8 Causes of Liver Disease and Liver Failure

Regardless of whether it takes place over many years or a few weeks, liver failure is an absolutely devastating health development that, if left untreated, can result in the death of a patient. There are essentially two types of liver failure: acute, which can emerge over the course of a very short period (such as a few weeks or even less), and chronic, which tends to last many years.

Although acute and chronic liver failure patients often experience similar symptoms, the causes of these two conditions — in addition to their treatments — can be unique. But, because the end result, death, can be the same, it’s crucial that everyone fully understand the causes of all types of liver failure.

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1. Excessive acetaminophen

Many of us reach for acetaminophen — better known as Tylenol, is brand name — at the first sign of minor or moderate pain, like a headache or back pain. And in most cases there’s nothing wrong with doing this, so long as one follows the guidelines for taking this over-the-counter drug.

But excessive use of acetaminophen can be a big problem. In fact, even just a single large dose of Tylenol can have a significant impact on the liver and its functionality. Should an individual take an excessive amount of acetaminophen over time, they could do enough damage to cause acute liver failure. In some cases, this excessive use of Tylenol could result in the need for a liver transplant.

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