Cirrhosis

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Overview

Cirrhosis is defined as the histological development of regenerative nodules surrounded by fibrous bands in response to chronic liver injury, that leads to portal hypertension and end stage liver disease. Recent advances in the understanding of the natural history and pathophysiology of cirrhosis, and in treatment of its complications, resulting in improved management, quality of life and life expectancy of cirrhotic patients. At present, liver transplantation remains the only curative option for a selected group of patients, but pharmacological therapies that can halt progression to decompensated cirrhosis or even reverse cirrhosis are currently being developed. This concise overview focuses on diagnosis, complications and management of cirrhosis, and novel clinical and scientific developments.


Symptoms

Fatigue.

Easily bleeding or bruising.

Loss of appetite.

Nausea.

Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles (edema)

Weight loss.

Itchy skin.

Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Causes

Chronic alcohol abuse.

Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, C and D)

Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)

Iron buildup in the body (hemochromatosis)

Cystic fibrosis.

Copper accumulated in the liver (Wilson's disease)

Poorly formed bile ducts (biliary atresia)

Risk factors

There are a variety of risk factors and diseases that cause chronic liver disease (CLD). The three commonest risk factors for CLD are excessive alcohol consumption; blood borne viruses, in particular Hepatitis B and C, and obesity.

Chronic alcohol abuse.
Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B, C and D)
Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
Iron buildup in the body (hemochromatosis)
Cystic fibrosis.
Copper accumulated in the liver (Wilson's disease)
Poorly formed bile ducts (biliary atresia)

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Complications

High blood pressure in the veins that supply the liver (portal hypertension). ...

Swelling in the legs and abdomen. ...

Enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly). ...

Bleeding. ...

Infections. ...

Malnutrition. ...

Buildup of toxins in the brain (hepatic encephalopathy). ...

Jaundice.

Prevention

To prevent liver disease: Drink alcohol in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Heavy or high-risk drinking is defined as more than eight drinks a week for women and more than 15 drinks a week for men.

Stop drinking alcohol. Treat chronic hepatitis (if you have it). Avoid medications that stress the liver. Eat a healthy, well-balanced, low-fat diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.