Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease in which the healthy liver tissues get replaced with the scar tissues, eventually preventing the liver from functioning properly. This formation of scar tissues blocks the flow of blood through the liver thereby adversely affecting the function of nutrients, hormones, drugs and naturally produced toxins processes. The scar tissues also slow down the production of proteins and other substances made by the liver. It is important to note here that according to the National Institute of Health, cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease.
What causes cirrhosis?
There are different causes that are directly or indirectly responsible for cirrhosis. Hepatitis C, fatty liver and alcohol abuse, for instance, are the most common causes of cirrhosis, but anything that damages liver can also cause the same. Following are the few most common factors leading to the liver condition:
- Fatty liver associated with obesity and diabetes
- Chronic viral infections such as hepatitis B, C, and D can also lead to cirrhosis of liver
- In adults, the bile duct may get inflamed, blocked and scarred due to another liver disease. This might as well lead to primary biliary cirrhosis.
- Repeated myocardial infarctions (heart attacks)
- Inherited diseases such as Cystic fibrosis, glycogen storage disease, antitrypsin deficiency.
- Abnormal liver functions
Although it is less likely to occur yet at times the causes of cirrhosis might also include the reactions from a prescription drug. Most people who are addicted to drinking large amounts of alcohol are at high risk of getting cirrhosis. People who have hepatitis B or hepatitis C are more likely to suffer from liver damage because of alcohol.
Treatment of Liver Cirrhosis
The treatments for liver cirrhosis in India are always determined in accordance to the cause of the same and the extent of liver damage that it has caused. The treatment of liver cirrhosis aims to slow down the process of progression of the scar tissues in the liver and to prevent the complications from escalating that lead to the situation. In many cases, hospitalization is necessary when the patient is suffering from acute liver damage.
The treatment for cirrhosis is always commenced with addressing the underlying causes of the disease. If diagnosed early it may be possible for the specialist to minimize the damage caused. Treatment for cirrhosis includes options such as:
- Treatment for alcohol dependency: For people with cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse, it is very important to stop their drinking with immediate effect. The doctor might as well recommend a treatment program for the patient to get rid of alcohol
- Weight Loss: People who suffer from cirrhosis caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease need to lose their weight to control their blood sugar levels efficiently.
- Medications to control hepatitis: Proper medication can effectively control the damage caused to the liver cells by hepatitis B or C.
- Medications to control other symptoms: Effective medication for the treatment of liver cirrhosis has been observed to reap positive results on cirrhosis patients. These medications slow down the progression of certain types of liver cirrhosis and also relieves the patient from symptoms such as itching, fatigue, and pain.
There are other medications as well but one of the most successful ways to treat liver damage is by herbal-mineral formulation.