The liver is able to heal itself by replacing damaged tissue with new cells, according to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In cases where scar tissue develops, a condition known as cirrhosis, complications may occur.
Other causes of liver failure include Hepatitis A, B and C; malnutrition; excessive alcohol consumption; and hemochromatosis, according to WebMD. In cases where the liver fails at an accelerated pace, common causes include acetaminophen overdose, reactions to either herbal or prescription medications, and response to ingesting poisonous mushrooms.
Early symptoms of liver failure may be difficult to diagnose, as they are common symptoms for a wide variety of conditions, notes WebMD. The onset of liver disease usually includes loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. As the condition progresses, the patient starts to experience more serious symptoms that may require urgent care, such as a swollen abdomen, jaundice, confusion and mental disorientation, and even coma.
In the cause of liver failure from either acetaminophen overdose or virus, an early enough diagnosis can allow doctors to effectively treat and reverse the condition, states WebMD. In some long-term cases, it's possible to salvage part of the liver. Many cases of late-stage liver disease require a liver transplant.