Cirrhosis

What is Cirrhosis of the Liver?

Cirrhosis is a condition that results from permanent damage or scarring of the liver. This leads to a blockage of blood flow through the liver and prevents normal metabolic and regulatory processes. Individuals with cirrhosis may bleed and bruise easily due to a decrease in proteins required for blood clotting. Some people may even experience intense itching due to products that are deposited in the skin.

 

Causes

  • chronic alcoholism
  • viral infections caused by chronic viral hepatitis (types B, C and D)
  • metabolic diseases and glycogen storage disorders
  • inherited diseases
  • toxic hepatitis caused by severe reactions to prescribed drugs or prolonged exposure to environmental toxins
  • repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion
  • Biliary atresia in babies caused by absent or injured bile ducts

 

Early Symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion

 

Treatment

  • If cirrhosis is due to alcoholism, the patient must stop drinking to prevent further progression of the disease.
  • If cirrhosis is cause by viral hepatitis, antiviral drugs may be administered to reduce liver cell injury.
  • Medications such as beta blockers may be administered to reduce portal hypertension, which causes bleeding.

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