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Liver Failure

Oral and Gastrointestinal

Liver failure is a rare condition that occurs when the liver loses its ability to function with no other liver disease present. The main functions of the liver are to rid the body of toxins and generate substances like carbohydrates, fats, bile, and proteins. The liver also plays a role in the production of vitamins. Failure can occur abruptly (acute) or over the course of many years (chronic). Acute liver failure can occur due to a health condition, such as hepatitis or an autoimmune disease, or from medication.  Acetaminophen is particularly hard on the liver and ingesting too much can cause the liver to fail. Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening condition that can progress rapidly and lead to multi-organ failure and death. While the incidence of ALF is rare with only 2000 cases in the United States a year, it is a serious condition that needs to be treated in a medical center as soon as possible.

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