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What you need to know about Liver Cirrhosis

Liver is an organ that has a remarkable ability to regenerate when the liver cells get damaged as a part of the regular repair process. However, if there is repeated injury due to intake of substances ( Ex: alcohol), the regenerative ability of the liver fails to keep pace with damage elements leading to progressive destruction and build-up of irreversible scar tissue formation. Thereby converting the functional organ to a mass of scar tissue called cirrhosis and is the end stage of the chronic liver diseases. In cirrhosis, there is a partial blockage of blood flow through the liver, obstructing normal metabolic and regulatory process due to the replacement of healthy liver tissue with the scar tissues.

Number of liver diseases and other conditions can damage the liver and lead to irreversible cirrhosis. The major causes of the cirrhosis include

• Alcohol abuse
• Chronic viral hepatitis
• Genetic and bile duct disease

Causes for the development of cirrhosis in those with chronic NASH (Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis) include

• Fat accumulation in the liver
• Hypertension
• Diabetes 2
• Obesity
• Hyperlipidaemia

Symptoms:

Initial symptoms of liver cirrhosis include abdomen pain, fatigue, nausea and weight loss. As the cirrhosis progresses, at an advanced stage the severely affected liver show the symptoms that may include
• Fluid collection in abdomen (Ascites)
• Yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin (Jaundice)
• Swelling in legs
• Dilated and curly blood vessels over abdomen (Spider like) blood vessels
• Itchy skin
• Men may experience fat deposit in the breast area
• Hair loss
• Bruising and easy bleeding
• Swelling of the feet ( Oedema)

Treatment

Scar tissues are an irreversible result of liver injury, hence no treatment can cure liver cirrhosis. The management or treatment options of the disease completely depends on the cause and the extent of liver damage. The treatment can only delay the further damage but cannot cure cirrhosis. Depending on the disease causing cirrhosis, medications or lifestyle changes are advised by the doctor. Liver transplantation is recommended as the best option at an advanced stage or when liver completely stops working.

Reference

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cirrhosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/types/cirrhosis/
http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/cirrhosis/
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/cirrhosis

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