In general terms, liver failure is the loss of function in the liver, which occurs within a matter of days. It is common in individuals who do not have a history of liver disease.
One of the most common causes of liver failure is hepatitis and excessive consumption of medications. In addition, acute liver failure occurs less frequently than chronic, which evolves gradually.
In the case of acute liver failure, it can progress to serious damage such as bleeding or pressure in the brain. This type of disease requires, in most cases, hospitalization and immediate medical attention. However, acute liver failure can be reversed with proper treatment and may even require a liver transplant.
What symptoms should one pay attention to?
One of the most common signs of liver disease is jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Similarly, there are strong pains in the abdomen, specifically in the upper right side. Another symptomatology that may occur is:
- Abdominal swelling (ascites).
- Nausea and vomiting
- General malaise
- Excessive drowsiness
May occur in people who do not have a history of any similar disease, which is why some symptoms may go unnoticed and this could aggravate the evolution of the condition.
That is why special attention should be paid to any of the signs mentioned above, in case of presenting them, it is recommended to see a specialist as soon as possible.
As for the acute type, it is generated when the hepatic cells are damaged and therefore stop working properly. Some of the causes of this condition are:
- Excessive consumption of medications: this is one of the most common reasons for liver failure. Among the medications that stand out is acetaminophen, and can occur after excessive intake of the drug.
- Supplements: some herbal medicine supplements can cause acute hepatic insufficiency.
- Hepatitis: there are different types of hepatitis (A, B and E) that can cause acute liver failure, as well as Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex.
- Autoimmune disease: can be generated as a consequence of autoimmune hepatitis. The same happens with liver vein disorders, such as Budd-Chiari syndrome.
- Heat stroke: in some cases, performing physical activities in an environment with very high temperatures or under the sun can lead to liver failure.
Of course, there are ways to prevent liver diseases, as well as liver failure. The better the care of the liver, the less likely it is to suffer from liver failure.
For this, it is advisable to follow the instructions on the medications and the doses recommended either by the specialist, or those reflected in the packaging of the same. Likewise, always notify your doctor about the drugs you are taking, whether they are prescribed or not.
As for alcohol consumption, it is necessary to do it with caution, responsibility and moderation. Vaccination will also be an ally, so it is very positive to get immunized against hepatitis A and B.
Maintaining a balanced diet, exercise and a healthy weight according to the needs of each person, are some general recommendations to avoid acute or chronic liver failure.