Liver Failure - Symptoms, causes and treatment – ​​Alodokter

Heart failure is a condition whenmost of the organ heart damaged, so no can perform its function properly.This condition can happens gradually in time years, or happens instantly. Liver failure must be treated immediately because brisk of causing death.

The liver has a number of important functions, including removing toxins from the body, helping the blood clotting process, and helping the body fight infection. A person will be in serious condition, if a number of these functions do not work normally or are disturbed.

Liver failure is generally characterized by yellowing of the eyes and skin, and a swollen abdomen due to fluid accumulation. The causes of liver failure are very diverse, but the most common causes are viral hepatitis infection, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug overdose paracetamol.

Causes of Liver Failure

Liver failure is caused by damage to cells in the liver. The damage can be instantaneous, or develop over the long term. A number of factors that can cause liver failure are:

  • Cirrhosis.
  • Viral infections, especially hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis E.
  • Cancer, whether it starts in the liver, or cancer that starts in other parts of the body and then spreads to the liver.
  • Drug use paracetamol excessive.
  • Consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants, and herbal medicines.
  • Alcohol addiction.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Exposure to toxins, eg carbon tetrachloride.
  • The immune system attacks the body itself (autoimmune hepatitis).
  • Diseases of the blood vessels in the liver, such as Budd-Chiari syndrome.
  • Metabolic disorders, eg Wilson's disease.
  • The body's reaction to a severe infection (sepsis).
  • Other diseases, such as blockage of blood vessels in the liver, accumulation of iron in the body, fructose intolerance, Reye's syndrome, and galactosemia.

Symptoms of Liver Failure

Early symptoms of liver failure tend to be mild and similar to those of other conditions, including upper abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite. If the condition of the liver worsens, more serious symptoms will appear. Symptoms of advanced liver failure include:

  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Accumulation of fluid in the stomach
  • Vomiting blood or bloody stools (black in color)
  • Foggy consciousness and muddled speech
  • Unconscious

When to go to the doctor

If you are at risk of developing hepatitis or have never received the hepatitis vaccine, immediately see a doctor for consultation. The doctor will explain the importance of getting vaccinated.

Patients with prolonged viral infections, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C, or an alcoholic, should regularly consult a gastroenterohepatologist to prevent further liver damage, which can lead to liver failure.

Through regular check-ups, doctors will detect liver damage early so that action can be given more quickly to prevent further damage. Treatment should be done immediately if patients with liver failure experience symptoms of advanced liver failure.

Liver Failure Diagnosis

To determine liver failure, the doctor will ask the patient about drug use, consumption of alcoholic beverages and drugs, as well as a history of illness. Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination to look for signs of liver failure, such as a swollen abdomen, pain in the upper right abdomen, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.

There are several additional tests that the doctor will do to diagnose liver failure, including:

Liver function test

Liver function tests are performed to determine the ability of the patient's liver function, by examining the patient's blood sample, to be studied in the laboratory. Through the blood sample, the doctor can determine the levels of enzymes and proteins produced by the liver, including levels of bilirubin, which causes the skin to turn yellow.

In addition to liver function tests, blood tests can also be done to see when blood clots become abnormal when liver failure occurs.

Imaging and biopsy

Doctors can perform imaging with ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, to see the structure of the liver. In some cases, the doctor will also take a tissue sample (biopsy) on the patient's liver, to determine the cause of the damage.

Liver Failure Treatment

Liver organs that are damaged to cause liver failure can return to normal, but they may not. Liver failure due to drug overdose paracetamol usually can still return to normal.

If the damage to the liver is severe enough and its function cannot return to normal, for example in cirrhosis, treatment will be aimed at saving the part of the liver that is still healthy. However, if this is not possible, the patient's liver needs to be replaced with a healthy liver from a donor. This procedure is called a liver transplant.

There is no specific treatment for liver failure. The treatment given is only aimed at maintaining the stability of the body's condition so that the liver can return to normal function. Treatment includes:

  • Giving infusion to maintain normal blood pressure.
  • Blood transfusion in case of bleeding.
  • Laxatives to remove toxins from the body.
  • Inject sugar when blood sugar levels drop.

In order to maintain a healthy part of the liver, the doctor will advise the patient to:

  • Avoid taking medication without a doctor's advice.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages.
  • Limit consumption of red meat, cheese, and eggs.
  • Reduce the consumption of salt in the diet.
  • Maintain normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  • Maintain ideal body weight.

Liver Failure Complications

Liver failure can lead to a number of serious conditions, such as:

  • Bleeding due to deficiency of blood clotting factors.
  • Swelling of the brain due to accumulation of fluid in the brain.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Easy to get infection.

Prevention of Liver Failure

Liver failure can be prevented by preventing the onset of liver or liver disease. Ways that can be done include:

  • Get a hepatitis vaccination, namely the hepatitis A vaccine or the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Do not share the use of personal items, such as razors.
  • Stop using drugs, let alone share needles.
  • Have safe sex, that is, do not change partners and use condoms.
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Not consuming paracetamol exceed the recommended dose.
  • Use herbal remedies safely.
  • Maintain ideal body weight and exercise regularly.
  • Wash hands before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Use personal protective equipment at work to protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals.