The liver processes everything we consume, including chemicals, medications, and alcohol. But in some cases, these substances may cause serious injury to the liver, resulting in inflammation of the liver, a condition called as toxic hepatitis. It is also called as liver toxicity or hepatotoxicity. It may develop within hours or few days after the exposure to the toxin or may take several months.
Usually, mild hepatitis does not produce any symptoms, but when present they include:
The most important function of the liver is to break down the nutrients, chemicals, and other foreign substances present in the blood. However, it becomes difficult for the liver to process certain chemicals which can, in turn, become toxic and damage the liver. This leads to the inflammation of the liver.
Substances, which are associated with toxic hepatitis, are:
These medications damage the liver when taken in higher than the recommended doses.
The below factors can make you more prone to toxic hepatitis:
Hepatitis can lead to scarring and liver damage which can eventually lead to cirrhosis. Thus, the liver cannot function normally, and slowly liver failure can happen.
Diagnosis mainly involves taking a thorough medical, medication, and occupational history. You will be asked related questions while collecting the information. A physical exam helps the doctor to know if the size of the liver has enlarged or if there is any associated tenderness.
Usually, the inflammation resolves with the elimination of the toxic substance. But prolonged exposure to the toxin can lead to liver damage or even liver failure in some cases.
Toxic hepatitis treatment involves:
It may not be possible always to prevent toxic hepatitis because it is difficult to predict how our body reacts to certain chemicals, medications, etc. But taking certain measures may help to cut down the risk factors