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Transcript of Liver Cirrhosis
The Symptoms of liver cirrhosis include:
- weight loss
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- itchy skin
- red palms
- hair loss
- appetite loss
- concentration difficulties
Medical Resources and Treatments
Blood tests and ultrasound scans may determine if the liver is damaged. To confirm this, a small sample of the liver (a biopsy) may be taken and examined. This however, would not be necessary if all the symptoms and blood tests point to the same conclusion.
Cirrhosis cannot be cured but treatments that doctors use include: treating the underlying cause of the cirrhosis, for eg., hepatitis, taking medications such as antibiotics and removing fluid from the body with a needle.
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis
The two main causes of liver cirrhosis are:
Drinking too much alcohol- When we drink alcohol, the liver breaks down the toxins, but if we drink too much, the liver is overworked and cannot erase all the poisons that affect it.
Hepatitis B and C- Hepatitis is a condition where the liver is inflamed. It is usually a pain on the right side of your body. This can lead to cirrhosis if it becomes more serious.
The less common causes include heart failure, poisons, medicine and rare, inherited diseases such as haemochromatotis which is the build up of iron in the liver.
How can Liver Cirrhosis be Prevented?
Liver cirrhosis can be prevented by the following:
- If you drink, know your limits and do not exceed them or stop drinking altogether.
- Maintain a healthy balanced diet.
- Avoid uncooked shellfish because they have bacteria that can cause severe infections.
- Limit salt in your diet to reduce fluid build-up.
- Be mindful of any medications you take.
What is Liver Cirrhosis?
Liver cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease. It is where healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue and stops the liver from functioning properly. This slows the processing of protein and nutrients and prevents alcohol and drugs from being detoxified.
When cirrhosis occurs, parts of the liver become shrunken, scarred or raised in lumps., thus creating an uneven surface.
What is the most vital organ in our body? Many people would say 'the heart!' or 'the brain!'. But what do these organs rely on? Blood. And what produces blood? The liver.
The liver is the body's largest internal organ and weighs about 1.5 kg. It sits above the pancreas and has two lobes- right and left. Among many other things, it detoxifies chemicals, processes nutrients, produces bile which is very important to our digestive systems and stores energy.
Diseases such as cirrhosis are putting our liver at risk. What do YOU think would happen if your liver shut down?
St George Private Hospital: Considered one of the best hospitals in Australasia and there are many clinics there regarding gastroenterology.
- Dr John Freiman
- Dr Jason Hui
- Dr Alastair Tait
- Associate Professor Amany Zekry
- Dr Ian Cook
Cirrhosis can develop over a period of long time- months or even years.