Health and Fitness

Liver Cirrhosis and its 4 Stages

The liver is an integral organ of the human body. Therefore, the health of the liver directly affects the well-being of an individual. Liver cirrhosis is a degenerative disorder in which the healthy cells get damaged, resulting in the formation of a scar. This, in turn, leads to a reduced functional ability of the liver. A few common causes of liver cirrhosis are excess and long-term alcohol abuse, and infection due to hepatitis virus. According to a study, every year, cirrhosis is responsible for about 31,000 deaths in the country.

Symptoms
A few common symptoms of liver cirrhosis are

  • fatigue,
  • nausea,
  • weight loss,
  • drowsiness,
  • jaundice,
  • a loss of appetite,
  • skin problems, and
  • swelling.

The 4 stages of liver cirrhosis
There are 4 stages of liver cirrhosis, and each one of them can be differentiated on the basis of severity of the disease and complications associated with it. Two important complications associated with liver cirrhosis are varices and ascites. Varices are enlarged veins, while ascites refers to fluid-accumulation in the abdominal cavity. Both of them are an indication of portal hypertension, which is caused due to a hindrance in the blood flow through the liver.

Stage 1 Cirrhosis
This is the stage when neither varices nor ascites occur. However, the liver is in a damaged condition, it is not very severe. The affected individual may feel extremely tired or may experience a lack of energy to carry on regular work.

Stage 2 Cirrhosis
In the second stage, portal hypertension worsens and varices develop in the esophagus. However, this stage can be partially reversed if the causes are known on time and an urgent medical help is provided.

Stage 3 Cirrhosis
In this stage, ascites develops and varices may be present. This stage is irreversible and generally requires a liver transplant.

Stage 4 Cirrhosis
Among the 4 stages of liver cirrhosis, this indicates an end-stage liver disorder. In this stage, the varices of the stomach and esophagus rupture and cause intestinal bleeding, which is an immediate danger to life. A liver transplant usually the only option here.

How to Deal With Liver Cirrhosis
If you have been diagnosed with any of the 4 stages of liver cirrhosis, here are a few strategies that you may need to follow:

  • Avoid excess alcohol consumption
  • Take multivitamins regularly
  • Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication as they can worsen the situation
  • Go for a liver transplant, which is the last resort
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