End-stage liver disease refers to the 4th stage, or cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is when the cells of the liver start to die and create scarring. It’s caused by chronic liver disease, and the most common causes of chronic liver disease are alcohol abuse and hepatitis C. There are some other less common causes as well, including (but not limited to) hepatitis b, certain medications and metabolic disorders.
Most patients with end-stage liver disease are on or trying to get on the transplant list. Once a person is listed for a transplant, they are given a Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score. This score can go up and down as treatments are administered. The lab values used in the MELD calculation include bilirubin, INR and creatine.
Bilirubin measures how well your liver is excreting bile, INR measures your liver’s ability to make blood clotting factors, and creatine measures how well the kidneys are functioning.
There are many bodily changes that may be encountered during the end stage. Ascites is the build up of fluid in the abdominal area. Edema is when the legs and feet swell due to water retention. Weight loss is caused by loss of appetite. Encephalopathy affects the memory. These are just a few of the changes that may occur. A patient’s doctor will go over everything they can expect when diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
Some people with stage 4 liver disease have a chance of stopping the cirrhosis from getting worse and even start to reverse the effects. Nutrition, stress-relieving techniques and supplements are all important factors in prolonging a person’s life.
There is a complete liver cirrhosis solution out there that guides a person living with this disease on how to give their liver a break, reversing the damage that’s been done. Not only will this solution help to prolong a cirrhosis sufferer’s life, but, more importantly, it will prolong their quality of life as well.