Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis realistic

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview

Like any other organ, the liver can fall prey to infection, inflammation or even chronic illness like cancer. Causes for liver disease may range from injury and autoimmunity to lifestyle factors like alcohol abuse. In fact, alcohol abuse and alcoholism are major causes of liver disease. Alcohol-related liver disease undergoes a progression from mild and reversible conditions such as fatty liver disease to dysfunction and complete failure of the organ. Liver cirrhosis falls on the more severe side of this continuum. However, it can have a variety of other causes besides alcohol abuse.

What Is Liver Cirrhosis?

Liver cirrhosis realisticCirrhosis is a disorder that develops with the formation of scar tissue in the liver. This does not happen overnight. Instead, it is the outcome of a chronic illness or long-term damage to the tissues of the liver. Normally, when the cells of the liver suffer some kind of damage or injury, they are easily renewed and replaced with healthy cells. However, this cannot go on endlessly. If you are suffering from a lifelong illness or have certain habits that repeatedly inflict damage on your liver, eventually the organ will become hardened and lumpy with scar tissue. It will no longer be able to perform its normal functions.

Cirrhosis often arises as a complication of alcohol-related conditions such as fatty liver disease. In the initial stages, patients may not develop symptoms. Hence, they may not be aware of the poor condition of their liver. Until cirrhosis develops, it is possible to reverse the adverse effects of alcohol abuse. Once scarring takes place, however, the damage is permanent and irreversible. Treatment can only hope to prevent further damage and relieve symptoms. In extreme cases, the liver fails and the patient will require a liver transplant.

What Is Responsible For Liver Cirrhosis?

Generally, any condition, whether a medical problem or a lifestyle problem, that repeatedly inflicts damage upon your liver can eventually give rise to cirrhosis. Excessive consumption of alcohol on one or two occasions will certainly have adverse effects on your body and even on your liver. However, these effects are short-lived and reversible, providing that you do not continue the habit.

A lifetime or even a few years of alcohol abuse will certainly damage your liver beyond repair. Alcohol-related liver disease proceeds in three successive stages of severity. Initially, the liver will accumulate abnormal fat deposits and this is known as fatty liver disease. It is usually asymptomatic or produces only mild symptoms. With continued alcohol abuse, this will progress into alcoholic hepatitis or inflammation of the liver. This can be quite severe in some cases. Beyond this stage, the liver cells are no longer able to renew themselves and end up being replaced by non-living scar tissue. This is known as cirrhosis of the liver.

The list below lays out more potential causes of liver cirrhosis:

  • Long-term alcohol abuse.
  • Chronic viral hepatitis.
  • Autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Schistosomiasis.
  • Bile duct disorders such as primary sclerosing cholangitis and biliary atresia.
  • Long-term use of certain medications.
  • Gallbladder stones.
  • Hemochromatosis.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Wilson’s disease.
  • Certain metabolic disorders.

What Are The Effects And Symptoms Of Liver Cirrhosis?

Liver CirrhosisThe liver performs a number of vital functions in the human body. These include metabolism, filtering out toxins and secreting bile (a digestive juice). In the early stage of cirrhosis, the liver has lost some amount of living tissue to scarring but it is still capable of performing its functions. Hence, the patient does not usually experience symptoms. This is known as the compensating stage of liver cirrhosis.

As the scarring worsens, the liver is overwhelmed and no longer has enough healthy tissue to cope with the various physiological demands that the organ should otherwise have no trouble fulfilling. This is when symptoms are most likely to arise. This stage is known as the decompensating stage since the remaining living tissue is no longer able to compensate for the portion of tissue that has been damaged.

At this point, patients may experience a few or more of the following problems:

  • Feeling tired.
  • Frequent bleeding and bruising.
  • Itching in the skin.
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin.
  • Discomfort in the abdomen.
  • Nausea.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Atrophied testicles.
  • Enlargement of breast tissue in male patients.

What Are Some Potential Complications Of Liver Cirrhosis?

As the liver is unable to perform its essential functions, the entire body suffers. The following complications are likely to develop:

  • The portal vein that delivers blood into the liver may become backed up because of the abnormal hardening of the organ. This can give rise to portal hypertension.
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, a severe infection that occurs as a result of portal hypertension.
  • Abnormal twisted veins in the esophagus and stomach. These are known as varices and they may even bleed or hemorrhage.
  • Ascites or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
  • Gallbladder stones.
  • Splenomegaly and hypersplenism. In other words, the spleen becomes enlarged and overactive.
  • Hepatic encephalopathy. This is a set of neurological symptoms associated with liver disease. Patients may feel disoriented and confused and their speech may become incoherent. The cause for this is the accumulation of toxins in the blood as a result of an impaired liver function.
  • Liver failure.
  • Risk of liver cancer

How Is Liver Cirrhosis Diagnosed?

Liver Cirrhosis diagnosisAs symptoms may be absent or mild in the earlier stages, patients may not actually seek medical help until the condition has progressed to a fair extent or until it is severe. The doctor may be able to identify the condition as liver cirrhosis based on the patient’s lifestyle and medical history as well as his or her symptoms. The aim of diagnosis is not only to correctly identify the problem that the patient is suffering from but to also correctly pinpoint the underlying cause for it. This will enable the doctor to prepare the most suitable course of treatment. The following tests may be required before a final diagnosis can be arrived at:

  • Physical examination.
  • Medical history.
  • Blood tests such as ALP (alkaline phosphate enzyme)
  • Liver function tests.
  • Tests to assess kidney function.
  • Ultrasound.
  • A computerised tomography (CT).
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Elastography.
  • Liver biopsy

Can It Be Treated?

It is not possible to undo or cure liver cirrhosis. Those areas of the organ that have developed scarring cannot be repaired and restored to their original state of health. However, treatment can certainly help to prevent further damage of this nature and to alleviate symptoms. The aim of treatment is to address the underlying cause and prevent or reduce the risk of complications. Hence, the mode of treatment may vary from one case to the next depending on the cause and the severity of the condition.

Patients with alcohol addiction would be strongly advised to enroll themselves in a rehabilitation programme so that they can get rid of the habit. The sooner that this aim is achieved, the better the chances of preventing further liver damage. In instances of chronic viral hepatitis, the patient will be prescribed medications.

In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized. When the liver has failed, the patient will have to undergo surgery for liver transplantation. The liver is resilient and capable of bouncing back from brief episodes of illness or alcohol abuse. However, if you are suffering from long-term liver disease such as chronic hepatitis, you are at risk of developing liver cirrhosis.

In the early stages of liver cirrhosis, you may not experience any symptoms. However, as the condition worsens, it will have an adverse impact on your overall health because the liver is responsible for crucial physiological functions that have a bearing on the health and functioning of the entire body. If you have been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in the early stages, you can still salvage your health. Taking the right treatment and making the necessary lifestyle changes can help control further damage to your liver.

Liver cirrhosis home remedies

The following home remedies can help in restoring strength to your liver. These must be consumed in addition to the regular medicine dosage as prescribed by the doctor in order to observe effective healing of the liver:

  • Consume a diet which is high in dietary fibers. Whole grains are one of the best sources of fibers. Both fat soluble and water soluble fiber are necessary for detoxing the liver and bringing down the cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds, quinoa, buckwheat etc are great for your liver.
  • Adding turmeric to your daily meals will keep you away from infections. Turmeric has strong anti-bacterial and antiviral properties and will keep you free from disease-causing pathogens.
  • You can counter liver damage by consuming a mixture of papaya juice with lemon. Additionally including raw garlic in your diet will help remove toxins from the liver.
  • Vegetables such as carrots and beets are known for their strengthening the liver by keeping it free from toxins. Another effective remedy is milk thistle. This extract combats high cholesterol naturally and reduces the strain on the liver.

TL;DR?

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • It is important to detoxify the liver by adhering to intermittent fasting and juice Detox.
  • Steamed vegetables and fruits are the best options for a liver cirrhosis patient since they don’t work up the liver too much and also act as natural detoxifiers.
  • Herbal remedies such a milk thistle are good for healing liver cirrhosis but consume it only after discussing with your doctor.
Don'ts
  • Substances toxic to the liver such as alcohol and caffeine should be avoided at all costs.
  • Eat large meals at one sitting. It is better to eat 5-6 small meals to reduce the stress on the liver.
  • Consume oily and fatty food. Add more of lean proteins in your diets and stick to vegetarian sources of proteins such as legumes, whole grains, tofu etc.

 

 

 

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18 instant steps to make your jogging routine more powerful Jogging is a form of Aerobic Endurance training which includes running at a slow pace. Jogging is slower…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
CT-scan-machine
CT – Computed Tomography Scan CT scan or computed tomography scan is an diagnostic imaging technique where cross-sectional images of body are obtained…
kidney stones
Kidney stones Kidney stones are solid substances made up of crystals. They can be of various sizes. Treatment depend on…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
woman with abdominal pain holding ovulation calendar
Ovulation – facts to know about ovulation Learn how and when ovulation occurs, demystify common misconceptions, identify symptoms, methods of detection and right period for…
beta 2 glycoprotein 1 igm
Beta 2 Glycoprotein 1 IgM The Beta 2 glycoprotein 1 IgM test detects IgM class of antibodies in the blood.The presence of beta-2…
beta alanine energy powder
Beta-alanine: A powerhouse of proteins to charge up your workout How can a simple amino acid be a crucial health supplement for champion athletes? Find out how you…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
anti-chlamydia antibody tets
Anti-Chlamydia Antibody -IgG Test Anti-Chlamydia Antibody - IgG test is performed by collection of urine or genital fluids as sample for testing…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
Bloodtestalbumin
Albumin Test Albumin test or blood serum test is a liver function test that measures the amount of the protein…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…

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