Are Children Prone to Liver Disease?

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Human beings of any age, including children, are vulnerable to liver diseases. The functional failure of the liver is associated with many different liver problems and symptoms in children. However, it should be noted that children often don’t display any particular symptoms, if they are facing any issue with their liver. However, it is interesting to note that children with liver disease can recover early from the damage due to an increase in the regeneration capacity of their liver.

Let us read more about how children are prone to liver diseases; and what can be done to prevent the same.

Some Common Types of Liver Diseases in Children

On a generalized note, liver diseases can be broadly classified into acute liver disease and chronic liver diseases.

  1. Acute liver disease: In this kind of liver disease, children suddenly start displaying liver problems and symptoms; without any prior notification.
  2. Chronic liver disease: This type is often associated with long-term complaints, and is associated with gradual progression.

What Causes Liver Diseases in Children?

There are multiple reasons associated with liver abuse; some of the commonly reported causes are noted as follows:

  • Certain types of viral infections like herpes, EB viruses, CMV viruses, childhood jaundice, can elicit acute liver disease
  • Other inherited metabolic disorders like glucose intolerance, galactosemia, trigger acute liver disease in children
  • Short term exposure to metabolic toxins like rat poison, wild mushrooms, insect killers,
  • Long term exposure to certain medicines like erythromycin, acetaminophen, etc. can induce acute and/or chronic liver disorders
  • Genetic disorders can also be associated with chronic liver problems and symptoms in children.

Common Symptoms Associated With Liver Disorders

  • A yellowish tinge on the skin and retinal surfaces of the eyes
  • Frequent itching and scaly skin
  • Ascites; condition associated with unusual fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity.
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Ultrasonographyassessment suggests liver enlargement and/or hepatic encephalopathy
  • Loss of appetite; associated with unusual weight loss

How Is Liver Disease Diagnosed?

  • Higher level of specific liver enzymes
  • Higher levels of bilirubin and biliverdin
  • Problems associated with blot clotting
  • Signs of brain damage like mental confusion, disorientation, etc.