Cirrhosis and Liver Health
Are You Aware that Liver Cirrhosis Ranks as
Twelfth Leading Cause of Death by Disease at the global death scale!!
Each Year approximately 27,000 deaths occur due to this ailment. Liver Cirrhosis has been found more common to occur in men than in women.
The Liver is an important organ of human body and has been associated with multiple functions including biochemical regulation, detoxification, and metabolism. A healthy liver is involved in controlling infections by removing the bacteria and toxins from the blood; processing of nutrients, hormones, and drugs; blood clot protein processing; production of bile pigment etc. Liver repair is done by Hepatocytes (liver cells) as they have the self-regenerative capacity and in an event of damage, can replace the damaged cells.
Liver Cirrhosis is a chronic degenerative condition of the liver organ that may result from multiple factors. In this condition, the liver cells slowly decay due to the chronic injury, and the hepatocytes are replaced with scar tissues. This scar tissue is the aggregate of dead liver cells that are non-functional and block the blood flow through the liver, thereby impairing the functionality of the liver and causing portal hypertension. End-stage Cirrhosis is characterized by incapacitation of liver cells to regenerate new cells and replace the damaged cells.
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis include multiple factors that may bring about this ailment of liver. Most common reasons that lead to the happening of liver cirrhosis include excessive alcohol, hepatitis infection, fatty liver etc. Generally it has been observed that in majority of cases, multiple factors contribute to cause Liver damage. Liver cirrhosis is a progressive disorder that takes years to happen before coming into notice.
- Obesity and Liver Cirrhosis: Excessive body weight is harmful for multiple organs including liver. Obesity is a lifestyle disorder that is turning into a common cause of liver cirrhosis that can either solely or in combination with other physiological conditions like alcoholism, hepatitis cause damage to the liver.
- Alcoholism and Liver Cirrhosis: Just as excess of everything is bad, excessive take of alcohol is injurious to liver health. Heavy drinking over the years can cause chronic injury to the liver. We cannot fixate a safe range of drinking alcohol but a sober drinking can be accounted safe. It has been observed that alcohol-related cirrhosis has caused more liver deaths than any other cause.
- Hepatitis and Liver Cirrhosis: Viral hepatitis causes liver damage. Hepatitis B, C, D have been associated with Liver Cirrhosis. In case of hepatitis C virus, the transmission occurs via blood exchange while in case of hepatitis B and D, the viral infection occurs from the exchange of infected person’s blood, semen, or other body fluids. Chronic liver damage occurs over the time as the liver experiences inflammation and cellular damage by the virus.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): in this case, fat accumulation occurs in liver, leading to cirrhosis over the time. This condition has overlapping characteristics to that liver cirrhosis that occurs due to obesity and diabetes. It is also associated with protein malnutrition, coronary artery disease, and corticosteroid medications.
- Autoimmune hepatitis: In some cases, due to some genetic defects, the immune cells of the body turn against our body and attach the liver cells causing inflammation of the liver. The damage occurs progressively causing liver cirrhosis.
- Other Diseases and Liver Cirrhosis: Certain diseases that damage bile ducts or interfere with liver functioning like alagille syndrome or biliary atresia Cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, galactosemia etc. causing liver cirrhosis to occur.
- Drugs, toxins, infections and Liver Cirrhosis: liver cirrhosis can also occur due to drug reactions, prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, parasitic infections, and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion.
Symptoms of liver cirrhosis may not appear at the initial stages but tend to appear at the later stages as the disease progresses. These may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy (fatigue)
- Nausea, vomiting
- Weight loss or sudden weight gain
- Yellowing of skin or the whites of eyes
- Itchy skin
- Fluid retention (edema) and swelling in the ankles, legs, and abdomen (often an early sign)
- abdominal pain and bloating
- spiderlike blood vessels on the skin
- A brownish or orange tint to the urine
- Light colored stool
- Confusion, disorientation, personality changes
- Blood in the stool
Complications of Liver Cirrhosis tend to originate as the liver function deteriorates. These are often regarded as the initial signs of the disease. These may include:
- Edema and ascites: Fluid retention in legs is called as edema, while in abdomen, it is called as ascites. Serious bacterial infection can occur in fluid retained body parts.
- Bruising and bleeding: Due to the loss of blood clotting proteins in the event of liver cirrhosis, the patient is subjected to easy bruising and bleeding.
- Portal hypertension: The Blood from the intestines and spleen enters the circulation via liver through the portal vein. Due to cirrhosis, the blood flow is hindered which results in the increased blood pressure in the portal vein. This condition is called portal hypertension.
- Esophageal varices and gastropathy: Enlarged blood vessels appear in esophagus when portal hypertension occurs. This condition is known as varices. In case they appear in stomach, it is known as gastropathy. These are fragile because of the thin walls with high pressure inside, and tend to burst, causing serious bleeding in the esophagus or upper stomach.
- Splenomegaly: Portal hypertension can cause the spleen to get enlarged and retain blood cells (Red and white) & platelets, thereby decreasing the cell and platelet count in circulating blood.
- Jaundice: due to impaired conditions of the liver, bilirubin from the blood is not removed and thus turn skin and eye whites to yellow.
- Sensitivity to medications: impaired liver has reduced ability to filter medications from the blood resulting in build-up in the body and causing medication sensitivity.
- Hepatic encephalopathy: Failing liver has diminished toxins removal ability from blood, increased buildup eventually cause accumulation in the brain resulting in hepatic encephalopathy. This may cause coma, reduced mental abilities, confusion, personality changes etc
- Liver cancer: Hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer may result as a progressive stage of liver cirrhosis. It has a high mortality rate.
Diagnosis of Liver Cirrhosis is often based on the presence of associated risk factors. The confirmation is usually made by physical examination, blood tests, and medical imaging.
Ayurveda and Liver Cirrhosis: Ayurveda calls liver as Yakrit that is predominated with Pitta. Majority of liver ailments occur due to aggravated Pitta. In an event of high pitta, the excessive production of bile pigments or blockage of the bile flow is observed. This affects the agni constitution in the Digestive system, thus affecting nutrient absorption and the metabolism.
According to Ayurveda, cirrhosis of the liver is described as
“|| Kaalantarath khareebhutah kruchrasyaat khumba kamala ||”
This shaloka describes that in an instance of neglected or untreated stage of jaundice or hepatitis, chronic condition may occur, causing liver to turn dry or rough (kharathva or rookshatva). Also If delay is made in the treatment, permanent functionality may occur if not attended immediately.
At ND Care Nirogam Pvt Ltd, we provide a completely natural and highly effective treatment for Liver Cirrhosis. Our Natural cirrhosis treatment involves Shodana chikitsa (detoxification treatment), Shamana chikitsa (Palliative researched Ayurvedic medicines) and Kayakalpa (rejuvenation). Our treatment is useful in improving the liver health and preventing further damage.
Home Remedies and Liver Cirrhosis:
- Quit drinking alcoholic beverages completely. The abstinence from alcohol halts the liver damage induced due to alcoholism.
- Milk Thistle: it is an herb that helps in protecting liver from further damage.
- Papaya seeds: it helps in detoxification of the liver.
- Turmeric: drinking milk with turmeric provides powerful antioxidants that help in the repair of liver damage.
- Ginger has powerful antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects that help in protecting the liver.
- Green tea that has beneficial polyphenols with antioxidant and metabolic properties, is helpful in liver protection.