Hepatic Encephalopathy

Symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following features are indicative of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • forgetfulness
  • mild confusion
  • irritability
  • coma
  • cerebral oedema
  • can be fatal
It is possible that Hepatic Encephalopathy shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following are the most common causes of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • liver failure
  • consumption of large amounts of protein
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • constipation
  • hyponatraemia
  • hypokalaemia

Other Causes of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following are the less common causes of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • alkalosis
  • hypoxia
  • dehydration
  • sedatives such as benzodiazepines

Risk Factors for Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • old age
  • female
  • liver disease due to causes other than alcohol

Prevention of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hepatic Encephalopathy. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • do not drink alcohol
  • eat a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • do not share needles
  • do not have unprotected sex which can increase the risk of hepatitis
  • ask the doctor for hepatitis vaccinations

Occurrence of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hepatic Encephalopathy cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hepatic Encephalopathy can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Hepatic Encephalopathy can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • Liver function test: To check the excess bilirubin
  • Kidney function test: To check the creatinine
  • Clotting test: To check the ability of blood to clot

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Hepatologist

Complications of Hepatic Encephalopathy if untreated

Yes, Hepatic Encephalopathy causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hepatic Encephalopathy is left untreated:
  • portal hypertension
  • swelling in the legs and abdomen
  • enlargement of the spleen
  • malnutrition
  • buildup of toxins in the brain
  • jaundice
  • bone disease

Procedures for Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following procedures are used to treat Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • Liver transplantation: To replace liver with a healthy liver

Self-care for Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • Don't drink alcohol: Helps preventing further kidney damage
  • Eat a low-sodium diet: Helps limiting additional liver damage
  • Eat a healthy diet: Helps limiting additional liver damage

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Hepatic Encephalopathy:
  • Milk thistle (silymarin) herb supplement: Helps treating cirrhosis
  • Licorice root (glycyrrhiza), schisandra and astragalus herb supplements: Helps treating liver diseases

Patient Support for Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy

The following actions may help Hepatic Encephalopathy patients:
  • Join Support groups: Helps avoiding drinking alcohol

Time for Treatment of Hepatic Encephalopathy

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Hepatic Encephalopathy to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hepatic Encephalopathy.

Related Topics

Liver Failure

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