Liver poisoning can be caused by a variety of factors, including long-term use of alcohol or certain medications. Some of the most common liver poisoning symptoms include fatigue, itching, gastrointestinal disturbances, and muscle or joint pain. Additional signs may include jaundice, fluid buildup in the legs and abdomen, abdominal pain, or internal bleeding.
Fatigue and unexplained itching are often the first noticeable symptoms of liver poisoning. Gastrointestinal problems are also common, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and unintentional weight loss. Some patients may experience a low-grade fever as well as muscle and joint pain.
Jaundice, a medical condition that causes the skin and the white portion of the eyes to appear yellow, and fluid buildup in the legs and abdomen, are potential symptoms as well. In some cases, these symptoms may go away when medications that might be causing the liver poisoning are stopped. If the poisoning is caused by other factors, treating the originating condition may help to prevent permanent damage to the liver.
A condition known as cirrhosis is among the more serious potential liver poisoning symptoms. Cirrhosis causes scar tissue to develop in the liver, slowly overtaking healthy tissue. This can lead to irreversible liver damage if not treated promptly. Some symptoms include nosebleeds, frequent infections, abdominal pain, internal bleeding, and states of mental confusion.
Certain forms of hepatitis, a disease that may cause extensive liver damage, may occur as a result of liver poisoning. Symptoms of hepatitis are similar to that of cirrhosis, so blood tests may be needed in order to determine the type of liver damage present as well as the severity of the damage. The lymph nodes and spleen may become enlarged, and complications such as pneumonia may develop.
If the liver poisoning symptoms are not treated early enough, permanent liver damage may result. Eventually, other organs of the body may begin to shut down, especially the kidneys. Extensive liver damage may require a partial or complete liver transplant. Once the kidneys stop functioning properly, dialysis or kidney transplant may be required in order to save the life of the patient. Any suspected symptoms of liver damage should be reported to a medical professional right away for further evaluation in order to try to prevent life-threatening complications from developing.