Saturday, June 2, 2012

What is Cirrhosis of the Liver?

            Cirrhosis is a liver disease, which renders a part of the spongy liver tissue scarred and useless. Some of the main reasons of the disease are excessive alcohol consumption, inflammation of the liver. The liver is the largest organ in the body, and plays a very vital role since it helps to digest food and keeps the blood clear. Once the liver tissue gets damaged, it may become useless and stop making proteins and purifying the blood.


            The most common type of cirrhosis is known as Laennec’s cirrhosis. Although it can occur at any age, it usually affects people between the ages of 40 to 60 years. It is more commonly found among males rather than females. To begin with, this involves an abnormal increase in liver fat. Soon, the liver starts degenerating, and in the end only a little fat is left.

            Cirrhosis can block the blood vessels of the liver and cause internal bleeding. Many people afflicted by cirrhosis become weak and lose weight. In certain cases, the abdomen gets swollen with excess body fluids. The patient’s skin and eyes may become yellow.

            Cirrhosis is of several types. Post necrotic cirrhosis is caused by viral infection or by toxins. Pageantry cirrhosis occurs when the iron deposition in the liver cells crosses the normal level because of blood disorder, or too much iron in the duct, or an accumulation of iron form blood transfusions. In Wilson’s disease, the quantity of copper present in cirrhosis is indicated by large, soft lesion in the liver, which erodes the tissues and eventually leave masses of scared tissues and fissures.

            Cirrhosis may also give rise to high blood pressure in the portal vein that can lead to hemorrhages in the spleen, liver, esophagus or intestines. The disease can be treated in the early stages by drugs, proper diet and by avoiding alcohol. In some extreme cases, surgical operation may be needed. If not controlled, cirrhosis can lead to coma and eventually cause death.

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