No, cirrhosis of the liver is not the same as cancer. Cirrhosis is present in the majority of persons with liver cancer. Cirrhosis raises the risk of developing liver cancer. If you have hepatitis B or C, you’re more likely to get liver cancer because it is common in these diseases. It can develop from any type of liver illness, increasing your chances of developing liver cancer. Moreover, you are at an elevated risk of liver cancer if you have hepatitis B or fatty liver disease without cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is a disorder in which scar tissue gradually replaces healthy liver cells. If your doctor diagnoses you, it indicates you have the disease. It usually occurs over a long period as a result of an infection or alcoholism. You can’t always reverse liver damage, but if you identify it early enough, some treatments can help keep issues away.
What is Cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is a late-stage liver condition in which healthy liver tissue can replace by scar tissue, causing permanent damage to the liver. However, scar tissue obstructs your liver’s ability to function normally. Healthy liver cells can damage by a variety of diseases and situations, resulting in cell death and inflammation. This can follow by cell repair and, as a result of the repair process, tissue scarring.
By blocking blood flow through the liver, scar tissue decreases the liver’s ability to digest nutrients, hormones, medications, and natural toxins. It also reduces the creation of proteins and other chemicals in the liver. Cirrhosis causes the liver’s ability to function properly to decrease over time. Moreover, cirrhosis in its late stages can be dangerous.
Cirrhosis can classify into two stages: compensated and decompensated cirrhosis. However, it is possible to go from decompensated to compensated if discovered early enough and treated.
Compensated cirrhosis: This is the asymptomatic (no symptoms) stage of the disease. Scarring on the liver may still exist, but it hasn’t developed far enough to create many if any, symptoms.
- Decompensated Cirrhosis:
The majority of symptoms, such as jaundice or ascites, appear at this time. This is a critical stage. In some cases, if you can manage the cause of cirrhosis in the first place, for example, severe drinking. You may be able to get your diagnosis reverted later to be compensated.
Who gets cirrhosis and who are the most at risk?
Cirrhosis of the liver is more likely to develop if you:
- For many years, you’ve been abusing alcohol
- Use shared needles to inject drugs
- There is a history of liver disease in your family
- Having unprotected sex
Symptoms of Cirrhosis:
Cirrhosis can go undiagnosed until the liver is severely damaged. When warning signs and symptoms do arise, they may include:
- Bruising or bleeding easily
- Appetite loss
- Redness in the palm of hands
- Loss of sex drive
- In women, loss of period
- Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
- Edema in legs, feet, or ankles that swell
- Loss of weight
- Itchy skin
- Jaundice or skin and eye discoloration are yellow
- Blood in your stool
- Brownish colored urine
Causes of Cirrhosis:
If you don’t treat the underlying cause of your cirrhosis, it will worsen, and your healthy liver cells will eventually be unable to keep up. You may feel fatigued as if you don’t want to eat, and lose weight without realizing it. Moreover, your liver may be unable to function properly or at all after a long period.
It’s critical to figure out what’s causing your cirrhosis so you can get the correct therapy and prevent it from worsening. However, the most common causes are as follows:
Abuse of alcohol: It’s critical to seek help if you have a drinking problem. The liver is harmed by alcohol. However, consult your physician. They might suggest that you go to a treatment center.
Hepatitis B or C are the two types of hepatitis. Medicines for these conditions can help your liver avoid further damage.
Fatty liver disease can cause by non-alcoholic steatosis.
The blocked bile duct transports digestive enzymes from the liver to the intestines.
Obesity increases your risk of developing this disease. If you reduce weight and keep your blood sugar levels under control. However, you may be able to improve the condition of your liver if you have cirrhosis caused by this disease.
Some infections, such as syphilis and brucellosis.
Autoimmune disorders that cause your body to assault your liver cells are known as autoimmune diseases.
Wilson’s disease is a condition in stores too much copper in the liver.
Medication. Prescription and over-the-counter medications including acetaminophen, antibiotics, and antidepressants
How to Dignose Cirrohsis?
Cirrhosis can usually diagnose while a patient is being tested for another condition or disease because there are few signs early on in the disease. Those suffering the following symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible:
- Shivering and fever
- Breathing problems
- Vomiting blood
- Tarry or dark faces
- Feeling lethargy or confusion
A doctor will examine the patient and feel around the liver, to determine whether the liver is enlarged. The patient will question about their medical history as well as their lifestyle, which may include drinking.
Tests such as the ones listed below can order:
Blood tests can use to evaluate the health of the liver. Hepatitis may present if alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels are elevated.
Ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans can be done to examine if the liver is enlarged and to examine for any scarring or lesions.
In a biopsy, a small sample of liver cells is taken and examined under a microscope. Cirrhosis and its cause can confirm with a biopsy.
In Endoscopy, A long, thin tube with a light and video camera is inserted into the esophagus and the stomach by the doctor. However, the doctor checks for varices which are swollen blood veins that can indicate cirrhosis.
Treatment of Cirrhosis:
Cirrhosis treatment differs depending on what caused it, what symptoms you’re having, and how far the disease has progressed. However, medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery are all options for treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs, such as beta-blockers or nitrates, depending on the cause of your cirrhosis for portal hypertension. Antibiotics or drugs to treat hepatitis may recommend.
Your doctor would most likely advise you to stop drinking if your cirrhosis can cause by excessive alcohol usage. If they believe it is medically necessary, they may also advise you to lose weight. A low sodium diet may also recommend if you are suffering from ascites.
If cirrhosis has progressed to the point where treatment is no longer effective, a liver transplant is one of the last options.
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