Liver disease and it’s complications are quite surprising. Who would even begin to imagine all that a liver patient has to deal with!
Liver disease can come on quickly due to drugs, Tylenol abuse, and many other reasons such as a fatty liver.
Other times liver disease is brought on from drinking too much, as in alcoholism, or by doing drugs, whether street or prescription. It depends on so many factors and the person’s biological makeup.
Some liver patients do not experience any symptoms until it is too late. When the late stage symptoms appear, liver disease can kill quickly and painfully.
One very common symptom is ascites, swelling of the abdomen, feet and legs.Blood that normally would go through the liver backs up and affects the kidneys and other organs, causing extreme water retention.
Liver failure causes heart failure, kidney failure, enlarged spleen, portal hypertension, Barrett’s esophagus, swelling on the brain from ammonia and other toxins. Blood platelet counts can become dangerously low causing the patient to bleed uncontrollably through the stomach, bowels, esophagus, and even causes strokes or heart attacks in some patients.
Complications from liver disease can cause the portal area around the lungs to fill with fluid and become dangerously infected, or also in the abdomen.
The disease can cause the brain to swell from fluid and toxins, as I have mentioned, to the degree that one is out of their head or becomes comatose.
There are medications to control some of the symptoms, but at the point of no return the damaged liver is destroyed, and, without a transplant, the patient will die.
The liver patient becomes jaundiced, loses all muscle mass, is gaunt, can no longer eat. The quality of life is very limited to waiting on the next doctor visit, or hospital stay. Doctors will do this test and this procedure to keep the patient alive until transplant if they even qualify for one. A liver patient has to be close to death before than can receive a transplant. It is a very precarious process.
Further investigation of this subject can be found in the many articles online for End Stage Liver Disease.
My husband is a patient with this disease. It has been a real learning experience. I hope you will warn others of the dangers of alcohol or drug use as a self inflicting cause for liver disease. It can happen to anyone!