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Acute Liver Failure Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is acute liver failure?

The condition causes rapid loss of your liver function; say in weeks or even in days. Mostly, acute liver failure occurs in individuals those have no pre-existing disease related to liver. Though, it is far less common comparatively to chronic liver failure that tends to develop gradually.

Also called fulminant hepatic failure, the condition can cause life-threatening complications in the future. It is indeed a medical emergency which needs hospitalization. At times, it can be reversed through effective treatment, solely depending upon its cause however; in certain cases, liver transplant is the only way to cure the condition. Acute Liver Failure

What are the symptoms of acute liver failure?

Symptoms include:

  • Sleepiness.
  • Disorientation.
  • Malaise.
  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Pain in the upper right side of abdomen.
  • Jaundice.

What causes acute liver failure?

Significant damage to the liver cells makes them unable to function leading the condition. Few possible causes can be:

  • Overdose of Acetaminophen: the major cause to trigger acute liver failure is the over dosage of acetaminophen.
  • Herbal supplements: clearly, herbal supplements or medicines such as pennyroyal, ephedral and kava are associated to the condition.
  • Certain medications: such as anticonvulsants, NSAIDs and antibiotics can too cause the condition.
  • Hepatitis: such as Hepatitis A, B and E can lead the condition.
  • Certain viruses: such as herpes simplex and Epstein-Barr virus can trigger the condition.
  • Autoimmune disease: ALF also be caused due to autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Cancer: clearly, the liver can fail due to cancer which either starts in it or spreads to it.
  • Veins diseases: vascular diseases for example Budd-chiari syndrome tends to blocks the veins present in your liver, consequently leading to the condition.

Clearly, majority cases of ALF tend to have no set cause.

What are the possible complications of acute liver failure?

Often, he condition causes serious complications including:

How is acute liver failure diagnosed?

Certain procedures and test used for diagnosing the condition are:

  • Blood tests.
  • Imaging tests.
  • Liver biopsy.

How is acute liver failure treated?

Usually, its treatment is done in the ICU of a hospital. The doctor can use the following options for treating the condition.

  • Liver transplant or
  • Drugs for reversing poison.

In order to ease your symptoms and prevent complications the doctor will:

  • Take samples of the urine and blood in order to test for the possibility of infection
  • Give medications for minimizing the bleeding risk.
  • Give medications to lessen the buildup of fluid in the brain in order to relieve pressure.


Minimize the chances of ALF by working on the following:

  • Quit consuming alcohol or drink in moderation.
  • Perform safe sex.
  • Never use illicit drugs and never share needles.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B infections.
  • Never consume wild mushrooms.
  • Maintaining healthy weight is important.


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By : Natural Health News

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