Health Program

 Liver Cirrhosis

Definition


Cirrhosis of the liver is when scar tissue in the liver replaces the healthy tissue of the liver. This blocks the flow of blood and prevents the organ from functioning correctly.


Causes


  • Excess alcohol use

  • Chronic Viral Hepatitis (Hepatitis B and C)

  • Chronic blockage of the bile ducts

  • Drugs and other toxins

  • Wilson’s disease (when abnormal amounts of copper and iron accumulate in the blood)

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Alpha I- antitrypsin deficiency


Risk Factors


  • Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption

  • Having hepatitis C, Hepatitis C, or HIV

  • Family members that have the disease


Risk Groups


  • African American men


Symptoms


Symptoms of Cirrhosis don’t show up in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms only begin to show when the scar tissue causes liver failure. Symptoms of this are:


  • Exhaustion

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Weakness

  • Weight loss

  • Abdominal pain

  • Spider-like blood veins under the skin


Treatment


For hepatitis C related cirrhosis the natural proteins Regulated interferon and ribavirin are used. For the hepatitis B related cirrhosis immunomodulators are used which are a synthetic version of a peptide derived from the thymus gland. For the alcohol related cirrhosis the patient must stop drinking. The last result for these patients is a liver transplant.


Prevention


To prevent Liver Cirrhosis do the following things:


  • Don’t’ drink heavily

  • Don’t share needles to reduce the transmission of hepatitis

  • Follow a healthy diet and exercise

  • Don’t smoke

  • Don’t use anabolic steroids

  • Make sure to have regular check-ups if it runs in the family

  • Don’t expose yourself to drinking water that is contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic

  • Birth control pills have the ability to form a benign tumor called hepatic adenomas

  • have good hygiene

  • keep current on hepatitis vaccinations


Statistics


  • 12th leading cause of death by disease

  • This disease kills 26,000 people each year


Source: Digestive