Liver diseases can affect children of a particular age and sometimes infants also. This condition is commonly known as pediatric liver diseases and children have also known to suffer from severe conditions which required liver transplants to tackle the associated health complications.
The liver is a unique organ in your body which can survive with a major portion of the same removed. Its tissue is regenerative which grows back to promote complete organ functionality which is why transplant cases arise only when the complications are severe.
Some of the pediatric liver diseases mainly include:
Acute liver failure (ALF) in children: ALF is a condition which needs immediate medical attention since infants and children will suffer from the associated symptoms of liver failure. Common Infections, cardiovascular problems, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases are some of the triggers of ALF in children and infants. Supportive care, medication and finally transplant is recommended for ALF.
Alagille syndrome: This syndrome particularly affects the bile flow excreted by the liver to help aid digestion in the small intestine. This might affect the child’s eyes, heart health, kidney, brain, face, pancreas and even the spine. A high-calorie diet with vitamins, medication and liver transplant is recommended for children suffering from Alagille symptoms.
Autoimmune hepatitis: Hepatitis happens to be one of the leading causes of liver diseases. Autoimmune hepatitis causes the child’s immune system to turn on its body and attack the liver, causing a number of health complications. Symptoms of this pediatric liver disease include fatigue, itchy skin, and jaundice. Treatment options for autoimmune hepatitis include steroids administered to suppress the immune system with other medications for maintenance of bodily functions.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Fat’s start building up in the liver over time which leads to this condition. Inflammation and scarring of the liver are some of the first indicators of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Health complications of NFLD may lead to liver cirrhosis, liver disease and even liver cancer which might then require a transplant. This pediatric liver disease condition also increases the chances of heart attacks and strokes. Also, children who are suffering from the fatty liver disease have obesity-related problems among the various associated health-related problems. Treatment for this condition includes living a healthy lifestyle which includes your diet and increasing your physical activity.
Other types of pediatric liver diseases include Wilson disease, viral hepatitis, urea cycle defects, tyrosinemia, primary sclerosing cholangitis, primary hyperoxaluria, organic acidemias among many others.