Common health issue

What is Cirrhosis? Symptoms, Causes, Complications, and Prevention.

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring of the liver affected by several forms of liver diseases and situations, including hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. Each time your liver is affected, whether by disease, severe alcohol consumption, or another cause. In this process, scar tissue develops. As cirrhosis progresses, severe scar tissue builds, making it difficult for the liver to function (decompensated cirrhosis). However, modern cirrhosis is life-threatening.

The liver harm is done by cirrhosis normally can’t be undone. But if liver cirrhosis is treated early and the cause is cured, further harm can be limited and, rarely, reversed.

What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis often has no symptoms until liver harm is extensive. When symptoms do occur, they may include:-

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles (edema)
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes
  • Fluid collection in your abdomen
  • Spider-like blood vessel on your skin
  • Redness issue in the palms of the hands
  • For women, absent or drop of periods not related to menopause
  • For men, dropping of sex drive, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), or testicular atrophy
  • Hesitation, drowsiness, and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)

Causes

A broad range of diseases and situations can harm the liver and lead to cirrhosis. However, some of the causes may include:-

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • Chronic viral hepatitis
  • Fat collecting in the liver
  • Iron increase in the body
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Copper collected in the liver
  • Weak formed bile ducts
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Inherited problems of sugar metabolism
  • Genetic digestive problem
  • The liver issue caused by your body’s immune system (autoimmune hepatitis)
  • Demolition of the bile ducts
  • Hardening and scarring of the bile ducts
  • Some infections, like syphilis or brucellosis
  • Medications, including methotrexate or isoniazid

Risk factors

  • Drinking severe alcohol: Too much consumption is a risk factor for cirrhosis.
  • Being overweight: Being obese raises your risk of situations that may lead to cirrhosis, like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Having viral hepatitis: Not everyone with chronic hepatitis will build cirrhosis, but it’s one of the world’s major causes of liver disease.

Complications

However, some complications of cirrhosis may include:-

  • High blood pressure in the vein that gives the liver (portal hypertension): Cirrhosis decelerates the normal flow of blood through the liver, thus raising the pressure in the vein that brings blood to the liver from the intestines and spleen.
  • Swelling in the legs and abdomen: However, the raised pressure in the portal vein can cause fluid to collect in the legs (edema) and the abdomen (ascites). Edema and ascites also may outcome from the inability to make enough of certain blood proteins, like albumin.
  • Enlargement of the skin: Portal hypertension can also origin swelling of the spleen and catching of white blood cells and platelets. Decreasing the number of white blood cells and platelets in your blood can be the first symptom of cirrhosis.
  • Bleeding: Portal hypertension can origin blood to be redirected to smaller veins. Pinched by the extra pressure, these smaller veins burst, causing sensitive bleeding. However, this hypertension may origin enlarged veins (varices) in the esophagus (esophageal varices) or the stomach (gastric varices) and guide to life-threatening bleeding. However, if the liver can not build enough clotting factors, this also can give to continued bleeding.
  • Infections: However, if you have cirrhosis, your body may have strain-fighting infections. Ascites may guide to bacterial peritonitis, a sensitive infection.
  • Malnutrition: Cirrhosis can build severe trouble for your body to process nutrients, guiding to weakness and weight loss.
  • Jaundice: However, it may occur when the diseased liver doesn’t stop enough bilirubin, a blood waste product, from your blood. However, it may cause yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and darkening of urine.
  • Bone disease: Some people who have cirrhosis lose bone strength and are at higher risk of fractures.
  • Raised risk of liver cancer: A high proportion of people who build liver cancer have pre-existing cirrhosis.

Prevention

Decrease your risk of cirrhosis by taking these steps to care for your liver:-

  • Do not drink alcoholic products if you have cirrhosis: However, if you have liver issues, you should ignore alcoholic products.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Select a plant-based diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains and lean sources of protein. Decrease the amount of fatty and properly cooked foods you eat.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: A severe amount of body fat can harm your liver. Talk to your health consultant about a weight-loss plan if you are obese or overweight.
  • Decrease your risk of hepatitis: Sharing injections and having unprotected sex can raise your risk of hepatitis B and C. Ask your health consultant about hepatitis vaccinations.

Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by anup