Nausea, lack of appetite, diarrhea and fatigue are some of the final symptoms of end-stage liver failure, according to the American Liver Foundation. Confusion, disorientation and sleepiness may then ensue, and coma and death are possible.
When end-stage liver failure occurs, the liver has lost its ability to function, explains the American Liver Foundation. Because the initial symptoms may be indicative of other conditions, it may not be apparent that the liver is no longer viable. Immediate treatment is required, and doctors may try to save any part of the liver that is still functioning. If that is not possible, a liver transplant is the only other option.
Chronic liver failure takes place over a period of years, notes the American Liver Foundation. It is often the result of cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, although malnutrition can cause chronic liver failure as well. Acute liver failure refers to sudden liver failure, and that can occur within 48 hours. Poisoning and medication overdose are common causes of acute liver failure.
A healthy liver fights infections, cleans the blood and helps digest food, indicates the American Liver Foundation. When damaged, it is often able to regenerate; however, if the liver becomes inflamed and the inflammation is not treated, scarring occurs. This hinders the liver's ability to function optimally. As scarring progresses, liver function degrades until it fails completely.