What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a degenerative disease of the liver, where the scar tissue replaces healthier liver tissue, resulting in malfunctioning of the liver. Cirrhosis is caused by excess alcohol consumption, hepatitis and fatty liver.

Is Cirrhosis a complicated disease?

Cirrhosis is a serious problem. The liver is an important organ of the body. It has many functions, like breaking down fat, producing bile, storing glucose and nutrients, and producing protein. The malfunction of the liver results in complications like decreased blood flow in circulation. The spleen thickens leading to hypersplenism, and the platelet count gets reduced. It also results in hypertension as well.

How many types of Cirrhosis are there?

There are 12 types of Cirrhosis depending on the underlying cause. They are alcoholic liver disease, non alcoholic disease, chronic hepatitis C, chronic hepatitis B, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, hereditary haemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, cardiac cirrhosis, lipase deficiency and cystic fibrosis.

What characterizes Cirrhosis?

There are 15 types of symptoms. They are lesions on the artery, palm mottling, nail changes, osteo pain in the bones, deformity in the fingers, male breast disease, hypogonadism, shrunk or enlarged liver, increase in spleen size, water in peritoneal cavity, dilated veins, hypertension, bad breath and jaundice.

Whom should I consult if I have a Cirrhosis infection?

For Cirrhosis infection, one should consult a General Practitioner , Haematologist or Gastroenterologist.

Can I get cured of Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is not curable. The whole disease cannot be removed and the progression can be prevented through treatment. In advanced stages of Cirrhosis, liver transplant is the only solution.

Is Cirrhosis infectious?

Cirrhosis is not infectious. It cannot be spread through physical contact from person to person.

Will I have to live with Cirrhosis always?

Yes, Cirrhosis affects one permanently. Cirrhosis will affect you permanently as it causes jaundice, cerebral damage, hypertension, pain in the abdomen, renal failure and breathlessness. It can also be fatal. Abstaining from alcohol, regular exercise and a balanced diet will help prevent Cirrhosis.

How is Cirrhosis diagnosed?

Due to the seriousness of the disease, numerous tests are performed to confirm the diagnosis of Cirrhosis, to determine the underlying cause, determine the severity, and monitor for complications constantly.

Liver biopsy — the best way to confirm the diagnosis of Cirrhosis is a liver biopsy. This procedure involves removing a small piece of the liver so it can be microscopically examined for damage or disease signs. Liver Biopsy is of three main types. They are, percutaneous, transvenous, and laparoscopic.

Imaging tests — imaging tests, such as ultrasound, may be recommended to evaluate the condition of the liver or determine if there are Cirrhosis-related complications. However, imaging tests are not usually performed to diagnose Cirrhosis.

Blood tests — blood tests may be performed to help determine the underlying cause of Cirrhosis and to monitor the liver function over time.

What are the preventive and remedial measures for Cirrhosis?

Vaccination — people can be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. Pneumococcal vaccine and yearly influenza vaccine are also recommended.

Consider liver transplantation — not all patients with Cirrhosis will require a liver transplantation, and many are not eligible for one.

Dietary advice — people with advanced Cirrhosis may require a specialized diet that includes lower amounts of salt. Salt restriction is usually recommended for people with early stages of Cirrhosis who tend to accumulate fluid. Protein restriction is usually not necessary.

Exercise — Exercise is generally safe for people without advanced-stage Cirrhosis.

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