Hepatic Encephalopathy or also referred to as Preventive Encephalitis is an illness where there is a build up of toxins in the brain and other organs of the body. These toxins are usually the result of damage to the brain cells or the kidneys. As the build up of toxins in the brain and other organs continue, the person may begin to exhibit a range of symptoms, which may vary from mild to severe. Some people recover completely from this condition, while others who suffer from it are left with a wide variety of symptoms.
Hepatic Encephalopathy (commonly called hepatic encephalopathy) is mainly caused by drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and an increase in cholesterol levels in the body. This condition occurs when the liver fails to remove toxins effectively from the bloodstream. Many of the symptoms for this brain disorder are reversible once immediately diagnosed and treated. In some cases, prevention is the only option available for persons with hepatitis.
Symptoms of the condition include loss of consciousness (coma), seizures, stroke, liver failure, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, breathing problems, constipation, and shock. The symptoms experienced by most affected individuals may also be due to withdrawal from certain medications like benzodiazepines. With severe form of hepatitis, individuals may develop symptoms like cognitive impairment, increased risks of infections, and damage to vital organs like the brain and kidney. In some cases, even death can occur due to severe form of hepatitis.
Many researchers have found that individuals with cirrhosis of the liver, patients with hypercholesterolemia, individuals suffering from alcohol abuse, and patients with obstructive jaundice are more likely to suffer from this life-threatening complication of hepatitis. There are certain symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy that can be easily recognized by health care providers and medical specialists. Patients with the mild form of hepatitis may exhibit no symptoms at all. However, they still should be regularly monitored and evaluated for further development or deterioration. The symptoms may progress steadily if left untreated.
In the moderate form of hepatitis, individuals affected with the disorder might experience some or all of these symptoms. Patients with mild hepatic encephalopathy might also exhibit no symptoms at all. However, they still need to be regularly monitored and evaluated for further development or deterioration. Some symptoms of the condition include headache, fever, anorexia, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Some patients with the disorder might also show signs of irritability, depression, memory loss, decreased concentration, seizures, and coma.
In the severe form of hepatic encephalopathy, individuals affected might be prone to vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms include tremors, decreased vision, decreased reflexes, rigid muscles, increased heart rate, jaundice, and extreme weakness. Mild forms of the disease might have no visible symptoms but might still lead to complications. Individuals who develop the disorder should undergo a liver biopsy, CT scan, blood test, and urinalysis, among other tests in order to confirm the diagnosis.
The most common cause of encephalopathy is alcoholic hepatitis. A patient with cirrhosis of the liver might have problems with mental function due to liver damage. Alcohol abuse increases the risks for developing cirrhosis. There are a number of treatment options for liver damage patients, including weight loss, the replacement of alcohol with lighter beverages, medication, and surgery. Individuals with cirrhosis of the liver should avoid all alcohol, as well as other toxins.
Hepatitis, viral infections, and trauma are other causes of encephalopathic conditions. They can pose similar risks as alcohol abuse, but in addition to liver damage, they can also cause bleeding disorders, seizures, and mental instability. These conditions need to be evaluated by a physician in order to establish the cause. This can determine whether the individual needs to undergo treatment to stabilize or reverse the damage. Severe cases of hepatitis C usually require a liver transplant.