Cirrhosis of the liver is a pathology in which normal cells are replaced by scar tissue. This leads to the fact that the organ is unable to function normally. Toxins and bile accumulate in the liver, poisoning the entire body. In most cases, the disease is diagnosed in men of middle and retirement age.
The main causes of cirrhosis are hepatitis and alcohol abuse. Also in the development of the disease can play a role:
- autoimmune disorders;
- genetic disorders;
- chronic cholestasis (violation of the outflow of bile);
- blockage of the hepatic veins.
It is extremely important to recognize this disease as early as possible. In the initial stages, the symptoms of the disease are as follows:
- reduced appetite, weight loss;
- general malaise, headaches;
- aching pain in the right hypochondrium or in the upper abdomen;
- enlargement of the spleen;
- changes in the size of the liver (both a sharp increase and decrease);
- a sharp increase in the size of the abdomen (due to the accumulation of fluid);
- belching, nausea, bitterness in the mouth, flatulence;
- violation of the outflow of urine;
- increase in the size of the veins on the anterior wall of the abdomen;
- change in the skin tone around the navel (it gets a bluish color);
- appearance of reddish spots on the chest, back and shoulders;
- redness of the palms;
- in men: breast enlargement, hair loss in the armpits and pubis, sexual dysfunction;
- in women: violation of the menstrual cycle.
Gradually, with cirrhosis, the patient develops jaundice, itching is possible.
The diagnosis is made by narrow specialists: a gastroenterologist and a hepatologist.
After collecting complaints and visual examination, the patient is sent for examinations:
- blood tests (biochemical, for the presence of hepatitis);
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
If necessary, additional studies are prescribed:
- radioisotope examination of the liver;
- CT scan;
- liver biopsy.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely defeat cirrhosis of the liver, but if the disease is detected in the early stages, then it can be slowed down. In the advanced form of cirrhosis, therapeutic measures are aimed at relieving symptoms and combating possible complications.
Treatment of cirrhosis is complex, and includes:
- a special diet;
- antiviral drugs;
- hormonal agents (for autoimmune diseases);
- drugs that have a beneficial effect on liver cells;
In severe cases, cirrhosis should be treated in a hospital setting.
In some situations, surgery is necessary:
- removal of fluid from the abdominal cavity (paracentesis);
- bypass surgery;
- liver transplant.
To prevent cirrhosis of the liver, it is necessary:
- pay attention to your health;
- timely treat diseases that negatively affect the liver and lead to cirrhosis;
- do not abuse alcoholic beverages.
Treatment of cirrhosis of the liver should be carried out exclusively under the supervision of an experienced specialist.