Encephalopathies

Hepatic encephalopathy

Encephalopathy refers to a disease or disorder that can affect your brain. It happens when changes happen to how your brain or body works. It manifests as confusion, sleepiness, muscle cramps, poor memory, inability to concentrate, personality changes, …etc. Encephalopathies have many types and causes including high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, toxins, hypoxia diabetes, and trauma.

Encephalopathy is not a single disease by itself, rather it's a group of disorders with several underlying causes.
  • Symptoms
  • Lack of sleep

    or Feeling sleepy

    common

    Confusion

    common

    Depression

    or Feeling moody

    common

    Abdominal pain

    • Nonspecific, non-focal, In the upper right region

    or Abdominal bloating

    or Diarrhea

    common

    Yellow eyes or skin

    or Dark urine

    or Poop with light color

    common

    Weight loss

    or Poor appetite

    common

    Fatigue

    common

    Swollen blood vessels on the skin that looks like a spiders web

    • Over upper body

    or Enlarged male breasts

    or Skin rash and redness

    • At hands

    or Itchy skin

    • At palms and soles

    • Occurs or worsens at night

    common

    Feel like vomiting

    or Throwing up

    • Blood in vomit

    common

    Absence of period

    • Absence of period

    or Irregular periods

    common

    Unexplained skin injury

    common

    Swollen belly

    or Enlarged feet or ankle

    or Swelling in lower leg

    common

    Slowness of movement

    or Shaking

    • Tremor of the hand when the wrist is extended

    • Both sides

    or Slurred speech

    or Inability to control body movements

    Black stool

    Inability to conceive a child

    or Decreased sexual desire

  • Risk factors
  • Liver cirrhosis

    Dehydration

    Difficulty passing stool

    History of gastrointestinal bleeding

    Infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs

    or Infection in any part of urinary system

    or Recent upper respiratory tract infection

    Drug or substance abuse

    Kidney failure or on dialysis

    History of TIPS

  • Treatment
  • Treatment of an encephalopathic patient is done by firstly identifying the underlying cause of encephalopathies and addressing it. This might include stopping some of your drugs or adding new drugs, changes in lifestyle and diet, and dialysis if the underlying cause is kidney disease.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Encephalopathies, then visit a general internist as soon as possible.

    Contact a

    General internist

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