Cirrhosis – What you need to know

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?


cirhossis-of-the-liver-and-healthy-liver-1

 

 

 

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)
  • Obesity
  • Damage to the bile ducts
  • Medications

 

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
  • Fatigue
  • 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

 

 

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