All about liver cirrhosis, the disease the late comedian Othuol battled

Actress Sandra Dacha alias Silprosa in a recent interview revealed that Churchill comedian Othuol Othuol had four years ago been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.

The big question is what is liver cirrhosis?

In lay man’s language, cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (injury) of the liver.

The scarring develops overtime when your liver tries to repair itself from injuries caused by either disease or continued alcohol consumption.

As the liver repairs itself scar tissue form.

As cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms, making it difficult for the liver to function (decompensated cirrhosis). Advanced cirrhosis is life-threatening.

Cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Easily bleeding or bruising
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles (edema)
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Fluid accumulation in your abdomen (ascites)
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin
  • Redness in the palms of the hands
  • For women, absent or loss of periods not related to menopause
  • For men, loss of sex drive, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) or testicular atrophy
  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)

Cirrhosis  is caused by different things’ but there are risk factors that increase chance sof one getting liver cirrhosis.

Some of these include

  • Drinking too much alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cirrhosis.
  • Being overweight. Being obese increases your risk of conditions that may lead to cirrhosis, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Having viral hepatitis. Not everyone with chronic hepatitis will develop cirrhosis, but it’s one of the world’s leading causes of liver disease.

Like every other disease, Liver cirrhosis comes with it’s own complications. Some of them are

Complications of cirrhosis can include:

  • High blood pressure in the veins that supply the liver (portal hypertension). Cirrhosis slows the normal flow of blood through the liver, thus increasing pressure in the vein that brings blood to the liver from the intestines and spleen.
  • Swelling in the legs and abdomen
  • Bleeding.  If the liver can’t make enough clotting factors, this can contribute to continued internal bleeding.
  • Infections. If you have cirrhosis, your body may have difficulty fighting infections. Ascites can lead to bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection.
  • Malnutrition. Cirrhosis may make it more difficult for your body to process nutrients, leading to weakness and weight loss.
  • Buildup of toxins in the brain (hepatic encephalopathy). A liver damaged by cirrhosis isn’t able to clear toxins from the blood as well as a healthy liver can. These toxins can then build up in the brain and cause mental confusion and difficulty concentrating. With time, hepatic encephalopathy can progress to unresponsiveness or coma.
  • Jaundice.  Jaundice causes yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and darkening of urine.
  • Bone disease. Some people with cirrhosis lose bone strength and are at greater risk of fractures.
  • Increased risk of liver cancer. A large proportion of people who develop liver cancer have pre-existing cirrhosis.
  • Multiorgan failure

Prevention

Reduce your risk of cirrhosis by taking these steps to care for your liver:

  • If you have liver disease, you should avoid alcohol.
  •  Do lots of  fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein. Reduce the amount of fatty and fried foods you eat.
  •  An excess amount of body fat can damage your liver. Talk to your doctor about a weight-loss plan if you are obese or overweight.
  • Reduce your risk of hepatitis. Sharing needles and having unprotected sex can increase your risk of hepatitis B and C. Ask your doctor about hepatitis vaccination.
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