Liver Failure – Warning Signs To Look For!
October 4, 2019
Liver is the only organ in the body performing 500 necessary functions to keep you healthy. Among which, detoxification is an important task the liver has to fulfill. But, if the liver is taxed with alcohol abuse, viral infections and intake of unhealthy food for long time – the liver may develop its own medical problems.
Some people understand that when their liver is at stake, it invariably increases the risk of chronic illness. As the liver does not show any symptoms, many are unaware of what causes liver failure. People with liver failure are at high risk to have liver cancer.
Here are the most common signs of liver failure. Consult your doctor if you notice these symptoms:
Retention of Fluid:
Fluid retention is the most common sign of liver disease. 50 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis develop fluid retention. Cirrhosis is a condition in which, healthy liver tissues are replaced with scarred tissues due to liver damage.
In fluid retention, the fluid accumulated may cause abdominal distension or swelling in the lower limbs. This happens due to portal hypertension – high blood pressure in the liver or due to low levels of albumin – a protein which binds fluid in the bloodstream and prevents its leak in the tissues.
Treatment: In mild fluid retention, a low sodium diet may help. In moderate to severe fluid retention, the doctor may advise diuretics – drugs to excrete excess water from the body. In very severe cases, a procedure called paracentesis is suggested in which the abdominal fluid is drained out of the body with the help of a needle.
Jaundice is a serious sign of liver failure, that causes dark colored urine and yellowish pigmentation of the skin or yellow eyes. This happens when the pigment called bilirubin develops in the blood stream. Bilirubin is made when the red blood cells break down and is excreted by the liver.
Treatment: If your jaundice has led to liver failure, your doctor may suggest a liver transplant.
The liver is capable of cycling 25 percent of the blood from the portal vein. And usually the blood flow through the liver is very rapid. But cirrhosis of liver impairs normal blood flow and creates chances of bleeding resulting in blood vomiting, or bloody stools or nosebleed.
In cirrhosis of liver, the blood takes a long route to avoid difficulty in its flow due to the scarring of the tissue. In this process, the blood detours to the spleen. The spleen tries to relieve the congestion leading to spleen enlargement. The veins in the esophagus and stomach may also get enlarged and can bleed easily.
Unlike healthy liver, a damaged liver cannot make blood clotting protein and may cause more bleeding. The enlarged spleen tries to collect platelets from the bloodstream and due to the low platelet count, you may prone to have nosebleeds or bleeding gums.
Treatment: In case of blood vomiting, the doctor suggests upper endoscopy to stop the bleeding. In severe bleeding, the doctor may suggest to implant a stent that creates a new path for the blood to flow in and out of the liver.
When the liver is sick and not able to filter toxins; the toxins may travel to the brain leading to confusion, memory issues, lethargic feeling and coma.This condition is known as hepatic encephalopathy.
Treatment: This condition is treated with medications like laxative lactulose which binds to the toxins and flushes them out before entering the bloodstream.
So remember- alcohol abuse is not only the cause of liver failure. Doctors recommend to take care of the body and keep the liver healthy. To avoid chronic conditions, it’s advised to make some positive lifestyle modifications, such as: Regular exercise, A healthy diet, Drinking moderately and Maintaining a healthy weight.
WHY Rela Hospital:
Dr. Rela Hospital provides specialized treatment to patients with liver diseases. The top liver disease treatment specialists in Chennai at Rela Hospital from various specializations – Hepatology, Gastroenterology and HPB Surgery, are capable of handling any emergency cases such as bleeding and chronic conditions of the liver.
Equipped with the state-of-the-art facility and infrastructure, Rela Institute qualifies to offer multidisciplinary disease management for treatment of liver failure in Chennai and also be classified among the best liver transplant centres in India to treat chronic conditions of the liver.