Cirrhosis, an irreversible scarring of the liver, is most often associated with excessive alcohol consumption or infection by Hepatitis C. As it progresses, the condition impairs the liver’s role as the body’s detoxifier. Particularly in the early stages of the disease, symptoms can be tough to spot. But here are some indications that a medical evaluation for cirrhosis is in order.
What is chronic liver disease?
Chronic liver disease is marked by the gradual destruction of liver tissue over time. Several liver diseases fall under this category, including: • Cirrhosis of the liver • Fibrosis of the liver What is cirrhosis of the liver?
Cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Because of chronic damage to the liver, scar tissue slowly replaces normal functioning liver tissue, progressively diminishing blood flow through the liver. As the normal liver tissue is lost, nutrients, hormones, drugs and poisons are not processed effectively by the liver. In addition, protein production and other substances produced by the liver are inhibited.
Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis: -
Common symptoms of liver cirrhosis are nausea, vomiting, blood in vomit, jaundice, leg swelling, weight loss, weakness, easy bleeding and bruising, small, red color spider like blood vessels on the skin, bleeding hemorrhoids, confusion or impotence.
The less common symptoms are pain in abdomen, reduction in urine output, fever, nosebleed, bleeding gums, breast development in men, indigestion, overall body swelling or pale or clay colored stools.
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis: -
• Alcohol abuse appears to be the prime cause in a majority of cases. • Chemical abuse, for example, over - doses of paracetamol, as well as cleaning fluids or anesthetics, may cause cirrhosis. • Hepatitis 'B' or glandular fever is a predisposing factor.
Treatment of Liver Cirrhosis: -
Treatment depends on the type and stage of the cirrhosis. Its aim is to stop the progress of the cirrhosis, reversing (to whatever extent possible) the damage that has already occurred, and treating complications that are disabling or life-threatening. Stopping or reversing the process requires removal of the cause, as in the following cases:
• In alcoholic cirrhosis: abstinence from alcohol and intake of an adequate wholesome diet. • In cirrhosis caused by viral hepatitis: use of experimental approaches that include the use of drugs to improve immune responses to viral infection (interferon) or to help destroy the virus (anti-viral compounds). • In certain types of cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis: corticosteroids are indicated. • In cirrhotic patients with jaundice: use of supplemental fat soluble vitamins may be helpful. • In Wilson's disease: removal of excessive copper. • In hemochromatosis: removal of excess iron.
Prevention of Cirrhosis: -
Observing a healthy lifestyle is the best treatment to any disease, including cirrhosis. In order to avoid the risk of developing cirrhosis or any other chronic liver disease, you must strive to live a healthy lifestyle. As much as possible, avoid practices or the intake of harmful substances that can increase your risk of developing cirrhosis or any chronic liver disease.
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- Guest 9 years ago
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