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Acute Liver Failure – Symptoms And Causes

Disease – it’s a word that most of the time reminds us of runny noses for a week which started with a couple of sneezes. But this one is far rarer and more severe than a common cold.

Acute liver failure is when the liver fails to work adequately despite never having any physical issues related to the liver before. And the time between the first signs of liver failure and the acute stage to happen is far less than any of us could ever imagine – in weeks or even days!

But what could surprise us the most is how many people didn’t realize what was happening through the signs and symptoms. And frankly, they are not to blame since, in developed countries, there are only 10 cases in a million per year, and none (other than a hypochondriac) can diagnose it through the signs of this disease as they are as common as they can be.

But it’s always good to be aware and alert about the symptoms and causes of acute liver failure. Precaution is, after all, always better than the cure.

Below you will find a list of symptoms that can show early signs of liver failure:

  1. Fatigue (can be from lack of sleep but worth mentioning)
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Nausea and vomiting (sometimes even blood through vomit or stool)
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes (not always jaundice, it seems)
  6. Discomfort on the right side just below the ribs
  7. Disorientation and malaise (in easy words, just not feeling the cheerful old self that you are)
  8. Ascites or building up of fluid in your abdomen.
  9. Easy bleeding or bruising

If you see any yellowing in your eyes or skin, then this might be the right time to call on a doctor, just in case.

If you have reached a doctor and conducted the mental alertness, blood, and imaging tests (these are the ways to recognize ALF) and have been diagnosed with this, then the most needed thing for the treatment is the cause. There can be various factors causing the damage to the liver cells affecting this liver failure. The common ones are –

  • Acetaminophen overdose – Acetaminophen is generally painkillers (Tylenol, paracetamol) taken in measures more than suggested. In this case, don’t wait for signs. Hurry to a doctor.
  • Prescription medications like antibiotics and herbal supplements can be linked back as reasons for AFL.
  • Toxins
  • Autoimmune disease, cancer, and heart stroke can also trigger AFL.

Hopefully, you have learned about the symptoms and causes of acute liver failure and are aware of this enough to be precautious (without panicking). You can always prevent this (and frankly any disease) by exercising and keeping a healthy and fit lifestyle.

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