Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis is a scarring of the liver that occurs as hard scar tissue replaces soft healthy tissue. As this healthy tissue deteriorates, the liver worsens until it fails completely. However, there are several treatment options that exist to prevent such severe liver failure.
Cirrhosis of the liver is due to damage of the liver that occurs over an extended period of time. There are several common causes of cirrhosis of the liver including:
- Chronic Viral Hepatitis
- Chronic Alcoholism
- Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Genetic Diseases such as Wilson disease, glycogen storage disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, and autoimmune hepatitis
- Bile Duct Disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
There are several symptoms and complications associated with cirrhosis of the liver. This serious disease causes many unpleasant effects such as:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Severe itching
- Spider-like blood vessels
- Bruising or bleeding easily
Other conditions associated with or related to cirrhosis of the liver include:
- Portal Hypertension
- Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE)
Many treatment options exist for conditions related to cirrhosis of the liver. Infections are often treated using general antibiotics, and some conditions may not even require any medication at all but rather a change in lifestyle like a revised dietary plan that reduces sodium in order to prevent fluid buildup in the body that can cause ascites.
When dealing with early signs of cirrhosis, it may be possible to reduce damage to the liver with preventative measures. This usually refers to treating causes associated with cirrhosis such as treatment for alcohol dependency, weight loss, hepatitis, or other common causes.
Due to the many conditions and complications associated with cirrhosis of the liver, there is an almost overwhelming amount of choices to make when it comes to treatment. Unfortunately, few other treatment options exist for cirrhosis of the liver that has progressed beyond the point of prevention. These advanced forms of cirrhosis of the liver require more immediate action such as a liver transplant.
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