The liver is an important internal organ of the body. It is located in the upper right side of abdomen and below the ribs. Following are the essential functions performed by it:
Liver cirrhosis can be described as severe scarring of liver tissue mainly observed at the final stages of chronic liver diseases. It is a leading cause of death in American countries and worldwide.
According to a research, it is more likely to affect men as compared to women.
Cirrhosis is a progressive disease i.e. it develops slowly over the course of many years. Continuous damage over a long period leads to this condition.
Cirrhosis is the late stage scarring of the liver. It occurs in response to liver damage as our liver has an ability to repair itself after damage.
Certain diseases and conditions injure and kill the healthy liver cells. The inflammation and healing process causes scar tissue formation. The living cells multiply in number to replace dying cells and maintain proper functioning. As the cirrhosis advances, more scar tissue is formed. Ultimately, the functioning of the liver is affected.
The buildup of scarring tissue leads to liver dysfunction and failure. The severity of condition increases with increase in scarred tissue. As the healthy liver tissue is replaced by fibrous scar tissue, clusters of new cells are formed which look like lumps. These lump-like structures are called as regenerative nodules.
Cirrhosis is mainly caused due to long-term exposure to various toxins like alcohol. Virus infection can be another reason for scarring.
In cirrhosis, the scar tissue slowly replaces healthy liver cells. The main reported causes are:
The liver can repair itself in case of mild cirrhosis and continue to function properly. However, if the damage is severe, the repair can’t be done.
However, there might be other possibilities.
People suffering from cirrhosis may also develop jaundice and other complications like fatigue and itching. The damage caused by cirrhosis can’t be reversed. However, early diagnosis and cause can be treated and further damaged can be stopped. The damage is never reversed but can be limited.
Following are some quick facts about cirrhosis:
The liver may get injured by a single short-term injury or by a regular injury for a long term. The liver may respond to each injury differently. The liver starts producing strands of scar tissue that surrounds nodules of healing cells.
The loss and dying of liver cells affect the normal functioning of the liver which can create various problems. Some of these can be severe and life-threatening.
Some of the problems are as follows:
The regenerative nodules caused due to the repairing of scar tissues can compress the veins within the liver. This causes a rise in blood pressure within the liver. The condition is called as portal hypertension.
This stops the blood flow in the intestines and other abdominal organs. Ultimately, portal hypertension causes bleeding in intestines and accumulation of fluid in the body. High blood pressure occurs in almost all the liver cirrhosis patients.
Sometimes, portal hypertension causes blood to flow in the veins of the stomach and other abdominal organs. As a result, veins enlarge and form varicose veins. A common symptom of gastrointestinal bleeding is blood in vomiting.
Cirrhosis makes the person susceptible to many other infections. This is because the injured liver cannot form proteins which are required to fight off any infection.
Portal hypertension is related to several other complications. High blood pressure in the blood vessels of the liver, forcing the fluid to sip out of them. As a result, fluid is pooled in the abdominal cavity.
In some cases, several liters of fluid is retained in the abdomen that causes pain and swelling. Sometimes, the excess of fluid collects in lungs and legs too. Hence, the person may also face difficulty in breathing.
Due to fluid retention in the body and some other unknown reasons, liver failure sometimes leads to malfunctioning of kidneys too. The kidneys try to retain and hold more and more water in them. This results in abnormal functioning of kidneys. Often this condition is a slow process but can cause chronic kidney disease.
One of the main functions of the liver is to get rid of unwanted toxins from the body. Hepatic encephalopathy is a condition caused due to over buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. This is due to the fact that scarred liver is unable to get rid of it. These toxins can cause a patient to behave abnormally.
The patient may lose his/her capability to take care of self and others. Sometimes people can get very sleepy and don't wake up that easily.
Cirrhosis Diagnosis The normal functioning of liver is. . . .
Prevention of cirrhosis Cirrhosis is the final stage of prolonged liver. . . .
Causes of Liver Failure: What Causes Liver Cirrhosis? Cirrhosis, a chronic. . . .
Cirrhosis Complications The normal functioning of your liver. . . .
Cirrhosis Treatment There is no treatment for cirrhosis and. . . .
Liver Cirrhosis Symptoms and Signs The main function of liver. . . .