Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis
Cirrhosis, also known as hepatic fibrosis, is a condition of the liver that causes irreversible scarring and deterioration. The scarring from cirrhosis affects the blood flow in the liver, reducing its ability to function.

Cirrhosis Treatment Ogden UT | Salt Lake City UTThe liver plays an important role in many bodily functions, including:

  • Producing clotting proteins
  • Removing toxic substances from the body
  • Fighting infection
  • Aiding in the digestion of food
  • Storing energy

The importance of these processes makes cirrhosis one of the leading causes of death by disease in the United States.

Causes of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis often develops as a complication of chronic liver disease or other causes such as:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Medication
  • Viruses
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Disorders of the bile duct
  • Family history

Symptoms of Cirrhosis

Many people are not aware of the damage that cirrhosis is causing, as they do not experience symptoms during early stages of the disease. As the amount of scar tissue increases and liver function is affected, patients may experience early stage symptoms that may include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Spider angiomas on the skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Nosebleeds

As liver disease advances, symptoms of later-stage cirrhosis may include the following:

  • Jaundice
  • Edema
  • Itchiness
  • Reddened palms
  • Increased ability to bruise
  • Confusion
  • Kidney failure
  • Development of gallstones
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Growth of breast tissue in men
  • Stools that are clay-colored or pale

Diagnosis of Cirrhosis

Early stages of cirrhosis do not often cause symptoms and the disease may be detected during a routine medical examination, simply by pressing on the abdomen and detecting an enlarged spleen. If cirrhosis is suspected, a series of diagnostic tests may be performed that include the following:

  • Liver function test
  • Complete blood count
  • Digital imaging tests
  • Endoscopy
  • Liver biopsy

Treatment of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis Treatment Ogden UT | Salt Lake City UTTreatment for cirrhosis focuses on preventing further damage, since existing damage cannot be repaired or cured. Methods of treatment for cirrhosis depend on the cause of the condition, but may include the following:

  • Abstaining from alcohol
  • Counseling
  • Medication
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

It is also important to manage any complications that may have developed as a result of cirrhosis, such as enlarged veins, fluid retention, jaundice, osteoporosis or even cancer.

Prevention of Cirrhosis

Reduce the risk of developing cirrhosis, especially if there is evidence of liver disease, by some of the following:

  • Abstaining from using alcohol
  • Protecting against infections by getting vaccinated for diseases such as hepatitis, the flu and pneumonia
  • Practice weight control
  • Abstain from illegal drug use
  • Avoid eating uncooked shellfish

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Ogden Gastro
4403 Harrison Blvd , #4410
Ogden UT 84403
801.387.2550

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4403 Harrison Blvd. Suite 4410, Ogden, UT 84403 801.387.2550