Liver failure is a life-threatening condition that requires hospitalisation. Many people do not have any liver damage symptoms until serious liver problems have already developed slowly and silently.
Liver failure occurs if the liver has lost all of its function due to cirrhosis caused by different liver diseases.
We will discuss signs and symptoms of liver failure in this post.
So what are the common causes of cirrhosis?
1. Hepatitis B & C
2. Alcohol-related Liver
4. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) & Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
5. Autoimmune Hepatitis
6. Bile duct disease such as Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
7. Metabolic diseases such as Hemochromatosis, Wilson disease and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
Now that we know the aforementioned, what are the symptoms and signs of liver failure caused by cirrhosis?
For some people, cirrhosis is diagnosed unintentionally. Cirrhosis often does not have any specific signs and symptoms in the early stage. The non-specific symptoms may be:
2. Loss of appetite
5. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whiteness of the eyes)
As cirrhosis progresses, symptoms and complications can appear that make it apparent that the liver is not doing well.
These could be the symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) and other complications due to cirrhosis. In addition to Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE), following complications are signs of liver damage or cirrhosis:
1. Fluid buildup and painful swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites)
2. Bruising and bleeding easily.
3. Enlarged veins in the lower esophagus (esophageal varices) and stomach (gastropathy).
4. Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
5. Stone-like particles in gallbladder and bile duct (gallstones)
6. Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
A Chronic liver failure indicates that the liver has been failing gradually, possibly for years.
If the liver is failing, a liver transplant may be needed in some cases.