Understanding the Liver

HEPATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY


What is Hepatic Encephalopathy?

Hepatic Encephalopathy can occur as a result of either acute liver failure or chronic liver. It is defined as a spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities in patients with liver dysfunction, after exclusion of brain disease.
Sometimes the symptoms are so mild that it’s hard for anyone to notice. But whether you have obvious signs or just a few subtle changes, it’s important to see your doctor.


LIVER FUNCTION TESTS

Liver function tests may be given to check for raised enzyme levels. An increase in enzymes indicates stress on the liver or liver damage.


TREATMENT

Lactulose – This is a type of sugar that can make you have more bowel movements. This helps get rid of some toxins from your body, like ammonia.


CAUSES

Acute fulminant viral hepatitis: a severe type of viral hepatitis that comes on suddenly
Toxic hepatitis:
• May be caused by exposure to alcohol, chemicals and supplements
• Reye’s syndrome: a rare and serious condition primarily seen in children that causes sudden swelling and inflammation of the liver and brain


IMAGING TESTS

An imaging test, such as a head CT scan or MRI, can check for bleeding in your head or abnormalities in your brain.


SYMPTOMS

• Trouble sleeping at night
• Difficulty thinking clearly
• Poor concentration
• Often confused
• Anxiety
• Tend to forget things


PREVENTION

Avoid drinking alcohol, or consume alcohol in moderation.
Avoid high-fat foods.



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