Liver failure is characterized by loss of liver function that renders the organ unable to perform its metabolic and synthetic duties. The chronic form of the condition may develop slowly over many years, while the rapid loss of liver function -- acute liver failure -- can occur over a few weeks. The treatment options and efficacy for either type depend on when the condition is detected. Early diagnosis can sometimes reverse the effects, but some people require medical procedures including transplants, for recovery.
One of the early signs of liver failure is recurring nausea, especially following meals. This symptom occurs because the liver plays a significant role in digestion, especially the digestion of fats. When the liver falters in its metabolic duties due to the onset of liver failure, indigestion produces nausea. Usually, in the early stages, nausea does not lead to actual vomiting spells but as liver failure progresses, vomiting may occur. In the later stages, fluid can build up in the abdominal cavity, a condition known as ascites.
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