Liver cirrhosis is also sometimes termed as fibrosis of the liver, it is the condition in which your liver develops scars due to the continuous deterioration or the scarring of the liver cells over time. Cirrhosis is generally the chronic stage of liver damage due to a number of reasons such as hepatitis, chronic alcoholism, and others.
The following article gives you an insight into all the possible FAQs related to the cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment process of liver cirrhosis.
Liver Cirrhosis: Causes
There are a variety of causes that lead to cirrhosis of the liver, most of which are chronic habits that you may possibly indulge in:
- Chronic Alcoholism: repeated & uncontrolled consumption of alcohol despite some leading health issues may lead to permanent scarring of the liver.
- Viral Hepatitis (Hepatitis B, C& D): is the inflammation of the liver usually caused due to hepatitis B virus or the swelling caused due to the liver tissues getting injured or infected.
- Fatty liver disease: it is an increased build-up of fat in the liver usually caused due to chronic health conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Liver Cirrhosis: Symptoms
Generally, you will see no observable signs or symptoms, the symptoms usually surface when the liver damage is extensive. The common symptoms signaling possible cirrhosis of the liver are:
- Frequent bleeding & bruising
- Loss of appetite
- Edema-swelling caused due to extra fluid trapped in your body’s tissues
- Weight loss due to unidentified causes
- Jaundice- skin & eyes turning pale or yellow
- Ascites- a disorder where fluid accumulates in your abdomen
- Redness in the palms of the hand
- Irregularity or the loss of periods in women, not related to menopause
- Hepatic encephalopathy- the loss of brain function caused when toxins are not removed from the blood by a diseased liver.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Cirrhosis causes irreversible liver damage, but it is possible to reduce future harm to the liver tissues if it is detected early and the cause is identified and treated.
Your doctor might possibly identify the damaged liver by means of a blood test or a routine health checkup. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor might further suggest a laboratory, imaging, and the following other tests:
- Imaging tests: your doctor might order one of the following to see if you have scarring or any other damage to the liver: CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound, or Endoscopy, all of these tests help get a detailed picture of your liver, your doctor can use these tests to observe your liver more clearly.
- Liver biopsy: this test is used to observe the liver tissues to identify the severity, extent, and cause of liver damage.
usually depends on the cause and extent of your liver damage. Early treatment can be provided to stop and control the progression of the scarred liver tissues. Late diagnosis of liver cirrhosis leads to severity & complications in the treatment process.
- Treatment for the underlying cause of cirrhosis: this is when the identified cause is the excessive consumption of alcoholic substances or the acute hepatitis illness. Your doctor will prescribe you medications accordingly. Medications might limit further damage to your liver tissues. Similarly, the inflammation of the liver could be stopped by controlled medical conditions like diabetes (blood sugar level) & obesity.
- Treatment for complications of cirrhosis: any chronic illness or habit might lead to a permanently damaged liver condition which could be difficult to cure in the last stages, the only treatment when your liver ceases to function properly could be opting for a liver transplant surgery. A liver transplant is a procedure where your damaged liver is replaced with a healthy liver from a deceased donor or with a portion of a living donor’s liver. One of the common reasons why patients seek a liver transplant is cirrhosis.