Monday, November 30, 2009

Symptoms and Complications of Cirrhosis


In my previous update we have learned about Cirrhosis and its causes. Today let us try to understand the symptoms and complications of Liver Cirrhosis in detail. I have added a few videos at the end of this article for better understanding.

What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?

Many people with cirrhosis have no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, as the disease progresses, a person may experience the following symptoms:

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • abdominal pain and bloating when fluid accumulates in the abdomen
  • itching
  • spiderlike blood vessels on the skin

What are the complications of cirrhosis?

As liver function deteriorates, one or more complications may develop. In some people, complications may be the first signs of the disease.

Edema and ascites:

When liver damage progresses to an advanced stage, fluid collects in the legs, called edema, and in the abdomen, called ascites. Ascites can lead to bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection.

Bruising and bleeding:

When the liver slows or stops producing the proteins needed for blood clotting, a person will bruise or bleed easily.

Portal hypertension:

Normally, blood from the intestines and spleen is carried to the liver through the portal vein. But cirrhosis slows the normal flow of blood, which increases the pressure in the portal vein. This condition is called portal hypertension.

Esophageal varices and gastropathy:

When portal hypertension occurs, it may cause enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus, called varices, or in the stomach, called gastropathy, or both. Enlarged blood vessels are more likely to burst due to thin walls and increased pressure. If they burst, serious bleeding can occur in the esophagus or upper stomach, requiring immediate medical attention.

Splenomegaly:

When portal hypertension occurs, the spleen frequently enlarges and holds white blood cells and platelets, reducing the numbers of these cells in the blood. A low platelet count may be the first evidence that a person has developed cirrhosis.

Jaundice:

Jaundice occurs when the diseased liver does not remove enough bilirubin from the blood, causing yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and darkening of the urine. Bilirubin is the pigment that gives bile its reddish-yellow color.

Gallstones:


If cirrhosis prevents bile from flowing freely to and from the gallbladder, the bile hardens as gallstones.

Sensitivity to medications:

Cirrhosis slows the liver’s ability to filter medications from the blood. When this occurs, medications act longer than expected and build up in the body. This causes a person to be more sensitive to medications and their side effects.

Hepatic encephalopathy:

A failing liver cannot remove toxins from the blood, and they eventually accumulate in the brain. The buildup of toxins in the brain—called hepatic encephalopathy—can decrease mental function and cause coma. Signs of decreased mental function include confusion, personality changes, memory loss, trouble concentrating, and a change in sleep habits.

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes:

Cirrhosis causes resistance to insulin—a hormone produced by the pancreas that enables the body to use glucose as energy. With insulin resistance, the body’s muscle, fat, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. The pancreas tries to keep up with the demand for insulin by producing more, but excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream causing type II diabetes.

Liver cancer:

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a type of liver cancer that can occur in people with cirrhosis. Hepatocellular carcinoma has a high mortality rate, but several treatment options are available.

Other problems:

Cirrhosis can cause immune system dysfunction, leading to the risk of infection. Cirrhosis can also cause kidney and lung failure, known as hepatorenal and hepatopulmonary syndromes.

I hope you find this information useful. Do send in your feed back.

1. http://www.indyarocks.com/videos/Cirrhosis-372906

2. http://www.indyarocks.com/videos/Understanding-the-Liver-372904

Monday, November 23, 2009

Liver Cirrhosis - Meaning and Causes


Today I am going to discuss about the Liver Cirrhosis which is a major and commonly found health problem among people these days. Cirrhosis is found to be the twelfth leading cause of death by disease. The condition affects men slightly more often than women. It is found that 27,000 people die every year due to Cirrhosis. Every person drinking 3 pegs of alcohol a day whether it is wine or beer is going to suffer from Cirrhosis if not immediately then at the later stages of life. Another study revealed that after alcohol it is obesity that is becoming a common cause of Cirrhosis. The chance of Cirrhosis goes up if people are obese and drink regularly. Apart from these we always trouble our liver by junk and harmful food every day. It strains to clean the junk and toxicants every time you eat food. The human never eats according to the dharma of his body. Therefore invites trouble. Our body is made for eating natural foods like fruits and vegetables. The animals never eat against the dharma of their body. Therefore they remain healthy throughout their lives. Out of 85,000 living beings on this Earth, only humans are prone to all kinds of diseases. Have you ever find any animal suffering from Heart Attack, Diabetes, Liver or Kidney failures? Hardly any! I have added a few images of Human Liver (Normal & Abnormal) and of a Goat. If you look at the first image which is of a goat, you can find it so soft and tender. Where as if you look at the other images of human liver you are going to understand what kind of torture we are putting on the poor Liver for loving you so much. I have also added a few very important video links relating to the Human Liver, Cirrhosis and its causes. Please go through them at the end this article for better understanding. Before that let us try to understand what exactly this Cirrhosis is and what are the main causes of Cirrhosis?


What is cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, partially blocking the flow of blood through the liver. Scarring also impairs the liver’s ability to

  • control infections
  • remove bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • process nutrients, hormones, and drugs
  • make proteins that regulate blood clotting
  • produce bile to help absorb fats—including cholesterol—and fat-soluble vitamins

A healthy liver is able to regenerate most of its own cells when they become damaged. With end-stage cirrhosis, the liver can no longer effectively replace damaged cells. A healthy liver is necessary for survival.

What causes cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis has various causes. In the United States, heavy alcohol consumption and chronic hepatitis C have been the most common causes of cirrhosis. Obesity is becoming a common cause of cirrhosis, either as the sole cause or in combination with alcohol, hepatitis C, or both. Many people with cirrhosis have more than one cause of liver damage.

Cirrhosis is not caused by trauma to the liver or other acute, or short-term, causes of damage. Usually years of chronic injury are required to cause cirrhosis.

Alcohol-related liver disease:


Most people who consume alcohol do not suffer damage to the liver. But heavy alcohol use over several years can cause chronic injury to the liver. The amount of alcohol it takes to damage the liver varies greatly from person to person. For women, consuming two to three drinks—including beer and wine—per day and for men, three to four drinks per day, can lead to liver damage and cirrhosis. In the past, alcohol-related cirrhosis led to more deaths than cirrhosis due to any other cause. Deaths caused by obesity-related cirrhosis are increasing.

Chronic hepatitis C.


The hepatitis C virus is a liver infection that is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood. Chronic hepatitis C causes inflammation and damage to the liver over time that can lead to cirrhosis.

Chronic hepatitis B and D:


The hepatitis B virus is a liver infection that is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood, semen, or other body fluid. Hepatitis B, like hepatitis C, causes liver inflammation and injury that can lead to cirrhosis. The hepatitis B vaccine is given to all infants and many adults to prevent the virus. Hepatitis D is another virus that infects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis, but it occurs only in people who already have hepatitis B.

Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):


In NAFLD, fat builds up in the liver and eventually causes cirrhosis. This increasingly common liver disease is associated with obesity, diabetes, protein malnutrition, coronary artery disease, and corticosteroid medications.

Autoimmune hepatitis:

This form of hepatitis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking liver cells and causing inflammation, damage, and eventually cirrhosis. Researchers believe genetic factors may make some people more prone to autoimmune diseases. About 70 percent of those with autoimmune hepatitis are female.

Diseases that damage or destroy bile ducts:

Several different diseases can damage or destroy the ducts that carry bile from the liver, causing bile to back up in the liver and leading to cirrhosis. In adults, the most common condition in this category is primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease in which the bile ducts become inflamed and damaged and, ultimately, disappear. Secondary biliary cirrhosis can happen if the ducts are mistakenly tied off or injured during gallbladder surgery. Primary sclerosing cholangitis is another condition that causes damage and scarring of bile ducts. In infants, damaged bile ducts are commonly caused by Alagille syndrome or biliary atresia, conditions in which the ducts are absent or injured.

Inherited diseases:

Cystic fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson disease, galactosemia, and glycogen storage diseases are inherited diseases that interfere with how the liver produces, processes, and stores enzymes, proteins, metals, and other substances the body needs to function properly. Cirrhosis can result from these conditions.

Drugs, toxins, and infections:

Other causes of cirrhosis include drug reactions, prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, parasitic infections, and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion.

So far you have learned about Cirrhosis and its major causes. In my next updates you are going to learn symptoms and complications of Cirrhosis. Hope you enjoyed and liked the article. Please do not hesitate to write your comments on the blog. It’s going to boost my confidence and encourage me more to come up with more interesting information. Till… then keep watching the space for more updates.

HERE ARE THE VIDEO LINKS:

1. Understanding the Liver:

http://www.indyarocks.com/videos/Understanding-the-Liver-372904

2. Cirrhosis and its Causes:

http://www.indyarocks.com/videos/Cirrhosis-372906



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some Easy Ways to Love Your Liver

In the previous update I published how the Liver loves you. We often trouble the liver by drinking and eating junk foods. Anything and everything you eat goes through the Liver. The food after digestion goes to the Liver in the form of glucose. This glucose might contain numerous proteins, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and as well as other chemical and poisonous substances that come through food. The liver then breaks down the elements required for the body and send it to the blood stream. The elements that are harmful to the body are sent to the Kidneys for excretion.


Liver takes on every harmful substance that comes in through food and water. There are billions of bacteria which cannot be avoided from reaching our body everyday through food and water. The Liver continuously fights and kills them without being known to us. In addition to that we are sending in few more billions of bacteria and other poisonous substances through our bad habits and unhealthy practices.


Let me tell you some easy ways to love your liver.


1. Don’t drown the Liver in beer, alcohol or wine. Please think it once before a single sip of your wine or alcohol about the pain the Liver goes through. The Liver cries and screams its pain through certain symptoms. Try to listen and understand the cry of your liver. The beauty of our body is its miraculous creation. Our body contains an automated self control mechanism. Our body never let in anything that is not required to the body. It excretes immediately the waste substance intruded into the body. Diabetic people and alcohol addicts would understand this symptom very well. If you observe the people suffering from diabetes and who are addicted to alcohol passes urine more frequently. When the sugar levels in the blood exceed the required limit, the automated mechanism of our body excretes the excess sugar through urine. That is the reason why people suffering from diabetes urinate more often. The same is the rule for people drinking alcohol. People who do not pass at least 200 ml of urine in the entire day passes more than a liter of urine when drunk. This means the body doesn’t store any harmful substance inside. Don’t force on something which it doesn’t need. Even one drink is too much for some people and could scar the Liver for life.


2. Another important factor is drugs. We are like addicted to drugs these days; no matter whether it is legal or illegal substance. Due to our bad food habits or unhealthy metabolism we are easily getting prey to certain diseases. Instead of changing our life style we are depending on drugs to cure the disease. Drugs are some times essential. But what are we doing today? We are taking drug pills for every small infection or disease. We take pills for every sneeze, cough, cold, migraine; body aches etc. which is very dangerous to our body. Use drugs only when required. Change in life style should be the first step towards curing any disease. Watch those drugs! All drugs are chemicals and when you mix them up without a doctor’s advice you could create something poisonous that could damage the Liver adversely. Medicine is sometimes necessary. But taking pills when they aren’t necessary is a bad practice. All those chemicals can really hurt your Liver.


3. Stop eating salt and spices. In India Salt and Spices are considered as the King and queen of taste. I know it’s not easy to sacrifice these two. But you have to sacrifice them before it hurts your Liver. You may wonder what Liver is to do with Salt and Spices? It has a straight forward relationship with them. What is the nature of salt? It is to melt things. It can even melt a steel container. Have you observed that? The salt is stored in plastic containers because it melts the steel by rusting it. The same thing it does with the Liver. The Liver Scars easily and those scars called cirrhosis are permanent. Spices do the job of adding salt on the sore. According to Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju garu the men do not need any additional salt or sodium to the body. The sodium we get from the food we eat is more than enough to the body. Therefore eat no salt or less salt to keep your Liver healthy.


4. Be careful with aerosol sprays. Remember, Liver has to detoxify what you breathe in too. So when you are cleaning with aerosol cleaners make sure the room is ventilated or wear a mask. That goes double for bug sprays, mildew sprays, paint sprays and all those other chemical sprays you use. Be careful what you breathe.


5. Watch what gets on your skin. Those insecticides you put on trees and shrubs not only kill bugs they can get to the Liver right through your skin and destroy Liver cells too. Remember they are all chemicals. Cover your skin with gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask every time insecticides are in the air or if you are handling them.


6. Don’t eat too much fatty food! The Liver makes the cholesterol your body needs and it does make it enough. Give it a break. Eat a good and well balanced nourishing diet. If you eat the right stuff for the Liver, it will really do its stuff for you.


7. The Liver is a non-complainer. Overloading it with drugs, alcohol and other junk can destroy it. This might be the only warning you will ever get. Because the Liver never tells you that it is in trouble until it is almost at the end of its rope and yours too.


8. But the good thing about Liver is that it can regenerate its damaged cells on its own even if it is cut to more than half. If anyone who has already succumbed to Liver malfunction, they can recover back to normal by certain life style changes.


9. Finally take some advice. Check the Liver with your doctor from time to time. Blood screening tests can identify some trouble. If the Liver is soft and smooth, that’s good. If it is hard and bumpy that could mean trouble. If your doctor suspects trouble, Ultra Sound and CT Scans can look into it. The life of you and your liver depends on how you treat it.

I hope you now know how much the Liver cares for you and how you must care your Liver. Please treat the Liver – your silent partner and ever loving Liver with tender care and love.


In my next updates I will try to publish some useful information on Liver Cirrhosis, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and symptoms. So keep watching the space for updates….

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Much Do You Love Your Liver?

The Liver is the largest glandular organ of the body. It weighs about 3 lb (1.36 kg). It is reddish brown in color and is divided into four lobes of unequal size and shape. The liver lies on the right side of the abdominal cavity beneath the diaphragm. Blood is carried to the liver via two large vessels called the hepatic artery and the portal vein. The hepatic artery carries oxygen-rich blood from the aorta (a major vessel in the heart). The portal vein carries blood containing digested food from the small intestine. These blood vessels subdivide in the liver repeatedly, terminating in very small capillaries. Each capillary leads to a lobule. Liver tissue is composed of thousands of lobules, and each lobule is made up of hepatic cells, the basic metabolic cells of the liver.

Liver is a very vital organ of our body. In fact it is the most functioning organ of our body. Unfortunately people do not recognize the importance of Liver. It is like a shield protecting us all the time from various alien intruders into the body. More than 500 vital functions have been identified with liver. It helps you in numerous ways because the liver loves you a lot. Do you love your liver too? If yes, how much do you love your liver? How can you love it if you do not know how much the liver loves you? Let us try to learn how much the liver loves you in different ways.

1. The liver produces cholesterol required for the body and it produces enough. You do not need to buy extra cholesterol for your body. Your body makes most of the cholesterol it needs in Liver. The rest of the cholesterol in your body comes from the food you eat. It is very important to have good cholesterol level in the body. It is because the body uses cholesterol to hold cells together and make important hormones to allow your body work properly. Your body has a gauge to measure the total cholesterol level in the blood. If you are healthy, the more cholesterol you use the less cholesterol the body will make. If you eat less cholesterol your body will make more. This allows you to maintain cholesterol at a proper level. Even if you never eat any cholesterol your body will still make enough. Many people believe that eating more cholesterol is obviously dangerous to the body but eating less or low cholesterol food is okay for health. This is a huge misconception among people. You need zero cholesterol from outside your body. If you eat even less cholesterol the liver has to balance the amount of cholesterol required for the body. Just imagine… how many times the Liver try to balance your cholesterol levels during a life span of yours? Don’t let your Liver over work. It losses its resistance and when that happens it leaves the cholesterol into the blood stream. If cholesterol reaches the blood, it tends to clot in the arteries in the form of plaque. If this plaque increases, it interrupts the free flow of blood resulting in severe cardio vascular diseases. According to Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju when the Liver is making the required cholesterol the body needs; what is the need to intake additional cholesterol through food? Why trouble the Liver? Always eat zero cholesterol food to stay healthy and lead a happy life. I would like to add another important point here. There is a huge misconception among people that food items like Coconuts, Groundnuts, Sesame Seeds, Almonds etc contains cholesterol. There is Zero cholesterol in these things. But there is high volume of cholesterol in the oil extracted from these seeds by milling and processing. Please remember! There is no cholesterol in any thing that comes from a plant. Cholesterol is only made by animals. You can only get it by eating animal products like meat, egg, fish, milk and its bi-products like ghee, cheese, butter, cream, chocolates etc.

2. Liver stores lots of Iron reserves you need as well as Vitamins and Minerals. Without liver, you wouldn’t have the strength to carry on.

3. Liver produces bile, which helps digest food and carry away the waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion. Without liver you would waste away to nothing.

4. Liver detoxifies many poisonous chemicals that you give it in the form of alcohol, beer, wine and drugs prescribed as well as illegal substances. Without Liver your bad practices would have killed you. Natural Ways of Living is an excellent way of leading a life without drugs and diseases. In Dr. Mantena’s Natural Ways of Living the food we eat is the drug in itself to cure your diseases. Some times the drug is essential to treat diseases but why can’t we lead a life free of drugs and diseases? This is absolutely possible through Natural Ways of Living, which our ancestors did in the past. When there were no doctors and medicines, they lived healthier and longer. The drug might cure some diseases but it leaves some waste the Liver has to clean; after all it is a chemical substance which is again harmful to the liver.

5. The Liver stores energy like a battery by stockpiling the glucose. It converts the excess glucose into glycogen for storage and glycogen later will be converted back to glucose for energy. Without Liver the sugar level in the blood can fall dramatically and you would go into coma. In fact, you wouldn’t have got out of bed this morning if the Liver hasn’t done its job.

6. The liver makes the blood that got your system going even before you were born. Without Liver, you wouldn’t be there!

7. The Liver manufactures new proteins that your body needs to stay healthy and grow. Without Liver, you wouldn’t grow properly.

8. The Liver removes poisons from the air, exhaust smoke and chemicals you breathe. Without Liver, you’d be poisoned by pollutants.

9. The Liver makes the clotting factors that stop bleeding when you succumb to injuries. Without Liver, you’d bleed to death!

10. The Liver helps defend you against the germs intruding into your body all the time. It takes on those cold germs, flu bugs and other germs you encounter and knock them dead or injured. Without Liver, you’d be a sitting duck for every infection known to man.

11. The Liver regulates the blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins and converts the poisonous ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine).

12. The Liver clears the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances in your body. Without Liver, You would be killed by venomous drugs and chemicals.

13. When the liver has broken down harmful substances, its by-products are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in the form of feces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys, and leave the body in the form of urine.

That’s how much the Liver loves you…! But do you love Your Liver? Think now and act before it’s too late. In my next update I am going to publish some easy ways to love your Liver. Keep watching for the next update…..

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