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.


1. Understanding the Liver:

2. Cirrhosis and its Causes:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...