In medical term, cirrhosis is defined as a late stage of the liver scarring which is caused by several kinds of liver diseases and conditions like chronic alcoholism and hepatitis. The liver performs several necessary functions, including cleaning the blood, detoxifying harmful substances in the body, and making vital nutrients. Cirrhosis is also known as cirrhosis of the liver.
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What is Liver Cirrhosis?
This condition refers to severe liver scars. This is also considered to be a dysfunction of the liver in the early stages of some chronic liver diseases. Healing during liver cirrhosis is usually due to long-term exposure to toxic substances, such as alcohol and certain viral infections.
Cirrhosis of the liver usually occurs when certain factors that contribute to liver damage are present in the system over a longer period of time. The liver disease Cirrhosis of the liver does not cause the liver to function properly.
In liver cirrhosis, the liver hardens and shrinks. It, therefore, becomes difficult to properly circulate nutrient-rich essential blood in the liver from the surrounding portal vein. As a result, pressure builds up in the portal veins, leading to a serious condition called “portal hypertension”. In this condition, the portal veins tend to develop high blood pressure. This could lead to the formation of varicose veins that may burst and start to bleed. This could be a fatal condition.
How is Cirrhosis Formed?
Long-term viral infection of hepatitis C, associated with chronic alcohol abuse in the liver, is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis. Obesity or excessive body weight also seems to be a major cause of this condition.
Other additional causes of this condition include:
- Hepatitis B, which causes inflammation of the liver and causes damage
- Hepatitis D, this type of hepatitis is known to cause cirrhosis in association with hepatitis B.
- Inflammation due to autoimmune liver disease
- Damage to the bile ducts
- Disorders that can affect the body’s ability to control copper and iron levels
- Certain medications, including over-the-counter medications such as antidepressants, antibiotics, and others
Who Are Prone to Cirrhosis?
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), this condition may develop in women who are accustomed to drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day for several years. In men, drinking 3 to 4 alcoholic drinks per day could expose you to this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver?
Symptoms of this condition can occur because the liver cannot perform basic functions such as blood purification, toxin degradation, production of coagulation proteins, and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and fats.
Some of the common symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- Nasal bleeding
- Reduced appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Small spider-shaped arteries just below the skin layer
- Itching of the skin
Some of the more advanced symptoms include:
- Swelling of the legs called edema
- Abdominal swelling is known as ascites
- Difficulty to think clearly
- Gynecomastia: Women begin to develop breast tissue
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How Cirrhosis is Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of this condition begins with a detailed history and a physical examination. The doctor may look for possible physical signs such as pale skin, reddened palms, yellow eyes, small testes, enlarged liver or spleen, etc. Some of the tests suggested by doctors may include:
- Whole blood picture to show anemia
- Blood tests for coagulation
- Liver function tests
- Alpha-fetoprotein tests
Some of the additional tests that are dependent on the severity of the symptoms of this condition, as suggested by your doctor, might be:
- Sonography of the liver
- Upper endoscopy
- Liver biopsy
What are the Complications of Cirrhosis?
If the blood can not pass through the liver, some complications can occur, such as:
- Renal insufficiency
- Internal bleeding
- Liver cancer
- Esophageal varices
- Liver or enlarged spleen
What are the Treatments for Cirrhosis?
The general treatment of this condition depends on the cause and severity of the symptoms. Some of the possible treatments proposed by physicians may include:
- Some medications, including nitrates and beta-blockers.
- Band procedure for controlling the bleeding that occurs in esophageal varices.
- Hemodialysis for blood purification in renal failure.
- Intravenous antibiotics.
- Liver transplantation is the last resort when other treatments fail.
What are the Home Remedies for Cirrhosis?
Following are some of the home remedies for this condition are as follows;
- Stop or limit consumption as much as possible
- Take a low-protein diet as prescribed by the doctor
- Include papaya seeds in your diet
Cirrhosis is basically a condition related to the liver, which can be easily treatable. But some of the other causes of this conditions are liver cancer and some additional health complications may occur with cirrhosis.
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