When liver failure mimics other health conditions, it can be initially difficult to diagnose. How can you tell that you have a liver disorder that requires urgent medical care? Below are symptoms that warrant you to see a medical caregiver immediately:
Jaundice can be a symptom of acute liver failure or fulminant hepatic failure. Unlike chronic liver failure, which develops slowly, acute liver failure happens quickly within days or weeks. It results in the loss of liver function in people who have no pre-existing liver problems.
As acute failure is a life-threatening condition that can develop rapidly in an otherwise healthy person, urgent medical attention is crucial. Visit a walk-in urgent care facility in Eagle Mountain as soon as you notice a yellowing of your eyeballs or skin.
Yellow eyes or skin may also be a symptom of cirrhosis, a late stage of fibrosis (scarring) of the liver. If the liver disease or condition that’s causing scarring is not treated, the symptoms of cirrhosis get worse. Jaundice is an indication of cirrhosis that has got worse with time.
2. A Swollen Stomach
Ascites, a fluid buildup in your abdominal cavity, may indicate liver trouble. A common symptom of this fluid buildup is a distended abdominal cavity that leads to discomfort and shortness of breath. Conditions associated with ascites include cirrhosis and liver cancer. When one has liver cancer, the resulting swollen abdomen is as a result of the liver growing bigger than usual.
3. Mental Disorientation
Chronic liver failure can cause a brain disorder called hepatic encephalopathy, characterized by mental disorientation. The confusion happens when, due to advanced liver failure, toxins accumulate in the blood and eventually enter the brain.
If you have been living with liver disease and notice mental confusion, see a doctor. Some signs include forgetting things, getting confused during conversations, and saying inappropriate things.
4. Sleep Disturbances
People with liver cirrhosis often suffer from sleep disturbances. Although the sleep issues may indicate hepatic encephalopathy, many people without liver-related mental disorientation still report poor quality of sleep. Common sleep disturbances associated with liver disorders include insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.
5. Bleeding Varices
Cirrhosis can lead to portal hypertension, an unhealthy increase in the pressure within the vein that transports blood from your digestive organs to the liver. This undue pressure can cause the body to push blood away from your liver to the much smaller blood vessels.
When the smaller vessels are unable to handle the enhanced amount of blood, large and swollen veins may develop within the throat, stomach, umbilical area, and rectum. If these fragile veins rupture, symptoms may include vomiting of blood, bloody or black stool, and lightheadedness. Bleeding is a medical emergency, so you should go seek immediate medical attention.
Liver failure is a critical condition that manifests through different symptoms. If you have not had liver problems before, the signs could indicate acute liver failure that demands prompt medical attention. For those already experiencing liver issues, certain symptoms may show that your condition is getting worse. Seek urgent care immediately you notice the related symptoms.