What Does Cirrhosis Of The Liver Do To The Body, Plus Other Questions Answered

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What is cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is poor liver function and scarring of the liver.

What causes liver cirrosis?
Liver cirrosis is chronic liver disease. The most common causes someone in the United States gets this disease is from hepatitis C and long-term alcohol abuse. Some other causes include an autoimmune inflammation of the liver, liver drainage system disorders, hepatitis B, medications, and metabolic disorders of iron and copper.

What does cirrhosis of the liver do to the body?
During the early stages of liver disease, you may have some vague symptoms such as loss of sex drive, loss of appetite, weight loss and nausea. As the disease progresses to end-stage, or cirrhosis, and the scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue, your body can go through many more changes. You (or your doctor) may notice excess breast tissue, an enlarged liver or spleen, a distended abdomen, reddened palms, yellow eyes or skin (jaundice), pale or clay colored stools, and cola-colored urine. You may also get easily confused and suffer from memory loss.

Is cirrosis of the liver hereditary?
Liver cirrosis is not hereditary.

What are some tests results that may detect liver cirrhosis?
Liver problems can show up on tests as: anemia, elevated liver enzymes, elevated bilirubin, enlarged liver.

What is a MELD score?
if you are listed for a transplant, you are given a Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score. The lab values used in the MELD calculation include:

– Bilirubin, which measures how well your liver is excreting bile.
– INR, which measures your liver’s ability to make blood clotting factors.
– Creatine, which measures kidney function. Kidneys that aren’t functioning properly are often associated with severe liver disease.

The MELD score can go up and down depending on your lab values.

Can liver cirrhosis be prevented?

Cirrhosis of the liver can be prevented by cutting down on alcohol, or by using certain anti-virus medications. Once liver cirrosis has set in, complications and ultimate liver failure can be delayed by taking vitamins, eating a good diet and completely cutting out alcohol. There are also some natural, effective and inexpensive techniques available that can help reverse the effects of liver cirrhosis starting today. Once someone is in end-stage liver failure, a liver transplantation will be necessary.