Can You Die If You Have Liver Disease?

Doctors can manifest liver disease in different ways. However, characteristic manifestations of the problem are-

  • Jaundice i.e. a yellowish discoloration of one’s kin and whites of one’s eyes
  • Cholestasis consisting of stoppage or reduction in the bile flow
  • Liver enlargement or hepatomegaly
  • Portal hypertension i.e. abnormal high blood pressure in patients’ veins, which brings blood to the liver from intestines.
  • Ascites indicating fluid accumulation in the cavity of abdominal area
  • Hepatic encephalopathy i.e. brain function deterioration because of the formation of various toxic substances removed normally from the liver.
  • Last stage of the liver disease i.e. liver failure

Liver Failure

Liver failure refers to severe deterioration in the functions performed by human liver. It takes place because of substances or disorders intend to cause damages to the liver. A majority of people suffers from jaundice, feel weak or tired and suffer appetite loss, while others experience fluid accumulation within the abdomen area called as ascites and tendency to bleed and bruise easily.

Adverse Effects of Liver Malfunctions

Liver malfunctions cause many adverse effects, which include:

  • Inability to process bilirubin in adequate amount to eliminate from the body leading to jaundice
  • Failure to synthesize proteins properly to clot the blood, which results in coagulopathy or tendency to bleed and bruise
  • Portal hypertension i.e. abnormally high blood pressure in the veins responsible to bring blood to liver from intestines
  • Malfunctioning of kidneys because of unknown reasons with liver failure individuals, commonly known as hepatorenal syndromes
  • Malfunction of immune system to increase the risk related to infections

Can You Die If You Have Liver Disease?

Can You Die If You Have Liver Disease?

A common question that strikes in the mind of liver disease patients and their family members is that whether the problem leads to death. For this, doctors said that death and prognosis associated with liver disease and liver failure depends on the stage of the problem, as we have discussed here.

Poor Prognosis with Jaundice or Acute Liver Failure

Once a patient suffers from jaundice, especially when one becomes obtunded mentally, the prognosis of the problem becomes poor. Major features associated with this type of acute liver failure include weakness and jaundice on rapid-onset basis. Eventually, patients face changes in their mental status, which start from minor confusion but later on, progress to reach to coma. Thus, in case of acute liver failure or jaundice, people reach to their death within a period of only a few days.

Gradual Health Deterioration with Chronic Liver Failure

In case of chronic liver failure, health deterioration occurs gradually until and unless patients reach to the dramatic events, like bloody stools or vomiting in the blood. Blood in stool or vomit takes place often because of the varicose veins bleeding in the stomach and esophagus. Moreover, in case kidney failure takes place, the formation of urine in the body and its excretion becomes less resulting in the formation of toxic substances in one’s blood. Eventually, it creates difficulty in taking breath.

Hyper-Acute Liver Injury

Hyper-Acute Liver Injury is extraordinarily severe problem, as without prompt treatment of the disease in a setting of ICU, a patient has 80percent of mortality rate within only a few days, if one does not undergo with liver transplant procedure. On the other side, patients with transplantation surgery or treatment in ICU have witnessed short-term survival of about 65percent.


Other than liver injury or failure, many patients die because of many other big problems take place simultaneously, like clotting of blood, kidney failure, hypotension, electrolyte derangements, pulmonary failure and development of liver cancer.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 13, 2018

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