The Dying of Liver Disease – A Case Study

Dhealthwellness.com – As the seventh leading cause of death among 25-64 year-olds, the end-stage liver disease affects many Americans during their productive years. This increasing epidemic brings with it a new set of challenges and implications for health care providers and patients alike. This article highlights some of the unique challenges that families, patients, and physicians face when dealing with ESLD. An example case study illustrates the specific difficulties that patients and families face.

Types of Liver Disease Fastest Growing

Deaths from cirrhosis and NAFLD are highly prevalent among whites and non-Hispanics. Liver deaths caused by NAFLD are the fastest growing type of liver disease. Although viral hepatitis remains the leading cause of liver death worldwide, NAFLD is one of the most common and rapidly developing causes of death from cirrhosis in the United States. For each of these three types of liver disease, there are a variety of factors that may contribute to its development and progression.

Symptoms of liver failure in a sick preterm infant can include jaundice and a range of other conditions. A significant percentage of the babies in this group develop liver dysfunction during the first year of life, and a portion of these patients may continue to have liver dysfunction after discharge from the NICU. The majority of patients, however, die of non-liver-related causes. This is because the liver is unable to move the bile.

Early stage symptoms include a general feeling of unwellness, appetite loss, and fatigue. Other signs of the early-stage disease include a blotchy red palm, spider angiomas, and a lack of appetite. Some patients may experience shortness of breath, fever, or other symptoms. The sooner a patient receives the diagnosis and treatment, the better. But there are still many unknown factors that can contribute to the development of the disease.

Weakened Immune System Common Causes of Liver Damage

A weakened immune system is a common cause of liver damage. A patient with liver failure can develop several serious infections, including hepatic encephalopathy. Additionally, alcohol use can increase the risk of liver cancer. Since alcohol misuse has increased in the UK over the last several decades, the rate of liver cancer has increased. In the UK, between three to five people diagnosed with cirrhosis develop liver cancer every year.

Surgical treatment for end-stage liver disease is available only in rare cases. Liver transplant is the only viable treatment option for end-stage liver disease. Fortunately, newer treatments are available that significantly reduce the chances of dying of liver disease. Ultimately, the best treatment for end-stage liver disease is to seek treatment early to prevent the complications of liver transplant. But there are still many risks associated with undergoing this surgery, which is why you should visit a hepatologist as soon as possible.

Best Treatment for End-Stage Liver Disease

The first step to receiving a liver transplant is finding a suitable donor. A living donor will be able to donate a healthy liver to a patient in need of a transplant. Living donors are rare in Canada, so it is not uncommon for people in B.C. to need a liver transplant. However, in B.C., the rate of PBC-related liver transplants is nearly eight times higher than among other populations.

While alcoholic hepatitis can be fatal, the disease does have a cure. Liver transplants may restore a patient’s health, but patients should also follow strict guidelines in order to avoid further complications. People who drink alcohol are at an increased risk of developing cirrhosis, which is a condition where the liver no longer functions properly. Ultimately, a liver transplant is the only way to cure ARLD.

Reference:

Caldwell, Stephen, and Curtis Argo. “The natural history of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” Digestive diseases 28.1 (2010): 162-168.

Diehl, A. M. (2002). Liver disease in alcohol abusers: clinical perspective. Alcohol27(1), 7-11.

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