By Jennifer Amponsah, Krystalle Myers, Hayley Townsend
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
What causes cirrhosis? heavy alcohol consumption chronic hepatitis C (the most common) Obesity Autoimmune inflammation of the liver Metabolic disorders
What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?Symptoms are hard to catch 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 itching spiderlike blood vessels on the skin
DiagnosisDuring a physical examination the doctor may find: Enlarged liver or spleen Expanded abdomen, as a result of too much fluid Abdominal or chest pain Red spider-like blood vessels Jaundice (yellow eyes or skin) Anemia Liver function problems Low hormone levels
Population at risk for Cirrhosis Alcoholics White men Hispanic women Ages 41-50Statistics In 2007 about 29,000 people died in the US from cirrhosis, about 10 per 100,000. In 2010 there were about 14,000 deaths in the US from cirrhosis In 1997 cirrhosis was that 10th leading cause of death in the US
What are the complications of cirrhosis? Edema and ascites: fluid collects in the legs, called edema, and in the abdomen, called ascites.. Bruising and bleeding easily High blood pressure Esophageal varices and gastropathy: enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus and stomach Splenomegaly: spleen enlarges Gallstones Sensitivity to medications Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes Liver cancer
Treatment and PreventionPrevention Stop drinking alcohol (or don’t start at all) Limit salt in the diet Eat a nutritious diet Get vaccinated for influenza, hepatitis A and B. Practice safe sexTreatment Liver transplant Antibiotics
Alcohol-related liver disease Heavy alcohol use over several years can cause chronic injury to the liver. 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. Alcohol-related cirrhosis led to more deaths than cirrhosis of any other cause.
Behavioral Change Model A behavior that you can change to prevent cirrhosis is to stop alcohol consumption or reduce it quite a bit.
ReferencesNational Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).(2008). Cirrhosis. Retrieve from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000255.htm
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