The liver is the largest organ of the body. It is majorly responsible for the following important functions:
- Manufacturing blood protein that helps in oxygen transport and the functioning of the immune system.
- Manufacturing bile, a substance required to digest food.
- Helping the body to store glucose (sugar) in the form of glycogen.
- Breaking the saturated fat and generating cholesterol.
Cirrhosis is one of the sluggishly progressing diseases of the liver. Cirrhosis replaces the vigorous liver tissue with scar tissue which in due course, prevents the liver to function properly. The scar tissue reduces the smooth flow of blood through the liver and slackens the processing of hormones, nutrients, and natural toxins of the body. It also lowers the production of proteins and other vital substances made by the liver.
Let us quickly find out what causes cirrhosis of the liver?
All that damages the liver ultimately causes cirrhosis. These include:
- Severe viral infection of the liver such as Hepatitis types B, C, and D.
- Fatty liver allied with diabetes and obesity.
Blockage of the bile duct. This carries bile formed in the liver to the intestines where it helps in the digestion of fats. Even bile ducts can become inflamed scarred and blocked due to other liver disease known as primary biliary cirrhosis.
The most important question is does people who drink alcohol regularly suffer from cirrhosis in the liver?
Intake of alcohol on a regular basis can severely harm your liver. This is one of the major reasons for cirrhosis. Women who drink a large amount of alcohol regularly are definitely at a higher risk of cirrhosis than men. Even those who have hepatitis B and C are more likely to suffer from liver problems from alcohol.
What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?
There may not be any symptoms at the initial stage. However, as the disease worsens, you may observe the following symptoms’:
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Loss of appetite
- Light-colored stool or blood in the stool
- Yellowing of skin
- Swelling in the ankle, abdomen, and legs
- Orange or brownish tint in the urine
- Kidney failure
- Premature menopause
- Disorientation or change in the personality and
- Lack of energy.
What is the treatment for cirrhosis in the liver?
Although there are several things you can follow to improve and increase liver function there is no specific cure for cirrhosis. However, there are treatments that can delay its progress, lower the risk of damage to the liver cells, and minimize complications.
Cirrhosis caused by alcohol intake can only be treated by completely cutting down on alcohol to halt its progression.
If a person is suffering from hepatitis, doctors may prescribe antiviral drugs or steroids to minimize the injury to liver cells.
The doctors generally prescribe medicine to control the symptoms of cirrhosis. Usually, ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and edema (fluid retention) are the two major treatments that are done by reducing the level of salt in the diet.