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Fulminant Hepatitis

fulminant hepatitis

What is Fulminant Hepatitis?

One of the most life-threatening medical conditions affecting the liver is fulminant hepatitis. Also known as acute liver failure, this illness happens very rapidly. It can occur within days or weeks, commonly in a person who has been treated with liver disease or those who haven’t been diagnosed related to liver infections. Medical treatment is required immediately to ensure that the condition will not become chronic.

When this medical phenomenon happens, it is a sign that the liver has been impaired. It is an indication that the functions of the said organ have been tarnished. It means that the capacity of the liver is already limited, and if treatment is not given, the organ can stop functioning.

What are the signs and symptoms of this condition?

The signs and symptoms of this condition are quite the same with hepatitis A and hepatitis B. That is why going to the clinic and have you tested by a healthcare professional is necessary. Doing so will help in knowing what your exact illness is and obtain the needed medical care.

Here are some of the syndromes or signs of illnesses associated with fulminant hepatitis:

  • A general feeling of discomfort
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Recurrent nausea
  • Pain in the abdomen or stomach

Note that if there is no immediate aid given for people experiencing the mentioned symptoms, the rest can happen.

  • Confusion
  • Sleeping problems
  • Change in behavior
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Swollen stomach
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)

What are the causes of fulminant hepatitis?

Consider the following causes or reasons that the condition occurs. Note that some of these activities are man-made, which means that individuals themselves are highly capable of getting their health to go downward.

  • Taking too many painkillers – One of the many painkillers available in the market today is acetaminophen. When you take too much of this drug, your liver can fail rapidly.
  • Viral infection – The hepatic virus can also cause liver malfunction. Whether it be hepatitis A or B, if these infections are not addressed immediately, fulminant hepatitis can happen at once.
  • Cancer – As is already known, cancers are known as infectious tumors developing on any part of the body. When cancer is not treated, it can spread to any organ, such as the liver.
  • Prescription drugs – Overdosage can trigger liver failure. If you take too much of your prescription dosage, you will acquire an infection of the liver.

What are the complications of the said condition?

Just like other medical conditions, fulminant hepatitis can cause different complications if no medical therapy is administered. Some of these complications are as follows:

  • The emergence of different infections (usually involving the urinary tracts and respiratory system)
  • Kidney disease (some of the illnesses involved with the liver is associated with the kidney)
  • Cerebral edema (some people tend to get seizures or convulsive attacks)

How is the illness diagnosed?

During the checkup, the healthcare professional will need to conduct a physical examination. This is a necessary evaluation to check for your symptoms, such as swollen stomach and jaundice. After this part of the diagnosis, the following may be asked by the healthcare professional:

  • The healthcare professional will ask for a blood sample from you. A small amount of blood will be extracted from your vein. Once the sample is already available, it will be checked and tested.
  • Sometimes, if needed, an ultrasound or MRI will be performed to see if there are tissues impaired or other damages within the liver.

How is the condition treated?

As mentioned, this medical condition can happen very suddenly. If your health goes down very quickly, you will be taken to the hospital to obtain the necessary medical therapy. The treatment can vary, as the condition is caused by different factors. If an overdosage took place because of acetaminophen, then an antidote is given.

Furthermore, if the condition does not improve, a liver transplant may be recommended. During the transplant, you will get a new and functioning liver. The damaged liver will be replaced by a new one.

How can individuals prevent this illness?

The only way to prevent this illness is by avoiding the primary causes or reasons of fulminant hepatitis’ onset. If you are given prescription by a certain healthcare professional, make sure that you are following it strictly and not taking too much of it. Avoid overdosage, most especially with acetaminophen, as much as possible. Help in lowering your risk of acquiring this condition by living healthily.

As fulminant hepatitis can also be triggered by hepatitis infection, make sure that you follow your daily dose of antiviral drugs. Doing so can prevent your chances of acquiring the illness. Moreover, ensure that you have a regular visit with your doctor to keep you updated on your progress.

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