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Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a serious liver disease, which is accompanied by the replacement of liver tissue with connective tissue. At the same time, the liver changes in size, it becomes denser, lumpy and rougher.

The danger of cirrhosis is great - in developed countries it is one of the six main causes of death, 40 million people die from this disease every year in the world. However, many are skeptical about this disease, believing that there is no danger from it, so let's take a closer look at popular myths.

In fact, there is no particular danger from cirrhosis, this is just a horror story to wean citizens from bad habits. When the expression "drank the liver" is used, this is no exaggeration. The facts of the death of this organ from cirrhosis were recorded by doctors of ancient India. The very same term cirrhosis of the liver (or "red liver") officially appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century, then the clinical picture of the disease was described. Little has changed since then, with half of cirrhosis cases to blame for chronic alcohol intoxication. Statistics say that every third alcoholic suffers from this ailment after 10-15 the beginning of his destructive activity. Among the sick men there are 2 times more, it is easy to guess why. The essence of the disease is that the destruction of liver tissue occurs due to necrosis and fibrosis of hepatocytes - the cells of the organ die, they are replaced by collagen fibers. The liver ceases to perform its main functions - to cleanse the blood, the organ turns into a useless clot of connective tissue.

Cirrhosis is dangerous only for those who drink low-quality alcoholic beverages, because it is not alcohol that is harmful, but poisonous fusel oils. High-quality drinking does not harm the liver. Such a statement may come from an alcohol manufacturer. In fact, any ethanol, even of the best quality and pure, destroys the liver. A feature of alcohol is the activation of fibrogenesis in the hepatic tissues. In other words, it is under its action that cells begin to produce collagen, and useful liver tissue is replaced with unnecessary connective tissue. A well-known dangerous dose of alcohol for humans is 200-250 grams of vodka or 40-45 grams of ethanol per day. A 15-year binge increases the risk of liver cirrhosis by 8 times compared with a 5-year binge period. Although there is some truth in the myth, if poisonous oils are added to ethanol, then the risk of cirrhosis will increase significantly.

Only a drinking person can suffer from cirrhosis. If a person does not drink at all, then this will save him only from one of the main factors in the development of cirrhosis, and there are about ten of them in total. The cause of liver disease can be viral hepatitis, the action of toxins, biliary tract disease, drug overdose, some infectious and parasitic diseases (brucellosis, toxoplasmosis, echinococcosis). So no one is immune from illness and you should not immediately suspect a sick person of drunkenness.

Cirrhosis sounds like a sentence, it is impossible to fight the disease, because you cannot live long without a liver. It is certainly not worth giving up ahead of time. The quality of life and its duration depend on where the disease came from, on the degree of liver disorders, on treatment and on the stage of the disease. After all, early diagnosis of the disease gives the patient more chances in his difficult struggle. If cirrhosis is of alcoholic origin, then in the early stages, refusal from alcohol and timely high-quality treatment can generally lead to recovery, in the case of a viral source, the process can be suspended, and prolonged remission is possible. Do not wait for clinical symptoms - liver swelling, nosebleeds, or yellowing. This speaks not of the onset of the disease, but of its advanced stage. Any diseases of the gastrointestinal tract or an increase in temperature of unknown origin should lead to blood donation for biochemical analysis and ultrasound of the liver. This is especially critical for people at risk - those who have had viral hepatitis or have come into contact with such patients who have undergone blood transfusions, surgical interventions, and, of course, those who have an addiction to alcohol.

Modern medicine is successfully combating cirrhosis. Unfortunately, the changes that occur to the liver during illness are irreversible. And this must be considered. In medicine, a classification has been adopted, according to which the reasons for the end of cirrhosis can be: improvement, stationary state, deterioration or death. As you can see, there is no question of complete recovery. You can get rid of cirrhosis only together with the liver; only desperate optimists can hope for this. Turning to the previous myth, we emphasize that at the early stage of alcoholic cirrhosis, quick measures can still restore liver tissue, but if the destruction is irreversible, then we can only hope that the disease will reach an inactive and non-developing stage.

There is a miracle drug that restores the structure of the liver. Usually referred to as "Essentiale Forte", "Essentiale-N" or "Essliver", the so-called hepatoprotectors. In them, the active substance is lecithin, which is part of the membranes of the liver cells. These drugs are usually given intravenously and orally to patients whose liver has been damaged by alcohol to repair broken membranes. Recently, however, many scientists have come to the conclusion that lecithin is not so effective - only half of the phospholipids injected are incorporated into the cell membranes. But tissues, in which irreversible changes have already occurred, are no longer possible to restore, a miracle should not be expected.

Any hepatitis will eventually lead to liver cirrhosis. Not everything is so pessimistic. First, acute viral hepatitis must transform into chronic, while being active. With timely and proper treatment, this does not happen very often. And even if this did happen, cirrhosis occurs in only half of the cases. Medicine cites data according to which, within 5 years, about 1% of those who have had a symptomatic or anicteric form of hepatitis B or C develop cirrhosis. But the forms of hepatitis D and G are much more harmful, significantly increasing the risk of cirrhosis, but even here there is no 100 percent chance of a consequence.

So what if I die early, but until the last will remain a man. Those who, against the background of illness, are going to embark on sexual adventures are forced to disappoint. Cirrhosis in general, and especially the form associated with alcohol, causes changes in the hormonal sphere. An excess of estrogen is formed in the body, the amount of testosterone decreases. A man may experience impotence and testicular atrophy, possibly gynecomastia or breast augmentation to female sizes.

Geese have cirrhosis of the liver, which farmers specially fatten, and then make foie gras from their liver for gourmets. This is not entirely true, the birds are in fact inserted into the throat of a hose through which the super-calorie feed is fed into the stomach. But as a result of this treatment, cirrhosis is not formed, the liver just enlarges and becomes fatter. And the cirrhotic liver is hardly to the taste of gourmets - it is too tough. A reasonable conclusion follows - plentiful, tasty and fatty food is unlikely to lead to cirrhosis, but foie gras can be abandoned for moral reasons. An unbalanced diet will primarily affect the pancreas and blood vessels. Although a diet with a deficiency of proteins and fats can lead to the so-called alimentary cirrhosis, but for this it is necessary to sit on a very meager diet of cereals and fruits for a long time.

With cirrhosis of the liver, this organ atrophies and the person dies quietly. Usually, hepatic coma and encephalopathy, gastrointestinal bleeding or ascites with possible subsequent peritonitis occur in the final stage. Much sounds incomprehensible, let's reveal unpleasant details. Encephalopathy is a complex of neuromuscular disorders during which severe liver failure is observed. First, there is a decrease in activity and apathy. Soon unexplained aggression, slovenliness, meaningless actions come to the patient. Further, consciousness becomes confused, cramps come to the muscles, movements lose coordination. At the last stage, a hepatic coma occurs, at first the person is in a clear consciousness, then reflexes and sensitivity to pain are denied to him. From this point on, the extinction can indeed be considered quiet and painless. In the course of gastrointestinal bleeding have the following reasons. The fact is that in healthy people, the liver processes the blood passing through it, in contact with the villi of hepatocytes, as a result of which the blood is purified. Due to the replacement of healthy tissue, connective blood flow is hampered, the blood looks for other ways, forming connections where the arteries and veins are close to each other. These places are the mucous membranes of the rectum and stomach lining, as well as the rectal abdominal wall. As a result, a pattern of vessels, like the head of a jellyfish, is formed on the abdomen above the navel, so much characteristic of patients with cirrhosis. When the anastomoses rupture, dark bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract occurs, the stool is tarry in nature. In the course of ascites, a violation of water-salt metabolism occurs, up to 3-6 liters of fluid accumulates in the body, and sometimes almost a bucket. This fluid can spontaneously become infected with intestinal bacteria, in which case ascites flows into peritonitis, in which case the mortality rate reaches 80-100%.

Watch the video: Pathophysiology of Cirrhosis (October 2020).