Cirrhosis Treatments

Cirrhosis causes and treatments


Cirrhosis is generally understood as the scarring of the liver, and is most often caused by the long term overconsumption of alcohol.  Alcohol consumption is not the only way that people develop cirrhosis of the liver.  Cirrhosis is also caused by hepatitis B and C, and can even be caused by overconsumption of fatty foods and obesity.  This last cause used to be nearly unheard of, but the more obesity is becoming a part of the American health landscape, the more fatty liver disease is becoming a problem.  It's also possible for cirrhosis of the liver to occur due to cystic fibrosis, or primary biliary cirrhosis.  In fact, doctors don't know the cause of the illness in up to 20% of those who suffer from cirrhosis.

It may be difficult for people to tell when they first start to suffer from cirrhosis of the liver, but there are certain signs of liver damage that they can watch out for.  One of the most obvious is jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.  People may also find that they feel itchy, or that their skin bruises more easily than it should.  They may also feel tired all the time, or notice that fluid has collected in their midsection or that their legs have become swollen.  These are just some of the possible cirrhosis symptoms that may be exhibited, often once the cirrhosis has developed for awhile.  Cirrhosis can be a serious, and even deadly ailment, and if these symptoms are apparent in a person then they need to visit their doctor.

There are several tests that a person may need to undergo in order for a doctor to diagnose them with cirrhosis of the liver.  One of these is a simple blood test wherein their blood sample is tested for enzymes that suggest liver damage.  Imaging tests help doctors to see the liver, and possible liver damage.  By far the most conclusive test is a liver biopsy, which necessitates that a doctor go in and remove a tiny piece of liver tissue for testing.  The treatments that follow are in part to control the ailment or condition that caused cirrhosis in the first place, while other treatments may be prescribed to avoid the side effects that are often part of cirrhosis of the liver.  In extreme cases, a person may require a liver transplant, which means that they would receive a healthy liver from a deceased organ donor.

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