How Much Do You Know About the Signs of Liver Failure?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

If you think of yourself as a mean, lean driving machine (like a car) the role of your liver is similar to the oil in your car. It helps ensure everything is running smoothly. From producing proteins that are important in blood clotting, to breaking down old or damaged blood cells, the liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body. Even in breaking down fats and producing energy. Yet, not all people treat their livers with respect. Some drink alcohol to the point of getting cirrhosis of the liver or alcoholic hepatitis, although there are some people who get non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol.

There are other liver diseases to be aware of include Hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Or Hepatitis B, a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that's easily preventable by a vaccine. Or even Hepatitis C, an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Find out more about liver diseases that affect at least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans. Take this important quiz now.

What's the name of the liver disease that often occurs in heavy drinkers?

In people who frequently imbibe, the liver's healthy tissues are replaced by scar tissue. This disease, called cirrhosis, dramatically alters the liver's ability to perform its vital work.


Excessive alcohol consumption can cause what sort of liver?

Too much booze can cause a fatty liver, a precursor to much more serious liver disease. The good news? If your doctor recognizes your fatty liver, you can reverse the problem by altering your lifestyle.


What sort of effect does hepatitis have on the human liver?

Both variants of the hepatitis virus can cause liver cancer. Each year, perhaps half a million people die due to liver cancer caused by the hepatitis viruses. Hundreds of millions of other people are (often unknowingly) infected with hepatitis.


What is liver failure?

In the most general sense, liver failure is a condition in which the liver stops functioning properly. It can occur in both people and animals.


What's one horrifying symptom of cirrhosis?

People who suffer from cirrhosis sometimes develop horrific abdominal swelling. Their torsos may look grotesquely distended and swollen.


Why is bleeding a problem for people who suffer from acute liver failure?

As liver disease worsens, the liver loses its ability to create sufficient blood-clotting chemicals. As a result, some people develop abnormal bleeding or bruising.


Liver disease can cause toxins to build up in your ______.

Liver disease is a sneaky-scary affliction. As your liver deteriorates, it loses its ability to filter toxins, which then build up in other vital organs like your brain.


What purpose does the liver serve?

The liver is one of the body's most important organs. It filters toxins out of your blood, and it also helps you to fight off infections.


What common virus is another major contributor to the development of liver disease?

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are major causes of chronic liver failure. Hepatitis C is common in intravenous drug users. The "B" version can be spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.


What is it called when your liver's tissue begins to develop scars due to inflammation?

Fibrosis is the name of the condition in which your liver's tissue becomes scarred. If you don’t stop the process of fibrosis, things can get ugly for your liver … and for you, too.


Following liver failure, what organ often fails?

The kidneys, another major filtering organ, often fail once the liver has failed. People who suffer both liver and kidney failure are in dire straits, indeed.


Why do blood vessels sometimes burst near a liver damaged by cirrhosis?

As cirrhosis ravages a liver, it causes the buildup of scar tissue. Scar tissue blocks blood flow, causing the equivalent of circulatory gridlock, which then leads to ruptured blood vessels.


What's a defining trait of ACUTE liver failure, as opposed to chronic liver failure?

Acute liver failure sets in quickly and often for hard-to-understand reasons. If doctors can't get the situation under control, the condition can be fatal.


True or false: it is possible to stop cirrhosis from further damaging your liver.

In some cases, it's possible to slow or even stop cirrhosis. For many people, this means a serious change of lifestyle, such as giving up alcohol.


What's a common symptom of acute liver failure?

With acute liver failure, sufferers often feel very, very sick, with symptoms like nausea, tiredness and loss of appetite. Those symptoms are in no way unique to liver failure, which is why the condition is often baffling until doctors make a solid diagnosis.


What problem does liver scar tissue cause?

Scar tissue literally scars your liver, reducing your liver's capabilities. It reduces your liver's blood flow and overall functionality.


In sufferers, acute liver failure can cause sudden changes to ______.

Acute liver failure is a major meltdown in the human body, and it causes a chain reaction that can affect even a person's behavior and personality.


How many major categories of liver failure are there?

There are two major categories (and perhaps three, depending on whom you ask) of liver failure. They are chronic liver failure and acute liver failure.


Which of the following is NOT a potential sign of cirrhosis?

No, your eyes won't turn black. But cirrhosis has plenty of other ominous symptoms, such as yellowish skin and intense itching.


True or false: acute liver failure always requires hospitalization.

Only if you want to live. Acute liver failure is a life-threatening disease. If you're not in the hospital for treatment, your life may be at serious risk.


In America, which sort of drug overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure?

Common acetaminophen (like Tylenol) is an over-the-counter painkiller that's extremely harmful during an overdose. This drug is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.


Acute liver failure means that you've lost about ______ of your liver's function.

People who have acute liver failure have lost at least 80 percent of their liver's function. This is obviously severe damage, and it can quickly become fatal.


Eating toxic wild mushrooms can lead to which kind of liver failure?

Choose your wild mushrooms with care. Eating toxic mushrooms can body slam your liver, resulting in acute liver failure … and potential death.


Which of the following is a leading cause of chronic liver disease?

Excessive alcohol consumption is often to blame for chronic liver disease. People who suffer from alcoholism frequently develop liver disease, and in some cases, it can kill them.


True or false: alcoholic hepatitis is the same thing as cirrhosis.

This one is false. Alcoholic hepatitis is the initial inflammation of the liver caused by excessive drinking. It's a condition that sometimes leads to cirrhosis.


If someone experiences acute liver failure, how long does it take for the condition to manifest itself?

Acute liver failure is scary in large part due to the speed of progression. Patients who were healthy one day may spiral into liver failure in just days or weeks.


What's the VERY first stage of any liver disease?

In the earliest stages of liver disease, the liver becomes inflamed. It’s a sure sign that your liver is under attack in one way or another.


True or false, if your liver becomes inflamed, will you definitely be aware of the condition due to tenderness and pain?

It's common for people to notice when certain parts of their bodies are inflamed. But with liver inflammation, there's a good chance that you'll never feel a thing.


True or false: liver disease is a top 10 killer in the United States.

Overall, end-stage liver disease (or terminal liver disease) is just outside the top 10 most common killers in the U.S. It's not be trifled with. The disease affects millions of people around the world.


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