Cirrhosis is a disease that can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. It is the final stage of liver damage, and it will eventually lead to death if left untreated. Cirrhosis occurs because alcohol damages your liver cells, causing scar tissue to form around them. To efficiently reverse the symptoms, you need guidance from a cirrhosis specialist. In San Antonio, Texas, you’ll find dependable experts willing to offer you the proper treatment. After a thorough diagnosis, a San Antonio cirrhosis specialist will proceed with the treatment.
What is Cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is a condition that results from extensive liver damage. The liver is responsible for many essential functions in the body, including filtering toxins from the blood and producing bile to help digest food. When the liver is damaged, it can no longer function properly. Scar tissue gradually builds up in the liver, disrupting its standard structure, and preventing it from working as it should.
What Causes Cirrhosis?
There are several causes of cirrhosis, but the most common is excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol over a long period can damage the liver cells, causing them to die off and form scar tissue. Other causes of cirrhosis include hepatitis C, obesity, and diabetes.
What Are the Symptoms of Cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis often has few initial symptoms. As it progresses, symptoms may develop that can help identify the condition and indicate advanced damage to the liver:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloody or dark urine (from high levels of ammonia in the blood)
- Pain in the stomach area (from the stretching of the ligaments and muscles around the liver)
- Itchy Pale skin or yellowing skin (jaundice)
- Loss of appetite
- Fluid retention
- Spasms and pain in the esophagus and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gastrointestinal bleeding (blood loss in your digestive tract)
- Mental confusion
- Mood changes
- Skin rashes
Which Are the Risk Factors of Cirrhosis?
The main risk factors of cirrhosis are:
- Alcohol abuse
- Chronic infection (hepatitis C and hepatitis B)
How Is Cirrhosis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will likely order blood tests to evaluate your liver function and determine the cause of your cirrhosis. Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, may also be used to assess the extent of damage to your liver.
How Is Cirrhosis Treated?
There is no cure for cirrhosis, but treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and improve your quality of life. Treatment options include medications to control nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Adopt dietary changes to reduce excess fluid intake and minimize stress on the liver.
What Can You Do to Prevent Cirrhosis?
The best way to prevent cirrhosis is to avoid drinking excessive alcohol. Other measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition include
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B
- Screening for and treating any chronic infections such as hepatitis C
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cirrhosis, it may seem as though there is no hope. However, this condition can be successfully managed and even reversed if caught early enough. It’s important to note that the best way to prevent cirrhosis from progressing is by avoiding alcohol consumption altogether. Remember to book an appointment with a cirrhosis specialist.