End Stage Liver Disease
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The rapid deterioration of one of the most vital organs of the body, known as the liver, results to many complications. This medical condition is called end stage liver disease. Also known as acute liver failure or ALF, it may be considered an uncommon state of an individual due to the duration of the organ’s failure to function well.
There are a lot of symptoms for this kind of condition that is similar to other health problems. That includes fatigue, abdominal pains and swelling, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, drowsiness, restlessness and confusion. However, some of the alarming and distinctive signs of having ALF include jaundice, wherein the skin and eyes have discoloration that often yellowish, as well as the person’s mucous membrane.
Other patients may develop brain disorders as waste products tend to develop in the blood, due to the irregularity and abnormal function and filtering of the liver. Others experience pruritus or even coma. When gastrointestinal bleeding occurs due to enlarged veins in the esophagus known as varices, the illness progresses at a faster rate.
End stage liver disease causes coagulopathy and changes in the mental status of healthy individuals before they get the risky disease. This condition can also be a result of chronic Hepatitis C virus, even though it actually damages the liver slowly. Complications turn to this tragedy that may result to liver failure or liver cancer.
People who have developed cirrhosis, which is scarring of the live, due to swelling from the infection of Hepatitis are more at risk to this condition. Though the virus usually takes about twenty to thirty years to spread the infection, once the progress reaches half of its total destruction, it immediately develops to liver failure or cancer.
Other causes of liver failure may be cystic fibrosis, noncancerous or benign liver tumors, biiliary duct atresia, liver cirrhosis, among others. But there are certain occasions wherein the cause of the liver failure may not be known.
The most effective treatment for patients with end stage liver disease is through liver transplant. This is particularly a choice for persons that have no other possible treatments that would cure the disease and for those who have liver cancer.
Liver failure may be acute wherein the disease can worsen in a matter of just a few weeks, or it may be chronic that can occur for a longer period of over months or even years. The procedure of the liver transplant can sometimes lead to other complications that are significant.
These include blood clotting, failure of the donated liver, infection, side effects of prescribed medications, and bile duct leaking or shrinking. Others may also experience bone thinning, diarrhea, headaches, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or nausea. Though some of the effects or complications may be managed through switching of medications or alteration of dosage provided by the physicians, other complications may cause death to the patients.
End stage liver disease poses a great threat to individuals who have abnormal liver activity and function. When symptoms are experienced, no matter how minimal or manageable they may be, it is best to consult a doctor in other to undergo series of tests and examinations that would help determine the specific problem that may or may not be related to the liver itself.