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Last Updated: Jun 22, 2020
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Cirrhosis - Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis, Treatment and Home remedies

About Stages Signs Causes Diagnosis Treatment Diet Home remedies

What is liver Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a medical condition where the healthy tissue of the liver is replaced by scar tissues. This makes it difficult for the liver to function properly. The scar tissue slows down the processing of natural toxins, drugs, hormones and nutrients. This occurs due to the blockage of the flow of blood through the liver. It can also slow down the manufacturing of proteins made by the liver. It can even cause death if not treated on time.

What are the four stages of liver cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is now a late phase of liver harm. In the beginning periods, there will be irritation of the liver. On the off chance that the aggravation isn't dealt with, it will prompt scarring. This is the possible stage where the condition can be well treated.

  • Stage 1: In this stage. Some scarring will be there in the liver with few symptoms. It is called Compensated Cirrhosis where there will not be any complication.
  • Stage 2: At this stage, the condition includes a worsened portal hypertension and varices development.
  • Stage 3: Here, the cirrhosis involves in the development of abdominal swelling and advanced liver scarring. It marks decompensated cirrhosis with intense intricacies alongside conceivable liver disappointment.
  • Stage 4: This is a life-threatening condition and in this stage, people may develop with end-stage liver disease. It is a fatal condition and needs a liver transplant.

What are the first signs of liver cirrhosis ?

Cirrhosis is a complexity of numerous liver ailments wherein loss of liver cells and irreversible scarring of the liver will happen. Even though there are many causes for liver cirrhosis, alcohol overuse and viral hepatitis B and C are the main cause of this condition. Cirrhosis does not show any signs until the liver damage is extensive.

The first signs of liver cirrhosis are weight loss, itchy skin, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, bruising and bleeding, yellow discoloration in the eye and skin (jaundice), ascites, spiderlike blood vessels on the skin, absence or loss of periods irrespective of menopause in women, sexual libido, testicular atrophy, and gynecomastia in men, drowsiness, slurred speech.

What causes liver Cirrhosis?

Liver Cirrhosis is most commonly caused due to alcohol abuse, fatty liver and hepatitis C. Other causes of Cirrhosis in the liver include:

  • Fatty liver which is associated with diabetes and obesity.
  • Acute viral infections of the liver such as hepatitis D, B and C. This is somewhat rare.
  • Blockage of the bile which transfers bile to the intestines. Bile is generally formed in the liver and it helps in digesting food. Blockage of the bile duct can also be caused due to bilary atresia. In this condition, the bile ducts are damaged or absent which causes the bile to stay in the liver. This condition usually affects babies.
  • Continuous bouts of heart failure causing fluid to build up in the liver.
  • Diseases such as cystic fibrosis, glycogen storage disease (inability of the body to process glycogen into sugar), alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency (absence of a certain enzyme in the liver).
  • Diseases and disorders which are caused by hemochromatosis (excessive iron content is deposited in the liver and other vital organs), Wilson’s disease (unusual storage of copper inside the liver) and abnormal liver functioning.
  • Rare factors like parasitic infections, exposure to environmental toxins and reaction to certain prescription drugs can also contribute to Cirrhosis.

How is Cirrhosis diagnosed?

  • Physical exam- The doctor usually performs a physical exam to see how large your liver is and observes how your liver feels. A liver affected by Cirrhosis might feel irregular and bumpy instead of smooth.
  • CT scan and ultrasound- Tests like ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT scan) and radioisotope scan is performed to analyze Cirrhosis.
  • Biopsy- During a biopsy, a tissue from the liver is taken and tested for diagnosing Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Surgery- This is usually performed in severe cases, a laparoscope is inserted through an incision inside the abdomen. After the doctor gets an entire view of the liver he performs the surgery.

What is the best treatment for liver cirrhosis?

In spite of the fact that there is no solution for cirrhosis, the medicines can defer its encouraging and reduction of the liver cell harm in this manner diminish inconveniences.

    • If the cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse, the person should refrain from drinking alcohol
    • If autoimmune disease is the cause of cirrhosis, then the patient will be recommended for the proper treatment for cirrhosis and for the underlying disease.
    • Medications may help to control the cirrhosis symptoms.
    • Fluid retention and ascites are well treated by decreasing the salt content in the diet. Diuretics are prescribed to remove excess fluid and prevent edema from the relapse.
    • Cirrhosis mental confusion state can be improved with the help of diet and drug therapies. Say, for example, laxatives such as lactulose may be given for toxins absorption.
    • Severe liver cirrhosis people may need to have a liver transplant.

Foods to avoid with liver cirrhosis:

Foods to avoid with cirrhosis are:

  • Alcohol is a key cause of fatty liver diseases and other liver diseases. So, alcohol intake should be avoided.
  • Added sugar foods such as sodas, cookies, candy, fruit juices, increase high blood sugar that in turn increases the fat buildup in the liver.
  • Fried foods contain a high amount of calories and fat which have to be avoided
  • Red meats are high in saturated fat which is not healthy for the liver
  • Intake of excess salt makes your body retain excess water. It is advised to consume sodium less than 1500 mg per day
  • Instant oatmeal or hot cereal, refined white flour bread, pasta, and white rice
  • Full-fat dairy products, Cheese slices, and spreads
  • Frozen meals and snacks, buttermilk

What are the home remedies for liver cirrhosis?

  • Apple cider vinegar aids in promoting fat metabolism. It also works as an excellent cleaning agent for the liver. Drink the concoction of a cup of water with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and one tablespoon of honey to see the best results.
  • Milk thistle contains silymarin which is active anti-oxidants to decrease the damage of liver cells caused by liver cirrhosis. Crush a small amount of milk thistle seeds and boil them in clean water until the milk thistle essence is extracted into the water. Once it has come down to hand-hot, drink this extraction to keep your liver healthy and prevent it from further damage.
  • Spinach is an abundant source of irons. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene. Wash two carrots and a considerable amount of spinach leaves. Grind them into a fine paste. Strain them until the juice collects and drink it to attain relief from the cirrhosis symptoms.
  • Consume two tablespoons of papaya juice regularly by adding two spoons of lemon juice. Take it 3-4 times a day to see the improvement.

Popular Questions & Answers

I got my lft test done to which my serum bilirubin is 0.24, sgot is 174.9 and sgpt is 162.2. I’m having udiliv 300 mg. Is it a chronic disease?

DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Vadodara
It looks like you are having hepatitis. It can be alcoholic or non alcoholic steatohepatitis or viral hepatitis. Get yourself investigated by gastroenterologist. Udiliv doesn't help much in this case.

Itching and black patches only right hand. At first it was smaller in area. But day by day it spreads all over hand. I I use cetaphil moisturizing lotion. It reduces dryness but not itching. Pls help.

D.D.V.L, F.A.C.S.I, M.B.B.S
Dermatologist, Delhi
Triggers of skin itch are specific to each person. Causes of itchy skin include either of following- internal diseases-iron deficiency anemia, kidney, liver,nerve, thyroid problem, diabetes, pregnancy, stress,irritation, worm infection and allergi...

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