Liver Cirrhosis in Louisiana
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What is liver cirrhosis?
Your liver is an organ in the body that is responsible for several crucial jobs, like filtering the blood of harmful toxins and breaking down fat. Cirrhosis of the liver, additionally known as hepatic cirrhosis, describes the health condition that arises when the liver is inflamed and scarred from issues such as late-stage liver disease and chronic alcohol abuse. As more and more scar tissue forms, the liver function continues to decline. The different grades of severity surrounding liver cirrhosis are sorted into four distinct stages.
Stage 1: Some scarring of liver tissue but there are not a lot of symptoms and no complications have occurred.
Stage 2: Additional symptoms begin to occur, such as swollen and enlarged veins and hypertension involving the portal vein around the liver (portal hypertension).
Stage 3: Symptoms involve swelling in the abdomen and advanced scarring of liver tissue, accompanied by serious complications and possibly liver failure.
Stage 4: This stage can be fatal without a liver transplant.
At GastroGroup & Endocenter, our gastroenterology team can identify, address, and help you manage liver issues. To find help for liver cirrhosis in Louisiana, please request an appointment with one of our providers today.
What are the causes of liver cirrhosis?
There are a number of factors that can cause liver damage, which can lead to the development of cirrhosis. These factors can include:
- Genetic GI disorders
- Poorly formed bile ducts
- Wilson’s disease
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Excessive body fat
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Iron buildup in the body
- Sugar metabolism disorders
- Liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Certain medications
- Destruction of the bile ducts
- Chronic alcohol abuse
- Viral liver infections (hepatitis B & C)
If you experience liver problems and need assistance, reach out to our gastroenterology providers at GastroGroup & Endocenter. Our skill and experience can guide you in the appropriate direction for personalized treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
The first stages of liver cirrhosis may not present with any symptoms. However, some initial indicators that you may have can include lethargy, physical weakness, and appetite loss. When the condition continues to advance, the signs can include:
- Brown-colored urine
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Nausea or queasiness
- Veins that are spider web-like in appearance
- Abrupt weight gain or loss
- Muscle cramps
- Blood in the stool
- Redness of the palms
- Swollen legs
- Bruise or bleed easily
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes)
What are the treatment options for liver cirrhosis?
Liver scarring and damage generally cannot be reversed; however, the liver can still function even in the event that two-thirds has been damaged or removed. Here are some of the treatments our GastroGroup & Endocenter team may recommend to increase the liver's capacity to function:
- Targeting the particular issues surrounding your condition
- Antiviral medications for hepatitis B and C
- Prevention of further liver damage
- Avoid taking certain medications (naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.)
- Liver transplant procedure
- Immunization for hepatitis A and B
Are there any complications of liver cirrhosis?
A patient's liver has a key role in the body, and any damage or injury inflicted upon the liver will interfere with its normal functions. Possible complications of liver cirrhosis involve:
- Cancer of the liver
- Hypersplenism (overactive splenic function)
- Hepatic encephalopathy (the aggregation of toxins in the blood leading to brain damage)
- Bacterial peritonitis (an inflamed abdominal wall)
Receive care for liver health
Liver cirrhosis can impact your health and life in a variety of aspects. At GastroGroup & Endocenter, we strive to help you enjoy a life in which additional liver damage is prevented. To receive treatment for liver cirrhosis in Louisiana, please request an appointment with one of our gastroenterology providers without delay.
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