Cirrhosis: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments

Cirrhosis is a severe liver disease that damages the healthy cells in the liver and replaces them with irreversibly scarred tissues. It creates complications in the liver functions and often causes the patient to lose his liver. Though there can be many reasons that trigger Cirrhosis of the liver, however, excessive consumption of alcohol, viral infections, hepatitis B and C are among the most common ones.

When the patient’s liver is injured, it attempts to restore itself by creating tissues. However, while the liver repairs itself, it forms some scar tissues. The more the liver is damaged, the more scar tissues are formed. This process is called Cirrhosis, which makes the liver difficult to function properly. The worst part of the Cirrhosis of the liver is that the damages it creates cannot be restored. However, the proper treatment can help reduce the chances of further damages.

Functions of the Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. It has many functions that are vital to life and helps maintain balance in the body.

Some of the important functions of the liver include:

  • To detoxify the body from all the chemicals and substances
  • To purify the bloodstream
  • To help absorb cholesterol, dietary fats, and vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • To store sugar and vitamin in the body etc.

Symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver

Usually, Cirrhosis has no major signs and symptoms until the liver damages are severe. Once the liver stops its functions, the whole body starts to misbalance.

However, some of the common symptoms the patient may feel include:

  • Easy Bruising
  • Itchy skin
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Nose bleeding
  • Redness and Tenderness in the palms
  • Spider like blood vessels on the skin
  • Swelled legs
  • Testicular functional disorder
  • Unusual Weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue

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How to Prevent Cirrhosis?

Since Cirrhosis is the disease of the liver, the only way to prevent it is to take care of the liver by eliminating all the activities that may cause the liver injury. Some of the preventions that reduce the risks of Cirrhosis include:

Alcohol Consumption

Do not consume an excessive amount of alcohol as it is the major reason that causes Cirrhosis of the liver. In case someone is already having Cirrhosis, he/she must quit alcohol immediately. If the patient has any other disease of the liver, it is advisable to consult the doctor about the consumption and the maximum quality a day before consuming alcohol.

Healthy Diet

Going with the plant-based diet that includes fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits will help the liver stay healthy. Add grains and lean sources of the protein in the daily diet.

Avoid Fatty Foods

Avoid foods that are fried and full of fat. Fatty foods trigger the Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), which ultimately increases the risks of having Cirrhosis of the liver. Nash produces high cholesterol and causes the person to have Obesity, Diabetes, and other heart and liver-related diseases.

Maintain the Healthy Weight

Maintaining the weight lowers the chances of instigating Cirrhosis of the liver. People with obesity or overweight are at the higher risks of Cirrhosis as well.

Control Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B and C are the most common causes that lead to Cirrhosis of the liver. Hepatitis B can be transferred from one person to another through various means and contacts including such as the blood, breast milk, sperm, vaginal fluids, or any other body fluids.

Prevent Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C transfers via blood to blood contact. The chronic the Hepatitis C is, the higher the risks of developing Cirrhosis are. Avoiding the unprotected sex reduce the chances of infected with Hepatitis. In addition, avoid body piercing and getting tattoos as the impure and unhygienic needles may become the source of Cirrhosis of the liver as well.

Drink Coffee

Drinking two or more cups of coffee a day decreases the risks of developing Cirrhosis of the liver. It might sound strange but the people who drink more than two cups of coffee a day have fewer chances of suffering from Cirrhosis of the liver as compared to those who either consume less than two cups of coffee or do not drink at all.

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How to Diagnose Cirrhosis of the Liver?

The doctor or the professional will first ask the patient if she/ he has any sort of a medical history that may affect or increase the chances of developing the Cirrhosis of the liver. Further diagnosis may include an examination of the full body. The doctor may recommend some of the following tests in order to make sure if the person has Cirrhosis of the liver.

Standard Blood Tests

Since there is no specific test to diagnose Cirrhosis of the liver, the doctor may consult the standard blood test to examine if the liver is functioning fine.

Hepatitis B and C

Doctors, further, may recommend the test for examining the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis B and C. These tests determine if the patient is infectious to Hepatitis B or C and if the disease is chronic. The test for Hepatitis C can also determine where the virus actually exists. This helps the doctor to recommend the best treatment accordingly.

Imaging Test

These tests are performed to detect if the liver is damaged and the shape and size of the liver are malformed. These tests help doctors know if there are any complications with the liver functioning. These tests may include Abdominal X-Rays, CT Scan, Liver Scan, MRI, and Ultrasound etc.

Laparoscopy

Sometimes, doctors recommend the Laparoscopy test to detect if the liver is misshaped or shows any signs of Cirrhosis. In the Laparoscopy, the doctor inserts a tiny tube through a small incision in the abdomen. This tube is attached to a small video camera that captures live pictures of the liver and helps the doctor to examine if the shape and size of the liver are normal.

Liver Biopsy

Another diagnosis of Cirrhosis of the liver available is the Liver Biopsy. It is a procedure where the doctor inserts a needle and takes out a small sample of the tissues from the liver. The doctor, then, uses a microscope to analyse the tissue and check if the liver has scarred tissues or any other dysfunctionalities.

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Treatments for Cirrhosis of the Liver

Unfortunately, the liver once damaged cannot be healed. Hence, doctors recommend treatments to reduce the chances of further damages and injuries in the liver. The treatment for Cirrhosis of the liver is based on what causes the patient to suffer from Cirrhosis. Some of the reasons that may cause a person to have Cirrhosis of the liver include excessive consumption of alcohol, Autoimmune liver disease, hepatitis B and C, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and hemochromatosis etc.

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Home Remedies for Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis Treatment by Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a scientifically proven remedy for Cirrhosis of the liver as it contains acetic acid, which improves the fat metabolism. It also purifies the toxins exist in the liver.

Procedure

Take a glass of warm water and add one tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and mix it properly. When the Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water, add a teaspoon of honey and drink the solution instantly. Add this solution to your daily diet and consume it twice a day for few months. It will help purify the liver.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Burdock Root

Owing to its antioxidant properties, Burdock Root is considered as one of the best home remedies for Cirrhosis of the liver. It helps to increase the rate of urine excretion, which eventually aids the detoxification process of the liver.

Procedure

Take a cup of hot water and add two teaspoons of burdock root and honey. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes and then take out the root. Consume the tea twice a day.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil is an excellent remedy for Cirrhosis of the liver as it purifies the liver and develops healthy cells in the tissues of the liver. Since Cirrhosis attacks the liver tissues, Carrot Seed Oil is among the best approaches to fight Cirrhosis.

Procedure

Take 30 ML of any carrier oil and add 10 to 12 drops of Carrot Seed Oil in it. Mix it properly and apply the solution all over the rib cage, abdomen and back. Repeating this activity twice a day, especially early in the morning and at night before sleep improves the detoxification procedure fast.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the best gifts nature has given to us. It has so many great properties that help fight the innumerable diseases. Its antioxidant and detoxifying possessions helps improve the metabolism and repairs the dysfunctionalities of the liver.

Procedure

Ingest a teaspoon of uncontaminated coconut oil early in the morning when the stomach is empty. Consuming a limited amount of coconut oil at least once a day helps recover the liver tissues.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Eclipta

Eclipta plant owns the properties that help recover from many liver-related problems, especially the Hepatitis and Cirrhosis of the liver.

Procedure

Add a teaspoon of the Eclipta juice extract and mix it with the same quantity of honey. Consume the mixture at least 3 times a day for 3 to 4 weeks regularly.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Ginger

Ginger has the antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties that help diagnose the liver-related problems, including Cirrhosis. It not only improve the detoxification of the liver but also reduces the fat of the liver.

Procedure

Like the Burdock Root, take a small piece of ginger and mix it in a cup of hot water. Steep the ginger for 10 to 15 minutes and add a little honey to improve the taste. Consume the solution at least 3 to 4 times a day for few weeks. It will help restores the healthy cells of the liver tissues.

Cirrhosis Treatment by Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle contains the antioxidant and detoxifying properties that not only fight Cirrhosis but also helps detoxify the liver and create healthy cells of tissues.

Procedure

Crush a little amount of Milk Thistle seeds and mix it in the steaming hot water. Boil it for a while until the seeds extracts are mixed properly and add honey to improve the taste. Consume the solution 2 to 3 times a day for few weeks. It will help keep the liver healthy and prevents it from further damages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) What are the major risks associated with Cirrhosis of the liver?

Ans: Cirrhosis leads to many other complications of the liver. Primarily, Cirrhosis affects the connection between the liver cells and the blood, which consequently, reduces the capability to purify the blood.

Another complication that Cirrhosis causes is it affects the bile cells, which stops the system of detoxification of the liver, thus, the body reduces its ability digest to the food we consume.

2) Is it essential to detect Cirrhosis at the initial stages?

Ans: Since Cirrhosis damages the liver functions and it cannot be cured, it is quite crucial to detect if the person has Cirrhosis of the liver. The early the Cirrhosis is diagnosed, the minimal the damages it causes. Besides, Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that keeps damaging the liver and its functions for a long period of time, which makes it quite difficult for the liver to function properly. Cirrhosis, if left untreated, can be very dangerous and causes the person his/ her life.

3) Is there any specific doctor/ department who treats Cirrhosis of the liver?

Ans: Since Cirrhosis is the disease that is associated with the liver, doctors who treat this disease are called the hepatologists. However, general physicians may also diagnose Cirrhosis of the liver.

4) Should the patient diagnosed with Cirrhosis reduce the quantity of other everyday medicines?

Ans: Usually, the liver helps digest the medicines and the chemicals contained in the drugs. However, Cirrhosis attacks the liver functions and decelerates the process of digestion, which consequently increase the blood level and toxicity in the body. Hence, the medications should be avoided if possible. If the medication course is obligatory, it is advisable for the patient to consult with the doctor before discontinuing any medication.

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Last updated on : 24-12-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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