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What happens during the end stages of liver failure?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of end-stage liver disease include fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and disturbances in thinking, according to Mayo Clinic. There is abdominal swelling due to fluid accumulation, and persistent yellowing of the eyes and skin, or jaundice. The only effective treatment for end-stage liver disease is a liver transplant.

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Full Answer

Early liver failure symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue and diarrhea, resemble those of other conditions, so it is often difficult to diagnose in the initial stages, notes WebMD. The most common causes of chronic liver failure, in which the deterioration happens over months or years, include Hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis, long-term alcohol consumption, malnutrition and an inherited disorder called hemochromatosis.

When the liver fails rapidly and unexpectedly, known as acute liver failure, the causes can be an acetaminophen overdose, reactions to prescription and herbal medications, hepatitis viruses or eating poisonous wild mushrooms, explains WebMD. Liver failure caused by an overdose of acetaminophen can sometimes be treated and reversed if detected early enough. If due to a virus, sometimes the liver recovers with supportive care in a hospital setting. In liver failure due to progressive deterioration, attempts are made to save the functioning parts of the liver. If this is not possible, a liver transplant is required.

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