Cirrhosis of the liver is a fatal disease, in which there is interstitial inflammation of the liver causing necrosis of liver cells followed by fibrosis, leading to the loss of liver function. It is a diffuse disease involving the entire liver, in which the normal lobular architecture of the hepatic parenchyma is disorganized and due to the necrosis or the death of the cells, followed by the formation of nodules separated by a regular band of fibrosis.
Let us look at the different causes of liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver may be developed due to a variety of causes based on which, the disease is often classified into different types. The major causes are:
- attack of viral hepatitis
- poisoning of hepatotoxic
- Cholestasis or the retention of bile fluid, due to the obstruction of the biliary passages.
- Hemochromatosis or the excessive accumulation of iron in the cells of the liver and some other organs.
Among these, alcoholism is by far the most common cause of liver cirrhosis. Alcoholism is responsible for the early death of alcoholics. Alcoholics such as those who thrive on alcohol every day and night. The disease may also occur in some rare cases such as:
- Hereditary disorders, for example, Wilson’s disease in which there is an excess accumulation of the element copper in the cells of the liver. There can also be Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency or galactosemia and glycogen storage disease.
- Right-sided congestive heart failure, and infectious diseases such as syphilis etc. can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Liver cirrhosis treatment in India is very cost effective and are done by eminent doctors, no doubt a great number of people come to India for medical tourism.
Clinical features and complications of liver cirrhosis:
In the early stage, the disease shows some nonspecific features such as fatigue, weakness, vomiting, nausea, upper abdominal discomfort, loss of weight, anorexia, muscle wasting and low fever. With the progress of the disease, several complications arise. These are:
- jaundice and progressive hepatic failure
- Ascites or accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity
- The appearance of gallstones and the attack of several other infections
- Steatorrhea or fatty stool
- Circulatory changes like portal hypertension that is the Rise of blood pressure in the hepatic portal vein with splenomegaly or and the enlarged spleen. there can also be spider telangiectasia or a network of dilated blood vessels in the skin.
- Hemorrhagic tendency and anemia might also result in a symptom of cirrhosis of the liver.
- Endocrine and reproductive disorders might be an indication
- Encephalopathy or the disorder of the brain and mental functions might also surface
- Liver cancer and renal failure occur in the later stages of liver cirrhosis. As a result of so many complications, finally, death ensues.
Several studies show that smoking may increase the risk of developing gallstones and that the risk might be higher for women. Women who extensively smoke and drink, simultaneously, are at a higher risk of developing gallstones and can also develop symptoms of liver cirrhosis. However, research results on this topic are not consistent and more study is needed.