Ayurveda

Cirrhosis- Diagnosis and Treatment of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis

is a liver disorder where the large areas of the liver are permanently damaged because of scar tissue. In this disease, the vital tissues of the liver are replaced by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules leading to loss of liver function. In this article, we discuss the diagnosis and treatment of cirrhosis but let us know about the liver function first.

The Liver:

The liver is largest internal organ of the body. It is also the largest gland in the human body. Liver performs many vital functions that includes protein synthesis, detoxification, and production of essential biochemicals for digestion. Normal human liver weighs about 1.4 to 1.6 kg. It is a soft, pinkish-brown, triangular organ located in the right upper quadrant, resting just below the diaphragm.

Initially, cirrhosis remains asymptomatic. As the disease progresses symptoms such as fatigue, exhaustion, weakness, weight loss, nausea and abdominal pain start appearing.

Diagnosis of cirrhosis:

In order to diagnose cirrhosis, the doctor will perform a physical examination to look for the above signs and symptoms. He will ask a number of questions pertaining the condition. Here are some tests that confirm the diagnosis of cirrhosis:

Blood tests:

To see the levels of aminotransferases in the blood, which moderately elevate due to cirrhosis. Alkaline phosphatase is also slightly elevated in cirrhosis.

Liver biopsy:

Liver biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosis of cirrhosis. It is done through a percutaneous, transjugular, laparoscopic approach. By doing so, cirrhosis is further classified as micronodular or macronodular or mixed.

Imaging of Liver:

Liver imaging is done to visualize the liver for enlargement and reduced blood flow. Computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, liver scan are some of the modalities used for the diagnosis.

Treatment of cirrhosis:

Cirrhosis is managed systematically by first treating the causes. The doctor sees carefully whether there are any complications and works to stop or delay further progression of complications. Hospitalization is required if the patient has severe complications.

The doctor advices the patient to strictly

avoid alcohol

and other substances if he suffers from cirrhosis. For edema and ascites, the patient needs to take

medications

and diuretics to remove fluid from the body. For treating symptoms such as itching and abdominal pain, medications are given. Beta-blockers or nitrates are given to treat portal hypertension. Liver transplant is eventually needed for end-stage cirrhosis.

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