Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Shock Liver: A Brief Note

Shock liver is a state of decreased perfusion (blood flow) and/or passive congestion of liver resulting in liver cell damage (necrosis) due to significant hypotension and/or hypovolemia. It is also known as ischemic hepatitis or hypoxic hepatitis.

Patients with shock liver show symptoms of fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, liver tenderness, hepatomegaly, low urine output (oliguria) and mental confusion that might even lead to hepatic coma in rare cases. If patient has pre-existing liver cirrhosis then it might even lead to liver failure.

What Not To Eat When You Have Shock Liver?

What foods to avoid when you have shock liver? Shock liver may lead to elevation in liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver damage that signifies improper functioning of liver. Since liver is a vital organ and has over 500 functions in the body, it is crucial to eat healthy foods. Along with supportive care and medications there are certain foods that should be avoided in shock liver to maintain optimally functioning liver and these are:

List of Not To Eat Foods When You Have Shock Liver

Avoid Alcohol: In moderation, alcohol does not have much effect on liver, but when consumed excessively and regularly the workload on liver increases leading to alcoholic fatty liver disease and also liver cirrhosis and death of liver cells. In shock liver, it should be completely avoided; otherwise, it may lead to further liver damage as the underlying cause of shock liver could be liver cirrhosis.

Fatty Foods: The intake of fats should be limited as too much fat increases the chance of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as well as obesity. The daily fat intake should not be more than 20 to 35% of total daily calorie. Unhealthy fats contain saturated fats that are hard to digest and these include processed, fried and fast foods. In elevated liver enzymes, fat consumption should be minimized along with weight reduction to improve blood liver enzyme levels.

Salt: The daily intake of salt should be around 1500 mg. It is generally not bad as shock liver is due to hypovolemia that needs fluid retention and not depletion, but still salt intake should be optimized.

Proteins: They are good for health, but when consumed in excess they can cause liver to malfunction and also leads to other diseases such as gout. Proteins should be balanced with carbohydrate intake and vegetables. Meat, steaks, turkey and bacon should be avoided in elevated liver enzymes as they are hard to digest. It is best to eat eggs and lean meat.

Foods Rich in Vitamin A: Vitamin A has many health benefits such as they are good for eyes, skin and normal growth of the body. However, excessive vitamin A consumption can lead to its toxicity as well as liver failure.

Avoid Soda and Sugar to Prevent Shock Liver: Carbonated drinks have a lot of sugar and caffeine. Excess sugar is converted into glucose and stored in liver as glycogen, but when excessive sugar is consumed it can damage the liver. Excess sugar also leads to greater risk for obesity. It is better to avoid simple and refined carbohydrates such as donuts, cookies, pastries, pastas, white breads, desserts and processed foods and drinks.

It is best to eat a healthy diet with fresh vegetables and fruits in shock liver for optimal liver function.

Causes of Shock Liver

The most common cause of shock liver is decreased blood flow or decreased oxygen to the liver due to either heart failure, severe dehydration, profuse bleeding, severe infection (sepsis), severe respiratory disease, blood clot, liver transplantation surgery, aneurysm of hepatic artery, vasculitis, sickle cell crisis, endocarditis, tumors and certain blood clotting disorders.

Diagnosis of Shock Liver

The diagnosis of shock liver is confirmed with the help of liver function tests, which will show abnormally increased levels of liver transaminase enzymes including both ALT and AST, which may exceed 10,000 IU/L. Other tests include blood clotting tests along with imaging tests including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and arteriography of the liver’s blood vessels to determine any blood clot in hepatic vessels.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 11, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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