Cirrhosis of the Liver is the chronic inflammation of the liver, which results in scar tissue replacing the normal liver tissue. The scar tissue of the liver blocks the flow of blood through the organ and disrupts the normal functions of the liver.
The liver performs more functions than any other organ in the human body. The liver is responsible for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals. It removes poisons, such as alcohol and drugs from the blood stream.
The liver converts glucose to glycogen and stores it for latter use as a source of energy. It stores iron and manufactures elements essential for blood clotting. The liver also breaks down old red blood cells and converts the hemoglobin into bilirubin.
In the United States in 2001 chronic liver disease killed over 27,000 people making it the 10th leading cause of death for men and the 12th for women.
Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C, but has many other possible causes. Sometimes more than one cause is present in the same patient.
Alcohol seems to injure the liver by blocking the metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Alcoholic cirrhosis develops in 15% of individuals who drink heavily for more than a decade.
Fluid retention in the abdominal cavity is the most common complication of cirrhosis and diuretics may be necessary to suppress fluid retention. Cirrhosis can also cause immune system dysfunction, leading to infection.
The damaged liver can not clear ammonia and related nitrogenous substances from the blood. These poisons are carried to the brain and result in neglecting personal appearance, unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, changes in sleep habits, and the loss of the sex drive.
Cirrhosis is generally irreversible once it occurs. Treatment generally focuses on preventing progression and complications by encouraging a healthy diet with a reduction of salt, and abstaining from alcohol and drug intake. If the liver ceases to function or the complications of cirrhosis cannot be controlled a liver transplant will be necessary.
Common Vitamins and over the counter products can help with Cirrhosis such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Magnesium, L-Carnitine and Coffee.
Vitamin A is an important immune system stimulant. DR. Nauss reported a reduced T-cell immune response in patients with a Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency may increase the risk of cancers of the lung, larynx, bladder, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and prostate. Vitamin A is stored in the liver and fat cells of the human body and can reach toxic levels. DO NOT take more than the recommended dosage of Vitamin A.
Vitamin B taken together as a team perform vital biological processes including aiding in the healing process for congestive heart failure and reduces fluid retention. It is required for the development of red blood cells.
Vitamin C is essential for defending the body against pollution and infection. It enhances the immune system. It aids in growth and repair of both bone and tissue by helping the body produce collagen.
Vitamin E supplies Oxygen to the heart and the other muscles in the body. Accelerates wound healing and aids in the functioning of the immune system.
Zinc is needed for healing and maintaining healthy tissues. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are the vital components of skin, hair, muscle tissue, the body’s organs, blood cells, various enzymes and hormones. Zinc also has a profound influence on the body’s ability to resist disease.
Magnesium is needed to keep the proper pH level in the blood and helps in the metabolism of calcium and vitamin C.
L-Carnitine helps convert nutrients into energy.
Studies have recently suggested that coffee consumption may protect against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.
Always consult your doctor before using this information.
This Article is nutritional in nature and not to be construed as medical advice.