Cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death due to disease in the United States – National Institutes of Health
Liver Cancer – Did you know?
In recent news, a Thai news reporter died of liver cancer. He was only 30 years of age. The cause of the 13cm tumour in his liver was caused by hepatitis B virus. The major cause of deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer is hepatitis B (World Health Organization). So the best protection against liver cancer is to go for regular medical check-ups and get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
What is Cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is a liver disease where scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. The normal flow of blood through the liver (Viral Hepatitis: Know your ABCs! – Part 1”) is blocked and the liver eventually stops functioning, leading to liver failure. The damage is irreversible.
Causes of Cirrhosis
- Alcohol misuse
- Chronic hepatitis B and C “Viral Hepatitis: Know Your ABCs – Part 2”
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – liver inflammation cause by build-up of fat in the liver
- Haemochromatosis (inherited disease)
- Damage to the bile ducts
Symptoms of Cirrhosis
Symptoms develop when functions of the liver are affected, such as the inability to break down toxins and purify the blood.
- Loss of appetite
- Nose bleeds
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Bruising easily
What can I do to prevent or slow down Cirrhosis?
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B
- Eat a balanced diet (“5 Foods to Nourish Your Liver”)
- Exercise regularly
- Abstain from alcohol
- Avoid eating raw shellfish which has bacteria that can cause severe infections in people with cirrhosis
- Consult a doctor before taking any medicine