Cirrhosis is a chronic degenerative disease in which normal liver cells are damaged and are then replaced by scar tissue. Cirrhosis changes the structure of the liver and the blood vessels that nourish it. The disease reduces the liver's ability to manufacture proteins and process hormones, nutrients, medications, and poisons. Cirrhosis gets worse over time and can become potentially life threatening. This disease can cause: excessive bleeding (hemorrhage), impotence, liver cancer, coma due to accumulated ammonia and body wastes (liver failure), sepsis (blood poisoning), and Death.
Cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of disease-related death in the United States. It is the third most common cause of death in adults between the ages of 45 and 65. It is twice as common in men as in women. The disease occurs in more than half of all malnourished chronic alcoholics, and kills about 25,000 people a year
Long-term alcoholism is the primary cause of cirrhosis in the United States. Men and women respond differently to alcohol. Although most men can safely consume two to five drinks a day, one or two drinks a day can cause liver damage in women. Individual tolerance to alcohol varies, but people who drink more and drink more often have a higher risk of developing cirrhosis. In some people, one drink a day can cause liver scarring.
Obesity has recently been recognized as a risk factor in nonalcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Some surgeons are recommending as of 2003 that patients scheduled for weight-reduction surgery have a liver biopsy to evaluate the possibility of liver damage.
Poor nutrition increases a person's risk of developing cirrhosis. In about 10 out of every 100 patients, the cause of cirrhosis cannot be determined. Many people who have cirrhosis do not have any symptoms (often called compensated cirrhosis). Their disease is detected during a routine physical or when tests for an unrelated medical problem are performed. This type of cirrhosis can also be detected when complications occur.
Symptoms of cirrhosis are usually caused by the loss of functioning liver cells or organ swelling due to scarring. The liver enlarges during the early stages of illness. The palms of the hands turn red and patients may experience: constipation, diarrhea, dull abdominal pain, fatigue, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss.
As the disease progresses, the spleen enlarges and fluid collects in the abdomen (ascites)
Summary: The symptoms, treatment and prevention of cirrhosis of the liver. These disease occurs when scar tissue replaces normal liver tissues, restricted the flow of blood to the liver.
In the early stages of this disease it is hard to see any symptoms but as the disease progresses then the symptoms become more prominent. Some symptoms include exhaustion, fatigue, a loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain and spider-like blood vessels. If the disease is left untreated there will be more and more complications becoming more prevalent. Complications that may be caused...
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