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Liver Cirrhosis: Definition, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

  • By Admin
  • 17 Aug 2018

Cirrhosis is the complication of the liver disease that involves irreversible scarring of the liver and loss of liver. The scarring is generally caused due to the long-term exposure to the toxins such as viral infections or alcohol. The liver is located in the upper side of the abdomen just below the ribs. It has many important functions that include:

  • Storing vitamins and sugar for the later use by the body
  • Producing bile, which helps the body absorb the dietary fats, vitamins(A, D, K, E) and cholesterol.
  • Create blood-clotting proteins
  • Purifying the blood by removing the harmful bacteria and toxins from the body

According to a study, Liver Cirrhosis stands out to be the 12th leading cause of death due to disease. It is also noted that disease is mostly seen in men than in women.

How does it develop in the body?

The Liver is one of the hardest organs of the body and is even able to regenerate the damaged cells. Cirrhosis of the liver develops when the factors that affect the functioning of the liver are present for a long duration of time. When this happens in the body, it causes scarring and injury to the liver and hence, it is not able to function properly and that ultimately leads to liver cirrhosis.

Causes of Cirrhosis

The most common cause of Liver Cirrhosis is the long-term viral hepatitis C infection & chronic alcohol abuse. Also, one of the causes of liver cirrhosis is Obesity. It can be a risk factor by itself or in combination with hepatitis C and alcoholism. Cirrhosis can also develop in women who consume more than two alcoholic drinks everyday. For men who drink more than three drinks per day can make them suffer from liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis that is caused by alcohol is mainly the result of regular consumption of alcohol for more than 10 to 12 years.

Other causes:

  • Hepatitis D
  • Hepatitis B
  • Damage to the bile ducts that function to drain bile
  • Medications that include over-the-counter drugs like antidepressants, antibiotics, can cause liver cirrhosis.

Symptoms:

Since the liver is not able to purify the blood, it may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice
  • Nosebleeds
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anorexia
  • Weight-loss
  • Weakness
  • Itchy skin

Diagnosis of the Cirrhosis

The diagnosis begins with a physical exam and detailed history of the patient. The doctor asks for the complete medical history of the patient. The physical exam can show the following signs like:

  • Enlarged spleen or liver
  • decreased alertness
  • pale skin
  • reddened palms
  • Yellow skin(Jaundice)

The tests used for the evaluation of liver Cirrhosis might include:

  • Albumin(to determine the protein produced in the liver)
  • Complete blood count(for anemia)
  • Liver function tests
  • Alpha feto-protein
  • coagulation blood tests(to see the clotting of blood)

Treatments:

  • hemodialysis(purification of the blood in those of the kidney failure)
  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • quitting drinks and alcohol
  • beta blockers or nitrate.

Liver transportation

stands to be the last option when other methods fail. All the patients must stop consuming alcohol and must check with the doctor before consuming any medicine.