What Is Cirrhosis of the Liver: Treatment, Symptoms, Causes & Stages

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a liver complication marked by abnormal liver structure and function. When your liver is affected by the disease, too much alcohol consumption, or any other reason, it tries to heal itself. Unfortunately, the good liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, causing permanent damage to the liver. Cirrhosis causes the growth of scar tissue, which makes it hard for the liver to function. Cirrhosis of the liver in its advanced stages can be fatal. Scar tissue obstructs your liver’s ability to function normally. It is an advanced form of liver disease. When your liver is damaged to the point that it cannot be repaired, a liver transplant becomes vital.

Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis

Liver illness does not necessarily manifest itself in the form of visible signs and symptoms. If you have liver disease, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Swelling and pain in the abdomen
  • Legs and ankles are swollen
  • Intense Itching
  • Dark Urine
  • Pale stool
  • Fatigue that lasts a long time
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • You might bleed or bruise easily, and your legs or belly might enlarge

Contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and aren’t willing to take risks linked with them.

Generally, liver cirrhosis goes unnoticed until it has progressed to an advanced level. Patients begin to experience symptoms when their livers are severely damaged (advanced cirrhosis). Patients with risk factors can only be diagnosed early if they are screened at an early stage.

What are the causes of Liver Cirrhosis?

If your doctor determines that you have cirrhosis, this indicates that you have a condition that causes the scar tissue to replace your healthy liver cells over time gradually. It frequently occurs over a long period due to an infection or an addiction to alcoholic beverages. You will rarely be able to reverse the damage done to your liver, but if you discover it early enough, some therapies can keep the disease under control. Additionally, some other causes of liver cirrhosis are:

  • Fat accumulation in the liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
  • Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter
  • Several herbal constituents

Stages of the disease

Your doctor will inform you of the stage you are in if you are diagnosed with cirrhosis. Depending on how well it’s functioning, they’ll say your liver is “compensated” or “decompensated”.

  • Compensated liver Cirrhosis

You won’t have any symptoms if you have Compensated liver Cirrhosis. Cirrhosis does not affect your liver’s ability to perform its essential functions since there are enough healthy cells to compensate for the damaged cells and scar tissue. This is a stage that you can be in for a long time.

  • Decompensated Liver Cirrhosis

This is characterized by abdominal swelling and advanced liver scarring. This stage denotes Decompensated cirrhosis, which can lead to serious complications and liver failure.

Cirrhosis in this stage can be fatal, and this leads to end-stage liver disease (ESLD). You would probably need a transplant for cirrhosis of the liver treatment as the damage caused is irreversible.

If you think you are at risk of acquiring liver cirrhosis or are experiencing symptoms, consult a doctor to clear your doubts about the disease and get yourself the right treatment.