CIRRHOSIS OF LIVER
Cirrhosis of the liver is the late stage of fibrosis of the liver. The scaring of the liver could be caused by various reasons. The scaring happens as a process of self repair by the liver. This damage to liver is irreversible in most of the instances.The disease progresses slowly to end stage liver disease.
The most common causes include alcoholism, hepatitis and fatty liver diseases. The scar tissues that are developed in the liver slows down its functioning.
Cirrhosis of the liver typically shows no symptoms until a later stage. The known common symptoms include:
- Fatigue and confusion
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Swelling on the legs
- Fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites)
- Spiderlike blood vessels on skin
- Redness in the palms
- Loss of periods in women
- Breast enlargement (gynecomastia) or testicular atrophy in men
- Blood in vomitus or black coloured stools
- Altered sensorium
Causes and Risk Factors
The highest risk factor which could lead to the condition is chronic alcoholism and diseases that target the liver like hepatitis. The most common causes include:
- Chronic alcoholism
- Viral hepatitis
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Mineral accumulation in liver like iron and copper accumulation
- Bile ducts diseases
The treatment involves managing the symptoms and working to slow down the liver damage. The scaring of the liver tissues cannot be undone.
The early stage of the Cirrhosis includes focusing on treating the underlying cause.
In cases of chronic alcoholism, treatment involves complete alcohol abstinence and rehabilitation ;obesity or diabetes, requires significant lifestyle changes.
Dietary changes depend upon underlying conditions and its complications. Ascites is treated with medications and consumption of low salt diet.
Diseases like viral hepatitis needs antiviral treatment.
In cases of total liver damage or when the liver does not function at all, a liver transplant is done.