Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention of Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis can be caused by several factors such as hepatitis C, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse. Liver Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease and is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States. Most people will experience symptoms with liver cirrhosis, but they may take a while to appear because it is a slow progressing disease. 

The liver is the largest solid organ in the body and has several functions that help keep the body healthy. The liver helps with clotting, oxygen transport, immune system function, and manufacturing bile. It is able to help the body with these functions because it makes blood proteins. This organ is very important to the body because it stores extra nutrients and releases the needed nutrients into the blood stream. Also, the liver helps store sugar, breaks down saturated fats, and produces cholesterol. Furthermore, it has the ability to remove harmful toxins such as drugs and alcohol.

If someone contracts a viral infection of the liver like Hepatitis C, has poor eating habits, or abuses drugs or alcohol, then over time the liver will begin deteriorating and turn into scar tissue. When the liver is replaced with scar tissue, it cannot function as it should. Scar tissue blocks blood flow and slows the processing of nutrients and hormones. Also, drugs and naturally produced toxins cannot be removed from the body efficiently.

Symptoms of liver cirrhosis vary depending on the stage of the illness. For example, there may not be any symptoms experienced at the onset of liver cirrhosis. As the disease gets worse, you may experience a loss of appetite, low energy, weight loss, or weight gain. Someone with this disease may bruise easily, have yellowing of the skin, itchy skin, and fluid retention. Other liver cirrhosis symptoms include having a brown or orange tint in urine, light colored stools, confusion, and fever. 

Liver Cirrhosis can be diagnosed by several different methods. When you receive a physical exam, your doctor will be able to observe how large your liver is and how it feels. A cirrhotic liver will be bumpy instead of smooth. Blood tests will also show if you suffer from liver disease. Additionally, ultrasounds and CT scans can reveal liver cirrhosis by taking pictures of the liver. In some cases, your doctor may request for a liver biopsy, which is obtaining a sample of the liver to help confirm the diagnosis.

At this time, there is no cure for cirrhosis of the liver, but there are treatments available. Liver cirrhosis treatment guidelines vary depending on the cause of the cirrhosis. People who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol or drug abuse should stop drinking or taking drugs immediately to stop further progression of the cirrhosis. If the cirrhosis is caused by hepatitis, then the doctor should be able to prescribe antiviral medications to reduce liver injury. Medications can also be taken to help relieve some of the symptoms of liver cirrhosis. You can reduce fluid retention by simply reducing the amount of salt in your diet and by taking diuretics. Diuretics can remove the extra fluid in your body and prevent edema from recurring. Laxatives can also be beneficial to someone with liver cirrhosis because it can absorb and speed up the removal of toxins. In some cases, a liver transplant may be required if the liver cirrhosis is extremely severe.

Livercirrhosis life expectancy is variable depending on how poor the liver is functioning. Generally, people can live anywhere from one to twenty years with the disease. There are several ways to help prevent cirrhosis of the liver. The easiest way to prevent liver cirrhosis is by not abusing alcohol. If you do drink alcohol, it is important to limit how much you drink. It is recommended not to drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day. Also, avoid having unprotected sex with multiple partners which will help prevent autoimmune disease transplant. Furthermore, chemicals made of synthetics can be harmful to the liver, so if you work around chemicals be sure to wear protective clothing and a mask. Another easy way to prevent liver cirrhosis is by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and maintaining a healthy diet. Overall, the liver is a very strong organ and sometimes will heal itself, but it very important to take care of your liver because it plays a very vital part in keeping your overall body healthy.

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