Shock liver is a state of decreased perfusion (blood flow), decreased oxygen 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. Generally, hepatitis is the inflammation of liver that is mostly seen in viral hepatitis or toxic hepatitis with an increase in liver enzymes; however, shock liver shows an increase in liver enzymes without any liver inflammation.
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 To Eat When You Have Shock Liver?
Liver is an organ that is capable enough to regenerate and heal it-self, if it is given the right nutrients and minerals through a healthy diet. Along with supportive care and medications for shock liver, it is imperative to eat a healthy diet that should contain toxin, hormone free diet, and liver cleansing diet. Since shock liver is a result of hypovolemia, it is necessary to replenish by drinking enough water, around 4 liters of water per day. A healthy diet to eat for shock liver condition includes lot of green vegetables and fruits that will restore a healthy liver. Eating raw vegetables will provide more minerals and also roughage for proper motility of the toxins to be flushed out of the body. A blend of lemon juice and olive oil in a glass of water is known to detox the liver by lowering bilirubin and flushing heavy metals out of the body and promoting increased bile production, stimulation of lymphatic flow and restoration of pH in the body.
Eating other foods such as burdock root, dandelion, cilantro and oregano are great for shock liver and stimulation of bile. Beets, carrots and grapefruits are supposed to be rich in glutathione, which is great for liver detoxification. Kale, celery, spirulina, chard, ginger, orange, romaine, cranberry juice, milk thistle all are known to promote liver health and regulate shock liver. It is important to consume fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, brown rice, whole grains, bitter gourd, mustard greens and chicory. Good diet for elevated liver enzymes requires reduced consumption of refined carbohydrates and processed foods and drinks such as white breads, pasta, biscuits, pastries, desserts, carbonated drinks, artificial sugars and also restrict deep fried foods, butter, turkey, beef and poultry. Healthy diet requires avoiding alcohol that causes damage to liver and optimal liver function.
Causes Of Shock Liver
The most common cause of shock liver is decreased systemic blood flow leading to decreased blood flow to the liver. It may be decreased in cases of heart failure, or sudden/acute large decrease in blood pressure due to severe dehydration, profuse bleeding and/or severe infection in the body. The decrease in oxygen level in the body may be contributed to severe respiratory disease. There can also be an increased need of blood or oxygen in the body such as in sepsis.
Shock liver can also be caused by blocked blood vessel of liver including both hepatic artery and portal vein. The most common cause of a blocked blood vessel is a blood clot. Blood clots could be due to blood vessel injury such as in liver transplantation surgery, aneurysm of hepatic artery, vasculitis, sickle cell crisis, endocarditis, tumors and certain blood clotting disorders.
How Is Shock Liver Diagnosed?
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 U/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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