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Understanding Liver Cirrhosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • Understanding Liver Cirrhosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

    Increasing number of patients suffering from Cirrhosis of liver has created a need for widespread awareness about the disease and finding out ways to save lives by timely treatment for cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis is a condition that occurs over a period of time and causes scarring of liver tissues due to various reasons and results in failure of liver functions.

    Liver is a vital organ performing very crucial functions within the body and therefore needs to be taken care of for leading a healthy life. It not only filters the blood but is also responsible for making biles which help in digestion of fats, storing glycogen (required for producing energy), making substances needed for blood coagulation and also processing and removing toxins from the body. It is essential to take measures for slowing down the progression of cirrhosis of liver so that complete liver failure can be avoided.

    For this, we need to first understand the causes that lead to liver cirrhosis:

    • Severe viral infectionslike hepatitis B, C and D.
    • Excessive alcohol intake.
    • Side effect/reaction to certain drugs.
    • Heart failure leading to fluid getting backed up in the liver.
    • Obesity and diabetes that lead to fatty liver.
    • Inflammation, blockage or scarring of bile duct, which is responsible for carrying bile produced in the liver to intestine for digestion of fats.
    • Prolonged exposure to some environmental toxins.
    • It can also be hereditary in the form of glycogen storage disease, cystic fibres, deficiency of alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, Wilson’s disease and hemochromatosis.
     

    Symptoms of cirrhosis of liver:

    When liver is unable to perform its vital functions as result of cirrhosis, you may have following signs and symptoms that should be immediately explained to your healthcare provider –

    • Yellow discoloration of eyes and skin.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Feeling weak and tired all the time.
    • Feeling of fullness despite taking small or no meals.
    • Excessive weight loss without making any efforts for the same.
    • Swelling in the abdomen (ascites) and legs (edema).
    • Confused mind and having difficulty in thinking.
    • Itchy skin.
    • Blood in the vomiting or stool.
    • Change in the urine colour.
     

    Treatment for the Cirrhosis of Liver:

    With the help of multi-modality approach and interdisciplinary team, Indian hospitals have created millions of success stories where timely treatment for cirrhosis of the liver has given new lease of life to people.

    Based on the exact cause and stage of disease, treatment is decided by your liver doctor. Therefore, you will initially undergo detailed work up that includes blood investigations, ultrasound, Ct scan or MRI, endoscopy and liver biopsy. One or more of these will be used to study your case and suggest one of the following treatment options:

    • Steroids or antiviral drugs is given to reduce the injury caused to liver cells.
    • Alcohol related cirrhosis can be reduced by completely quitting the intake of alcohol.
    • Banding procedures are done for controlling bleeding from oesophageal varices.
    • Lactulose and a low protein diet for treating hepatic encephalopathy.
    • Treatment through the use of high-end antibiotics.
    • Liver transplantation is suggested for end stage disease and when all other treatment options fail to provide relief.
     

    Categories: Liver Cirrhosis

    Tags: Treatment for cirrhosis of the liver, Symptoms of cirrhosis of liver, Liver cirrhosis symptoms & treatment in india

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