What Causes Liver Failure? | Liver Failure Causes

What are the Causes of Liver Failure?

The cause of liver failure depends on the type of liver failure, acute or chronic.

I. Causes of acute (fulminant) liver failure

Acute liver failure occurs suddenly within weeks or even days without previous warning symptoms.

  • Harmful supplements: as poisoning from acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose. Acetaminophen is a drug available to all. So, it is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. You should follow the recommendation on the label. If you think you may have overdosed, you should seek your doctor immediately. Your doctor will give you the antidote for acetaminophen toxicity. It is acetylcyseteine. Also, the herbal supplement may cause damage to the liver ending in liver failure.
  • Exposure to toxins: the liver is responsible for the clearance and removal of toxins from your blood, so overexposure to toxins can be harmful. To keep yourself, you should read warning labels on the chemicals you use. You should also wash fruits and vegetables before consumption to avoid pesticides.
  • Poisonous wild mushrooms toxicity: has toxins that damage the liver, and liver failure may occur in two days.
  • Industrial toxins: many chemicals as carbon tetrachloride
  • Viral infections including hepatitis A, B, and E, the Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus cause inflammation of the liver and damage it.
  • Immune system disorders in which your immune system will attack your liver cells. These disorders include autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Wilson’s disease: this is a genetic disease that occurs due to the inability of your body to remove copper.
  • Acute fatty liver of pregnancy: excess fat and triglycerides precipitate on your liver and damage it.
  • Reaction to specific prescriptions: such as antibiotics, NSAIDs, and antiepileptic drugs
  • Septic shock: an aggressive infection that affects your liver
  • Bud Chiari syndrome: a rare disease in which there is a narrowing in the blood vessels inside the liver
  • Alagille syndrome: autosomal dominant disorder in which patients have hypoplasia of hepatic ducts (few bile ducts)
  • Galactosemia: accumulation of galactose in the blood leading to an enlarged liver. If untreated, about 75% of diseased infants will die.
  • Oxalosis: It is a rare metabolic disorder in which oxalate crystals deposit in the liver.

Written by Martin Davis