liver failure
Liver failure can take years to develop. The symptoms can also be attributed to other problems or disorders, which can make liver failure hard to diagnose in the early stages. Symptoms get worse as your failing liver continues to get weaker.
- Yellowing of your skin and eyeballs (jaundice)
- Pain in your upper right abdomen
- Abdominal swelling (ascites)
- A general sense of feeling unwell (malaise)
- Disorientation or confusion
- Breath may have a musty or sweet odor
Liver failure treatment
People with acute liver failure are often treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital with the team of critical care specialists, in a facility that can perform a liver transplant, if necessary.
Acute liver failure treatments may include:
- Medications to reverse poisoning
- Relieving pressure caused by excess fluid in the brain
- Liver transplant
- Screening and treating the infections
- Preventing severe bleeding
- Providing nutritional support (if you are unable to eat)
For chronic liver failure, treatment includes changes to the diet and lifestyle, including:
- Avoiding alcohol or medications that is affecting your liver
- Eating less of certain foods as suggested by your doctor
- Weight loss and control of high blood pressure and diabetes
- Cutting down on salt in the diet
Liver failure can affect many of your body’s organs. Acute liver failure can cause such complications as infection, electrolyte deficiencies and bleeding. Without treatment, both acute and chronic liver failure may eventually result in death.
Contact your doctor or go to the emergency hospital immediately if you develop any symptoms of liver failure.
Looking for emergency hospital in Ahmedabad? Contact Phoenix Hospital.
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