Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver that occurs as a result of chronic liver disease. Scarring causes disruptions to the flow of blood and bile through the liver and keeps the liver from working properly.
The liver is the largest organ in the body and it has many vital tasks to perform. For example, it gets rid of or neutralizes toxins (such as poisons, germs, and bacteria) in the blood and controls infection. The liver also produces proteins that regulate blood clotting and bile that helps absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms include:
• Fatigue and weakness
• Loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea
• Small, red spider-like blood vessels under the skin
• Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
• Redness of the palms of the hands (palmar erythema)
• Swelling of the belly caused by fluid retention (ascites)
• Swelling of the legs, feet, and back caused by fluid buildup (edema)Breast development in males and, possibly, shrinking testicles
• Whole body itching (called pruritus)
• Mental confusion (called hepatic encephalopathy), caused by a buildup in the blood of harmful toxins
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease or its complications include:
• Decreased urine output
• Pale or clay colored stools
• Nosebleeds or bleeding gums
• Abdominal fullness, pain, and indigestion
• Impotence and loss of interest in sex
• Bleeding hemorrhoids
• Vomiting blood (from esophageal varices [enlarged veins in the esophagus] due to portal hypertension – build up of pressure in the large vein supplying blood to the liver; see Complications section).
Excessive amounts of alcohol over time cause liver damage in virtually anyone,
Other causes of Liver cirrhosis include:
• Viral diseases — hepatitis B and hepatitis C (these cause inflammation of the liver and damage over many years)
• Inherited diseases – such as cystic fibrosis
• Autoimmune inflammation of the liver (the body’s own immune system attacks the liver)
• Disorders of the drainage system of the liver (the biliary system)
• Metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease respectively) each of which can deposit in the liver
• Medications and environmental toxins (rarely).
Related to Alcohol:
• Women tend to develop liver disease at lower quantities of alcohol intake than men
• Obesity may increase your chances of developing alcoholic liver disease because of fatty deposition in the liver
• Genetic factors
Certain medical conditions, such as:
• Wilson’s disease
• Biliary system disorders
• Immune system disorders of the liver
• Chronic hepatitis B or C
• Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – fatty deposition in the liver due to conditions other than heavy alcohol use
Your doctor will take a detailed history and will examine you closely for certain physical characteristics that clearly indicate liver injury. Visible signs include yellowing (jaundice) of your eyes and skin, red spider-like blood vessels just under the surface of your skin, and redness of your palms. Your doctor will feel the size of your liver .An x-ray or ultrasound may be done to look at the size of your liver and spleen. Your doctor will order a blood test to measure your complete blood count (looking for anemia), blood clotting factors, and liver function tests. Also, a liver biopsy may be necessary to determine the extent of damage to the liver and, possibly, to help figure out the underlying cause.
• Avoid excessive intake of alcohol
• Take precautions to avoid contracting hepatitis B and C (such as being careful if your occupation exposes you to blood or blood products, practicing safe sex, being immunized against hepatitis B)
• See your doctor regularly if you have chronic hepatitis
• Avoid inhaling chemicals or getting them on your skin
Liver Cirrhosis is irreversible, but its progression and the complications it causes can, possibly, be avoided. Treatment is directed at addressing the underlying cause, such as abstinence from alcohol, interferon or other medications to build up your immune system if you have chronic viral hepatitis, or corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis. Treatment of complications includes taking certain medications for disorders of the brain (encephalopathy) and infections, dietary modifications to treat excess abdominal fluid, and surgery for bleeding or enlarged veins. In certain cases liver transplant will be necessary.
If you have Liver cirrhosis from any cause, it is important to abstain from drinking alcohol to prevent further damage to the liver.
Medications that may cause liver damage must also be stopped. For example, acetaminophen, also called paracetamol (a common over the counter medication used for headaches and pain) can cause liver damage if taken in large quantities or by people who drink alcohol regularly.
If you work with chemicals, follow procedures to avoid inhaling them or getting them on your skin.
Dietary changes, such as restricting salt intake, may be necessary to treat complications of Liver cirrhosis.
Medications are prescribed to treat complications such as bleeding from veins, infections in fluid accumulated in the abdomen, and damage to the brain (encephalopathy) caused by toxins circulating in the blood.
Surgery and Other Procedures
A liver biopsy may be necessary to make a diagnosis of Liver cirrhosis, determine its cause, and to assess the extent of liver damage. Generally this procedure involves inserting a needle through the abdominal wall to the liver to obtain tissue samples. The greatest risk with this procedure is the potential to bleed; therefore, if you have a clotting abnormality from liver disease, your doctor will likely use a different method for obtaining a liver biopsy.
Surgery and surgical procedures may be required to stop and prevent certain complications of Liver cirrhosis. These situations include:
• Endoscopic procedures to stop bleeding from varices in the esophagus that are under pressure from liver failure. Endoscopy allows direct visualization of the esophagus and the area that is bleeding.
• Shunt placement to redirect blood from the liver to other parts of the circulation; may be performed to alleviate portal hypertension (see Complications) and stop bleeding varices that were not controlled by the endoscopic procedure.
• Drainage of excess fluid from the abdomen (called paracentesis)
• Liver transplant
High-quality dietary protein may be particularly important for you if you have buildup of fluid in the abdomen or swelling of the feet, legs, or back.
If you have fluid retention, you may be asked to cut your intake of sodium to less than 2,000 mg a day because sodium encourages the body to retain water.
Fluid restriction may be necessary if you have ascites (fluid retention).
Excess iron not used by the body is stored in the liver, bone marrow, spleen, and muscles. Too much iron can cause damage to the liver. Avoid iron-rich foods, such as red meats, liver, and iron-fortified cereals and do not cook with iron-coated cookware and utensils.
Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a great way to include antioxidants in your diet.
Treatment of Liver Cirrhosis by Ayurveda
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, like
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Animal studies provide evidence that turmeric may protect the liver from a number of damaging substances such as carbon tetrachloride and acetaminophen. Turmeric accomplishes this, in part, by helping to clear such toxins from the body and by protecting the liver from damage.
Ayurveda based food supplements HCV Care Compound 1, 2 & 3 Capsules helps in Cirrhosis of Liver. HCV Care Compound 1, 2 & 3 Capsules is composed of which are given in combination to provide quick relief if a person is suffering from Cirrhosis of Liver and has elevated liver enzyme levels.
HCV Care Compound 1: 1 Capsule Twice a day with one glass of water.
HCV Care Compound 2: 1 Capsule Twice a day with one glass of water.
HCV Care Compound 3: 1 Capsule Twice a day with one glass of water.
Effects of HCV Care Compound:
- Normalize liver enzymes (ALT/SGPT, AST/SGOT) within two to four weeks
- Regenerate liver cells
- Reduce Viral load
- Enhance Immunity
- Promotes flow of bile and strengthens the digestive process
- Rejuvenates the Hepatic cells and thus tones up the run down liver
- HCV Care Compounds eliminates free radicals quickly from the body and prevent cancer
- Enhances immunity and inhibit the replication of HBV and HCV
- Stop the process which leads to cirrhosis of liver and cancer of the liver in patients of Chronic Hepatitis C
Stimulates appetite and promotes growth
- No adverse side effect.