CirrhosisCirrhosis Of The Liver: How much do you know about the inner organs, especially the liver if this is your reason for reading this? We all talk about our organs at some point, whether it is just in general conversation, but when the word Cirrhosis is mentioned it becomes the highlight of the topic, more so, if you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver?

Below is some useful information that’ll help you try and understand the disease and everything about it. What you need to remember before going into a panic is that most disease and conditions are curable, or able to be managed and controlled due to technology. Some particular illnesses, if caught in an early stage and a doctor is involved it can be cured completely with no word of it ever coming back.

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The liver itself is roughly in weight around 3 pounds which make this a heavy organ and the most solid one in the body. It has a serious job to do making sure vital functions are working properly. These might include the likes of:

  • Manufacturing blood proteins that help in clotting, oxygen transport, and immune system function
  • Preserving excess nutrients while at the same time put nutrients back to the bloodstream
  • Manufacturing bile, a fluid that is essential for helping digest food
  • The liver helps the body in various ways, and one being storing sugar (glucose) in the way of glycogen
  • Removing damaging substances in the bloodstream, including drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is often what springs to mind when Cirrhosis is mentioned, the reason for this is, it is typically something that does cause Cirrhosis in so many people around the world.
  • Breaking down saturated fat and creating cholesterol

Cirrhosis gradually progresses in which healthy liver tissue is exchanged with scar tissue, eventually stopping the liver operating in the way it was designed to do. Scar tissue blocks blood flowing through to the liver which interferes in the way of slowing down the processing of essential nutrients, hormones, drugs, and naturally produced toxins. Not only these but also slow the production of these vitally important proteins and other substances created by the liver.

Research supposedly discovered that cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death by disease.

Cirrhosis of the Liver Causes

Aside from alcohol—Hepatitis C, fatty liver is the most recognised reasons for bringing this disease in America. Having said this, it doesn’t have to be any of the two mentioned here because any kind of damage to the liver can cause cirrhosis. These can very likely be

  • Fatty liver connected to obesity and diabetes, yet another common condition affecting people worldwide
  • Chronic viral liver infections. Hepatitis B, C, and D, however, this one is not something that’s as regularly treated as the other two types.
  • Blockage of the bile duct. This transports bile formed in the liver to the intestines, where it works assisting to digest fats; in infants, this can be caused by biliary atresia. This explained means, bile ducts are absent or harmed, which in return causes bile to back up in the liver. In grown-up men and women, bile ducts can very possibly turn inflamed, blocked, or scarred, due to another liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis.
  • Regular bouts of heart failure with fluid backing up into the liver
  • Particular inherited diseases namely: Cystic fibrosis
    • Glycogen storage disease’s where the body struggles to cope and is unable to process glycogen. Explained this is a type of sugar that is converted to glucose. It’s a source of energy for the human body
    • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency  and absence of a particular enzyme in the liver
    • Conditions reasoned by abnormal liver function such like hemochromatosis. This disease described is where too much iron is absorbed and deposited into the liver and other organs inside the body, and then we have Wilson’s Disease, another which reasoned by the abnormal storage of copper in the liver

Although very rare, other reasons for this may include reactions to certain drugs prescribed by a doctor.

Cirrhosis symptoms of the liver can differ due it’s different stages. In the early stages, symptoms may not show. But as the disease progresses symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue which may be debilitating
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Bruises
  • Jaundice ( yellow skin)
  • Itchiness
  • Fluid retention edema (which means and swelling in the ankles) also the legs, and abdomen
  • Urine colour ( brownish or orange )
  • Light pasty colour stools
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Bleeding (Blood in the stool)
  • Fever


There are various ways and methods used in hospitals to determine the disease, and below are some to name that will take place for detection.

  • First a physical examination will be carried out, as this is common practice for loads of other types of diseases. A doctor will look and feel for changes in your liver. Looking for how large it is (a cirrhotic liver is lumpy rather than smooth).
  • Blood tests. Another typical approach used for detecting certain disorders. If cirrhosis is suspected by your GP, you will be given blood tests to find out if liver disease has happened
  • Other tests and examinations. In some cases, images are taken of the liver (computerised tomography CT scan, ultrasound. Also, we have the specialised procedure called a radioisotope liver/spleen scan.
  • Biopsy: Again another regular process used by doctors when trying to determine a specific disease. The GP involved may confirm a diagnosis by taking a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the liver.
  • A diagnosis is often got during surgery when the doctor is able to see the whole of the liver. The liver can be also be checked out with a laparoscope—a viewing gadget that is inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen.

Cirrhosis of the Liver Complications

  • Variceal bleeding. Variceal bleeding is normally a result of portal hypertension. Simply explained this represents an increase in the pressure within the portal vein (the large vessel that transports blood from the digestive organs to the liver). Duly this is caused by an increase in pressure resulting in a blockage, preventing blood flow through the liver caused by cirrhosis. Too much pressure in the portal vein causes havoc to other veins enlarging them (varices) particularly them in the oesophagus and stomach to bypass the blockage. Varices become tender where they now bleed easily, and the outcome of this can be serious causing severe haemorrhaging and fluid in the abdomen.
  • Confusion and other mental changes. This we call Hepatic Encephalopathy. More often this happens when the patient diagnosed with cirrhosis has had the disease for some time. Toxins developed in the intestines typically are detoxified by the liver, but if cirrhosis is present the liver struggles to detoxify as it should.

Coming to terms with cirrhosis of the liver is the hardest part. At the time of writing this, I have someone very close to me who suffers this, and it is not good to watch someone who was once the life and soul of the party and a fine figure of a man deteriorate so fast before your eyes—and left with no quality of life. Now at present he is also being treated for psoriasis, so bad has this got, that it’s eating away at his bones on the inside and already destroyed his finger and toenails, where they are now seen as powdery lumps of chalk, and last but not least on top of all that we have four different types of cancer present, in the brain, lungs, glands and other. I don’t anticipate a speedy recovery, in fact, no recovery, so be warned and look after your liver.