Cirrhosis is a complication of many liver diseases that is characterized by abnormal structure and function of the liver. The diseases that lead to cirrhosis do so because they injure and kill liver cells and the inflammation and repair that is associated with the dying liver cells causes scar tissue to form. The liver cells that do not die multiply in an attempt to replace the cells that have died. This results in clusters of newly-formed liver cells (regenerative nodules) within the scar tissue. There are many causes of cirrhosis; they include chemicals (such as alcohol, fat, and certain medications), viruses, toxic metals (such as iron and copper that accumulate in the liver as a result of genetic diseases), and autoimmune liver disease in which the body's immune system attacks the liver
Cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Easily bleeding or bruising
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles (edema)
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Fluid accumulation in your abdomen (ascites)
- Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin
- Redness in the palms of the hands
- For women, absent or loss of periods not related to menopause
- For men, loss of sex drive, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) or testicular atrophy
- Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)
A wide range of diseases and conditions can damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis.
Some of the causes include:
- 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)
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Inherited disorders of sugar metabolism (galactosemia or glycogen storage disease)
- Genetic digestive disorder (Alagille syndrome)
- Liver disease caused by your body's immune system (autoimmune hepatitis)
- Destruction of the bile ducts (primary biliary cirrhosis)
- Hardening and scarring of the bile ducts (primary sclerosing cholangitis
- Infection, such as syphilis or brucellosis
- Medications, including methotrexate or isoniazid
- Drinking too much alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cirrhosis.
- Being overweight. Being obese increases your risk of conditions that may lead to cirrhosis, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
- Having viral hepatitis. Not everyone with chronic hepatitis will develop cirrhosis, but it's one of the world's leading causes of liver disease.
Complications of cirrhosis can include:
- High blood pressure in the veins that supply the liver (portal hypertension). Cirrhosis slows the normal flow of blood through the liver, thus increasing pressure in the vein that brings blood to the liver from the intestines and spleen.
- Swelling in the legs and abdomen. The increased pressure in the portal vein can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs (edema) and in the abdomen (ascites). Edema and ascites also may result from the inability of the liver to make enough of certain blood proteins, such as albumin.
- Enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly). Portal hypertension can also cause changes to and swelling of the spleen, and trapping of white blood cells and platelets. Decreased white blood cells and platelets in your blood can be the first sign of cirrhosis.
- Bleeding. Portal hypertension can cause blood to be redirected to smaller veins. Strained by the extra pressure, these smaller veins can burst, causing serious bleeding. Portal hypertension may cause enlarged veins (varices) in the esophagus (esophageal varices) or the stomach (gastric varices) and lead to life-threatening bleeding. If the liver can't make enough clotting factors, this also can contribute to continued bleeding.
- Infections. If you have cirrhosis, your body may have difficulty fighting infections. Ascites can lead to bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection.
- Malnutrition. Cirrhosis may make it more difficult for your body to process nutrients, leading to weakness and weight loss.
- Buildup of toxins in the brain (hepatic encephalopathy). A liver damaged by cirrhosis isn't able to clear toxins from the blood as well as a healthy liver can. These toxins can then build up in the brain and cause mental confusion and difficulty concentrating. With time, hepatic encephalopathy can progress to unresponsiveness or coma.
- Jaundice. Jaundice occurs when the diseased liver doesn't remove enough bilirubin, a blood waste product, from your blood. Jaundice causes yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and darkening of urine.
- Bone disease. Some people with cirrhosis lose bone strength and are at greater risk of fractures.
- Increased risk of liver cancer. A large proportion of people who develop liver cancer have pre-existing cirrhosis.
- Acute-on-chronic cirrhosis. Some people end up experiencing multiorgan failure. Researchers now believe this is a distinct complication in some people who have cirrhosis, but they don't fully understand its causes.
Reduce your risk of cirrhosis by taking these steps to care for your liver:
- Do not drink alcohol if you have cirrhosis.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce the risk of hepatitis. Sharing needles and having unprotected sex can increase your risk of hepatitis B and C. Ask your doctor about hepatitis vaccination
Very useful medicine for Cirrhosis of Liver when patient having jaundice.Useful when there is dropsical accumulation of water in abdomen.Useful when patient experience Liver pain and sensitiveness are experience This medicine is also beneficial for patients who feel fatigued or tired and have bouts of nausea and vomiting due to Liver Cirrhosis. Abuse of alcoholic drinks is usually found among persons needing remedy Cardus Marianus.
Most recommended medicine for Cirrhosis of Liver when the liver has atrophied due to longstanding Cirrhosis. There is sensitiveness of liver region.Useful for Hepatitis.Very useful for dropsical conditions consequent with Liver Cirrhosis .Recommended for patient having loss of appetite when eating a small quantity of food brings satisfaction.There is feeling of fullness in abdomen from eating a small quantity of food.
Useful for Liver Cirrhosis when there is fatiguness with constant loss of weight due to debilitating effects of Cirrhosis of Liver.Useful for nausea and vomiting of blood with burning in abdomen.There is pain in liver region with accumulation of fluid in abdomen.
Useful for Liver Cirrhosis when there is histoy of long-term alcoholic abuse. Such patients usually also have been sufferers of chronic acidity and constipation. The acidity symptoms including heaviness in abdomen and burning in abdomen a few hours after meals. The constipation is marked by scanty, insufficient stool or poop but with a constant urge to pass stool. Nux Vomica can help to decrease soreness or pain in liver region. The pain may present itself as stitching in character. The patients needing remedy Nux Vomica usually have an inclination to take highly spicy diet, stimulants like coffee and alcoholic drinks and fat. The constitutional symptoms that need to be mentioned are mentally angersome and irritable nature, being sensitive to external impressions like noise and odour and also, a sensitivity to cold air.
Phosphorus: For Cirrhosis of Liver with Jaundice
Phosphorus is a beneficial natural medicine for treating jaundice in patients with Cirrhosis of Liver. The symptoms during jaundice are yellow appearance of skin, and passage of stool of a very offensive nature. Utmost weakness follows the passage of stool. The second sphere where Phosphorus is a remedy of great help is vomiting of blood. Phosphorus has an excellent effect in controlling the blood appearing in vomitus. Apart from these symptoms, the desire for cold drinks, juices and ice creams is usually present in patients needing Phosphorus.