Liver Impairment

Liver Impairment Overview

Complications associated with hepatic impairment can include fluid build-up, a decrease in necessary blood clotting, infections such as pneumonia, kidney failure and severe liver impairment can even lead to death.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the number of adults diagnosed with liver disease is 1.8% or 4.5 million.

There are four stages of liver impairment progression. In the first stage, the liver may be tender or inflamed. If the inflammation remains untreated, liver impairment may progress to stage two. Stage two of liver impairment is where scarring begins, and as scar tissue builds it may impede blood flow. Stage three of liver impairment is cirrhosis. This is the point in which the amount of scar tissue exceeds that of healthy tissue, causing the liver to function even more poorly. Stage four is liver failure which, without a liver transplant, can result in death.

Liver Impairment Symptoms

Fatigue is a very common symptom of liver impairment; and in severe cases of liver disease, confusion, muscle weakness and even coma may occur. Other symptoms of liver impairment which may affect daily life include swollen legs, ankles and feet. Swollen legs, ankles and feet may occur when a damaged liver begins to poorly circulate proteins or not circulate proteins at all. These poorly or uncirculated liquids then gravitate to the lower extremities. Kidney impairment due to a weakened liver may also lead to similar swelling in the lower extremities. Liver impairment may also cause swelling in the abdominal area, as fluid can enter the abdominal cavity when the liver is weakened. This fluid build-up within the abdominal cavity may result in pain within the upper right abdomen and, in some cases, back and shoulder pain. The severity of this pain can widely vary from patient to patient. Shortness of breath may be another symptom of abdominal swelling due to liver damage.

Common Types of Liver Impairment

  • Fatty liver can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. 
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease includes symptoms of fatigue and/or abdominal pain. 
  • Amyloidosis is a protein build-up in the liver tissue, possibly causing fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, bleeding, numbness, dizziness and swelling of the legs, tongue or spleen.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver can cause fatigue, weakness and lower leg swelling. More serious complications associated with cirrhosis can include infections, bleeding from dilated veins in the stomach and esophagus and a greater chance of liver cancer. 

Common Causes of Liver Impairment

Typically, liver impairment will occur gradually over time, developing over a period of many years. Chronic liver impairment is often the result of cirrhosis caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis of the liver can be characterized by fluid imbalances presenting as abdominal swelling and/or swollen ankles combined with skinny arms and legs. Other symptoms of chronic liver impairment may include jaundice, skin spots, diminishing appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and hepatic encephalopathy.

Acute liver failure differs in that it is a condition which can occur very quickly. In fact, the liver can stop properly functioning within a matter of days or weeks. Acute liver failure can be attributed to acetaminophen overdose, viruses including hepatitis, negative reactions to prescriptions, septic shock and industrial toxins.

Diagnosing Liver Impairment

The liver is responsible for blood clotting, so blood tests are conducted in the liver impairment diagnosis process. Imaging tests including ultrasounds, CTs and MRIs are also used to obtain optimal views of the liver. Biopsies are also used to study liver tissue.

Prevention of Liver Impairment

There are a variety of measures recommended to prevent liver impairment, such as maintaining a proper diet and healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, practicing good hygiene; using condoms during intercourse and getting vaccinated for hepatitis. Other steps that should be taken to help prevent liver impairment are to use a reputable and sanitary vendor if getting a tattoo or body piercing, and never sharing needles or even toiletry items. 

Liver Impairment Treatments

There are a variety of ways to treat liver impairment. Medications, including acetylcysteine which can reverse acute liver damage, are one way to treat liver impairment. Supportive care provided by hospitals can sometimes aid in liver recovery. In the most severe cases of liver impairment, a liver transplant may be recommended.

Velocity Clinical Research Liver Impairment Studies

The liver, one of the body’s most important organs, performs vital functions including building the immunity necessary to fight infection and producing bile which breaks down food to aid in digestion. The liver also metabolizes certain drugs, removes toxins and produces proteins, many of which are responsible for blood clotting. Additionally, the liver is responsible for converting nutrients into substances our body can use, storing those substances and then supplying them to our cells whenever they are required.  Proper liver function is essential to quality of life and liver impairment can be both dangerous and debilitating. Consequently, liver impairment clinical trials are a critical part of medical research.

Velocity Clinical Research is currently conducting clinical trials for liver impairment and seeking men and women participants between the ages of 18 and 25 with hepatic impairment. Study related medical care, medical exams and physician supervision will be provided at no cost and there is no insurance needed. Velocity Clinical Research liver impairment study participants are also entitled to payment for time and travel, with reimbursements up to $2,150 for 11 visits. 

If you are interested in becoming a liver impairment clinical trial volunteer, you can call Velocity Clinical Research at 386-428-7730 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for more information or to see if you qualify. 

An award-winning research facility that has earned a stellar reputation for clinical research trial trendsetting, Velocity Clinical Research is considered one this area’s best medical research facilities. Velocity Clinical Research can support up to 26 in-house patients and a large number of outpatients; and its doctors and experienced research professionals work closely with clinical trial volunteers to monitor and assess the benefits and effectiveness of certain treatments. Velocity Clinical Research is conveniently located at 1410 S. Ridgewood Avenue in Edgewater, Florida.