Cirrhosis of the Liver
The liver is one of the most crucial body organs that carry out numerous functions including
- The production of blood proteins that are essential for oxygen transportation, blood clotting as well as help in enhancing the functionality of the immune system
- The liver also helps in the saturation of fats as well as the production of cholesterol
- It aids in the elimination of various body wastes and harmful substances including alcohol and drugs
- The liver also helps the body in the storage of glycogen
Cirrhosis of the liver is a progressive disease which with time leads to the injuring or damaging of liver cells and tissues eventually replacing the cells and tissues scarred or injured tissues. The scarred tissues make it difficult from properly performing its functions. As the disease progresses, the liver becomes more and more impaired to carry out its functions thus slowing down various important body processes including the processing of body toxins(naturally produced toxins),hormones and nutrients and often as the condition worsens it becomes more and more difficult for blood to freely flow through the liver.
Causes of Cirrhosis of the Liver
Often, cirrhosis is a chronic liver damage response meaning that in its mild stages the disease can be altered by avoiding or preventing its triggers or causes. However, the advancement of the disease leads to more scarring of the liver cells thus making it even more challenging for the body to effectively function. Chronic damage of the liver is the major cause of cirrhosis of the liver and this is contributed to various health conditions and diseases that may include
- Extreme alcoholism
- Hepatitis type B and type C
- Scarring and often hardening of the bile ducts otherwise known as sclerosing cholangitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Galactosemia (a body conditions in which it is not able to naturally process milk sugars)
- Wilson’s disease (high levels of copper in the liver)
- Biliary atresia
- Autoimmune hepatitis ( a liver disease that is caused by “an oversensitive” immune system)
- Hemochromatosis (building up of iron in excess in the body).
Symptoms of Cirrhosis of the Liver
Many a times, cirrhosis in its mild stages will show no symptoms. In its advanced levels, cirrhosis of the liver symptoms may include:
- Abdominal fluid accumulation.
- Enlargement of men breasts.
- Lose or significant decline in sexual drive.
- Menstrual abnormalities in women which may involve complete cessation of month’s periods before menopause.
- Leg swellings.
- Fatigue and unexplained exhaustion.
- The body easily bruises and bleeds.
- Lack of appetite which is then followed by weight loss.
- Darkened urine.
- Jaundice (a condition that makes the eyes and skin of the patient to turn yellow).
- Thinning hair.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- General confusion and sleep disorders.
- Mental disturbances especially in its most advanced levels.
- Reddening of palms.
- Abdominal swelling among others.
Cirrhosis of the Liver Home Remedies
There are numerous natural home remedies that can be used to relieve some or most of the symptoms associated with cirrhosis of the liver. Often it is easier to deal with cirrhosis at its initial stages but even so, there are a number of natural remedies that can be used to relieve advanced cirrhosis symptoms including. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Spinach and carrot juices- Spinach is generally very good for those who are suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. The patient is required to take 200mlof spinach juice. However, the juice can also be mixed with 300ml carrot juice to eliminate the symptoms of liver cirrhosis.
- Eclipta alba and honey- Even though some people say that finding this herb is not quite easy, Eclipta Alba can be easily obtained from variety of herbal stores today. After obtaining the herb, take its extract and offer the patient just one tablespoonful ion honey. However, make sure that the quantity of the two is the same. The patient should take the mixture three times a day for at least three weeks and four days.
- Black papaya seeds and Lime juice- In order to come up with an effective herbal remedy for cirrhosis of the liver, take the seeds of Black papaya and grind them to an even powder. After grinding, put one tablespoonful of the powder and mix add to ten drops of Lime juice. The infusion should be given to the patient to drink once or twice a day for a period of at least four weeks.
- Sacred fig- Known to some people as Ficus religiosa, the sacred fig is effective herbal remedy for liver cirrhosis. When in need of trying it out, wash four leaves of the herb then mash with sugar candy. The infusion should be mixed into 250mlof water and given to the patient twice daily.
- White Radish- This is another effective herbal remedy that can be used in combating Cirrhosis of the liver. In making the remedy, the leaves along with tender stems of the White Radish herb are to be used in making a juice. The juice should then be offered to the patient everyday in the morning before eating anything.
- Spinach- Spinach juice enhanced with carrot juice.
- Papaya seeds. Grind the seeds until powdery, add to this a few drops (about 10) of lime juice. Drink the mixer at least twice daily for about one month.
- Other natural products and plants that can help lower the risks of cirrhosis of the liver and treat it include radish(raw or in juice form), eclipta herb juice(preferably mixed with honey), a mixer of rock salt with lime juice, cumin seeds(roasted) with buttermilks, figs and a mixer of water and glucose can help relieve various cirrhosis symptoms.
Diet for Cirrhosis of the Liver
Good dieting is paramount to managing cirrhosis of the liver especially at its advanced levels. Good dieting for cirrhosis may include consumption of:
- Easily digestible proteins like fish, legumes and poultry. These are recommended as such are good sources of low sodium. This kind of diet will work best for those with cirrhosis of the liver that exhibit ascites and edema as the main symptoms.
- A combination of drug therapies and proper dieting is essential especially in altering the mental function caused by cirrhosis. Here it is advisable to decrease the intake of red meat and other hard to digest proteins as such enhanced toxin production in the body’s digestible tracts.
The best cirrhosis diet should therefore include a number of changes including;
- Limiting salt intake. In many cases, cirrhosis makes it difficult for the body to naturally get rid of water and this leads to the development of various diseases including edema and other body parts swelling. Salt contains sodium which slows down the rate at which the body is able to get rid of excessive moisture and water. Consider consulting with your physician to determine whether there is need for you to limit sodium intake.
- Increase your protein and calorie intake. Often, cirrhosis patients will need more proteins and calories intake as compared to other health people. Proteins are especially essential in that such produces amino acids that are required to help the body provide itself with building blocks that make body tissues and cells.
Diagnosis and prevention
Cirrhosis often start showing symptoms late in its advanced levels and some of the diagnostic measures that may be required to determine the existence of cirrhosis include ultrasound or CT tests, liver biopsy, various laboratory tests or even physical examinations
Cirrhosis especially in its advanced levels may pose two major complications. One is portal hypertension or enhanced bleeding and two, liver failure. If portal hypertension is discovered, blood pressure prescriptions may be provided and in cases of bleeding, a blood hardening or clotting substance or sclerosing will be recommended. The blood hardening substance or sclerosing can be injected into the body or passed into the body through the esophagus or oral intake. Sometimes in cases of portal hypertension portacaval shunt or any other appropriate surgery may be recommended to correct the situations. In severe cases, liver transplant will be taken as an option.
Prevention of Cirrhosis of the Liver
The risks of cirrhosis can effectively be reduced by observing basic healthy procedures a including
- Eating healthy. You are basically what you eat; therefore, the healthier your diet will be the healthier you are likely to be. In your diet include all essential nutrients with lots of fruits and vegetables plus an increase in healthy proteins. Avoid hard-to-digest proteins like red meat and instead increase intake of easily digestible protein like poultry and fish. Reduce your fat intake and increase consumption of whole products especially whole grain meals.
- Keep a healthy weight. Obesity and overweight can be a trigger to cirrhosis. That is, excessive body fats can lead to poor functioning of the liver. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese for that matter consider starting working out
- Lower your hepatitis risks by avoiding sharing of various basic effects like needles. On the same note, consider sexual abstinence or use a condom every other time you will be having sex. Unprotected and sharing of things like needles can enhance the spread of hepatitis.
- Avoid overexposure to chemicals including any household supplies and detergents. If you work in a chemical producing environment, ensure proper care and cautions including wearing of protective gears and clothing are observed to minimize exposure to the chemicals. The lesser the exposure, the lesser the toxins the liver has to help in eliminating from the body (the lesser the workload for the liver thus enhanced functionality).
- Reduce the amount of alcohol consumed overall in case you drink. It will be helpful to determine your alcohol tolerance as such will in turn help you determine the right levels of alcohol to limit yourself to if you must drink. However, if it is possible, consider avoiding drinking in totality. You may also want to consider stopping the usage of drugs especially when drinking. This should be so because, a number of drugs combined with alcohol can cause harmful reactions that can be even more damaging to your liver and general health.
In conclusion, cirrhosis of the liver is disease that can be easily avoided or prevented by observing basic health procedures like eating health, avoiding or regulating the use of drugs and substances and controlling or even avoiding alcohol completely. Again, it is possible to manage and even treat the disease especially if diagnosed early in its development. Again, even in its advanced levels, there are numerous ways that the effects of the disease can be minimized and life lengthened by simply observing basic healthy procedures and consuming the right kind of diet plus some personal discipline. In very severe conditions, liver transplant can be anoptions for altering the situation and enhancing life afterwards. Finally, always remember that regardless of the theories, there is no such thing as safe levels of alcohol and therefore, total abstinence from the use of alcohol is advised for patients wishing to recover from cirrhosis of the liver.
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