Cirrhosis – All you need to know
July 19, 2020
Your liver is one of the one of the vital organ which performs extensive functions in your body. It has the capacity to regenerate even when damaged, but when the damage is extensive and prolonged, the cells die. The healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue, which cannot function as normal liver cells. As a result , liver shrinks in size and functionality declines.
How will you know you have liver cirrhosis?
At first, there may be no symptoms, but as more and more liver cells are damaged, you will start feeling ill. The symptoms are those you would generally associate with liver disease, especially jaundice.
Symptoms of liver cirrhosis
- Fatigue/ weakness
- Nauseas/ vomiting/ when severe vomiting blood
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice- yellow skin and eyes
- Easy bruising
- Swollen legs, abdomen
- Red palms
- Spider web like vessels on skin
- Dark urine
- Muscle cramps
- Slowness in behaviour, too much sleepiness.
- Intellectual functional decline.
People are different and so are their symptoms. If you have cirrhosis, you may not have all of these symptoms at once. Even if you have some of these symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor.
What are the causes of Cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis develops over a long period of time. There are various causes that could lead to cirrhosis and these have to act upon your liver constantly for a long time for cirrhosis to result. The causes of Cirrhosis are
- Alcohol addiction
- Chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- Certain genetic diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
- Blocked bile ducts that lead to improper drainage of bile from the liver
- Certain medications, supplements, infections
Treatment options for Cirrhosis
The treatment options will depend on the stage of the cirrhosis. If you are in the early stages, then your liver will still be functioning well and may have a chance of repairing itself, or maintaining current health. If you are in the advanced stage, your liver will have undergone substantial damage and may not be functioning as required. If your liver is completely damaged you will require a liver transplant as best curative option. Medications are meant to treat complications related to cirrhosis but can not stop progression of cirrhosis per say.
Medications to control infection and manage symptoms, lifestyle changes, vaccinations to prevent other diseases and liver transplant are some of the treatment options available.
What you can do to prevent cirrhosis
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit drinking
- Avoid risky behaviour such as sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes etc
- Avoid having unprotected sex
- Do not take medications/ supplements without your doctor’s advice
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
- Have a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Avoid greasy fried food
If you have any of the symptoms of cirrhosis, contact our liver specialists. Dr. Rela Hospital is one of the leaders in liver care and has one of the most successful liver transplant and paediatric liver transplant services in the world. Our comprehensive care will help you prevent, manage and cure liver diseases and conditions to get back to your normal healthy life.
For consultation contact: 044 – 6666 7777