Cirrhosis- Cirrhosis Liver and Symptom, treatment and causes and home remedies of Cirrhoses liver
The liver, the largest organ in the body, is essential in keeping the body functioning properly. It removes or neutralizes poisons from the blood, produces immune agents to control infection, and removes germs and bacteria from the blood. It makes proteins that regulate blood clotting and produces bile to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. You cannot live without a functioning liver.
In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue replaces normal, healthy tissue, blocking the flow of blood through the organ and preventing it from working, as it should. Cirrhosis is the twelfth leading cause of death by disease, killing about 26,000 people each year. Also, the cost of cirrhosis in terms of human suffering, hospital costs, and lost productivity is high
Cirrhoses Liver Symptoms
The symptoms will depend on how much damage has occurred to the liver.
In the early stages there may be no symptoms at all and the disease may be discovered as a result of an investigation for another illness.
As the disease progresses, tiredness, weakness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, nausea and weight loss may develop.
In the later stages the liver is struggling to perform all its functions and any or all of the following symptoms may be present.
Jaundice: this is the yellowing of the skin (jaundice) and the eyes due to the failure of the liver to remove a substance called bilirubin from the blood.
Nail changes : the shape and appearance of the nails may change. They may be more curved (clubbing) and they may be white rather than pink.
Skin changes : about a quarter of patients will have darkening of the skin.
Fluid retention: this is common at some stage in cirrhosis. An important function of the liver is to rid the body of excess fluid through the kidneys and when it fails, fluid gathers in the legs (oedema) or in the abdomen (ascites).
Abnormal blood vessels : the commonest abnormality is a spider naevus, which is a spot surrounded by fine blood vessels. A red face is also common.
Easy bruising: nosebleeds and easy bruising occur as a result of abnormal blood vessels and delayed clotting because the liver does not make enough clotting proteins.
Enlargement of breasts in men : the liver destroys the female sex hormones and in cirrhosis these accumulate and cause enlargement of the breasts and shrinking of the testes in men.
In the very late stages of the disease, serious complications may occur. These include vomiting of blood, either from ulcers in the stomach or from leaking varicose veins in the lower end of the oesophagus (gullet). This is serious and requires hospital treatment.
The liver is responsible for removing poisonous substances from the blood. In cirrhosis, the blood may bypass the liver and these poisonous substances pass to the brain where they may result in alteration in brain function, causing confusion, drowsiness and finally coma. This is called hepatic encephalopathy. This is also serious and requires hospital treatment.
Causes of cirrhoses liver
There are many causes of liver cirrhosis. The most common causes are:
Alcoholic liver disease. To many people, cirrhosis of the liver is synonymous with chronic alcoholism, but in fact, alcoholism is only one of the causes. Alcoholic cirrhosis usually develops after more than a decade of heavy drinking. The amount of alcohol that can injure the liver varies greatly from person to person. In women, as few as two to three drinks per day have been linked with cirrhosis and in men, as few as three to four drinks per day. Alcohol seems to injure the liver by blocking the normal metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Chronic hepatitis C . The hepatitis C virus ranks with alcohol as a major cause of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in the United States. Infection with this virus causes inflammation of and low-grade damage to the liver that over several decades can lead to cirrhosis.
Chronic hepatitis B and D. The hepatitis B virus is probably the most common cause of cirrhosis worldwide, but it is less common in the United States and the Western world. Hepatitis B, like hepatitis C, causes liver inflammation and injury that over several decades can lead to cirrhosis. Hepatitis D is another virus that infects the liver, but only in people who already have hepatitis B.
Autoimmune hepatitis . This disease appears to be caused by the immune system attacking the liver and causing inflammation, damage, and eventually scarring and cirrhosis.
Inherited diseases . Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, galactosemia, and glycogen storage diseases are among the inherited diseases that interfere with the way the liver produces, processes, and stores enzymes, proteins, metals, and other substances the body needs to function properly
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH ). In NASH, fat builds up in the liver and eventually causes scar tissue. This type of hepatitis appears to be associated with diabetes, protein malnutrition, obesity, coronary artery disease, and treatment with corticosteroid medications.
Blocked bile ducts . When the ducts that carry bile out of the liver are blocked, bile backs up and damages liver tissue. In babies, blocked bile ducts are most commonly caused by biliary atresia, a disease in which the bile ducts are absent or injured. In adults, the most common cause is primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease in which the ducts become inflamed, blocked, and scarred. Secondary biliary cirrhosis can happen after gallbladder surgery if the ducts are inadvertently tied off or injured.
Drugs, toxins, and infections . Severe reactions to prescription drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins, the parasitic infection schistosomiasis, and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion can all lead to cirrhosis.
Abnormal storage of copper
Diagnosis of Cirrhoses Liver
The doctor may diagnose cirrhosis on the basis of symptoms, laboratory tests, the medical history, and a physical examination. For example, during a physical examination, the doctor may notice that the liver feels harder or larger than usual and order blood tests that can show whether liver disease is present.
If looking at the liver is necessary to check for signs of disease, the doctor might order a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a scan of the liver using a radioisotope (a harmless radioactive substance that highlights the liver). Or the doctor might look at the liver using a laparoscope, an instrument that is inserted through the abdomen and relays pictures back to a computer screen.
A liver biopsy will confirm the diagnosis. For a biopsy, the doctor uses a needle to take a tiny sample of liver tissue, and then examines it under the microscope for scarring or other signs of disease
Treatment of Cirrhoses Liver
Treatment depends on the type and stage of the cirrhosis. It aims to stop the progress of the cirrhosis, reverse (to whatever extent possible) the damage that has already occurred, and treat complications that are disabling or life threatening.
Stopping or reversing the process requires removal of the case:
In alcoholic cirrhosis: Abstention from alcohol; an adequate, wholesome diet
In cirrhosis caused by primary biliary cirrhosis: ursodeoxycholic acid is recommended
In cirrhosis caused by viral hepatitis: Medication to improve immune responses to viral infection is an approved approach
In certain types of cirrhosis caused by autoimmune hepatitis: Corticosteroids alone or with azathioprine may be an effective treatment
In cirrhotic patients with jaundice: Supplemental fat-soluble vitamins may be helpful
Wilson's disease: Removal of excess copper by drugs that deplete the body's copper
Hemochromatosis: Removal of excess iron by phlebotomy (removal of one pint of blood per week)
Most types of cirrhosis: Liver transplantation with replacement of the diseases organ when advances liver failure occurs
Prevention of Cirrhoses
Limit the intake of alcohol (see above).
Alcoholics should seek help.
Precautions should be taken to avoid getting hepatitis and if it is contracted it is important that it is treated.
Avoid contact with toxic chemicals at work.
Impotence in men . This is a combination of the effects of alcohol and cirrhosis.
Severe internal bleeding from ruptured varicose veins in the stomach or oesophagus. This is serious and requires hospital treatment.
Liver cancer , which occurs at a late stage in a number of patients with cirrhosis.
Blood poisoning , due to infection of the excess fluid in the abdomen (ascites
General Home Care
The patient should be kept in bed. A warm-water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the juice fast and thereafter, if necessary.
Application of hot and cold compresses, for two to three minutes each, on the liver area are beneficial.
The morning dry friction, breathing and other exercises should form a regular daily feature of the treatment.
Foods To Be Avoided
All refined foods
Home Remedies of Cirrhoses Liver
The black seeds of papaya are beneficial in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, caused by alcoholism and malnutrition. A tablespoon of juice obtained by grinding the seeds, mixed with ten drops of fresh limejuice, should be given once or twice daily for about a month.
Picrorhiza is a drug of choice in ayurveda for cirrhosis of the liver among adults. The root of the herb is given in powdered form. A tablespoon of the powder, mixed with an equal quantity of honey, should be administered thrice daily. In case of accompanying constipation, the dose should be increased to double and should be given with a cup of warm water, three to four times a day.
The herb trailing eclipta has proved invaluable in cirrhosis of the liver. The juice of all parts of this plant should be taken in doses of one teaspoon, mixed with one teaspoon of honey, three times daily.
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