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Cirrhosis: Important causes and symptoms you need to know.

Cirrhosis: Important causes and symptoms you need to know.

A late-stage liver condition called cirrhosis causes the liver to become irreversibly damaged when good liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Your liver cannot function correctly because of scar tissue.

Numerous disorders and diseases of the liver harm healthy liver cells, leading to cell death and inflammation. Cell repair comes next, and the end outcome of the repair process is tissue scarring.

The scar tissue reduces the liver’s capacity to handle nutrients, hormones, medicines, and natural toxins and limits blood flow through the liver (poisons). Additionally, it reduces the liver’s ability to produce proteins and other chemicals. Over time, cirrhosis prevents the liver from functioning normally. Cirrhosis in its advanced stages is fatal.

The stages of cirrhosis

Technically speaking, cirrhosis symptoms can be divided into two stages: compensated cirrhosis and decompensated cirrhosis. It is feasible to transition from the decompensated to the compensated stage if discovered and treated in a timely manner.

  • Compensated cirrhosis. The asymptomatic stage is when there are no symptoms present. The liver may still have some scarring, but it hasn’t become severe enough to produce many, if any, symptoms.
  • Decompensated cirrhosis. The majority of the symptoms, including ascites and jaundice, manifest during this period. This level is really serious. In certain cases, you may be able to turn your diagnosis back to compensated if you’re able to control the cause of cirrhosis in the first place (for example, heavy drinking).

Symptoms of cirrhosis

At initially, you might not experience any symptoms. However, as time passes and the harm to your liver worsens, you can start to notice:

Additionally, you can bleed readily, bruise easily, and experience belly or leg swelling. Additionally, you might see modifications in your skin, like:

  • Jaundice (when your skin and eyes turn yellow) (when your skin and eyes turn yellow)
  • strong itching
  • Skin blood vessels that resemble a web of spiders
  • Your hands’ palms turning red or your nails turning white

You might have certain mental changes, such as memory or attention issues. It’s possible for women to cease getting their periods. Men may lose their desire for sex, begin to develop breasts, or experience some testicular atrophy.

Other signs you can experience include:

You might not have all of these symptoms, and some of these issues could also be indicators of other diseases.

Causes and risk of cirrhosis

Always, another liver condition or illness leads to the development of cirrhosis. If the cirrhosis’ underlying cause is not addressed, it will worsen and eventually your healthy liver cells won’t be able to keep up. You can begin to experience fatigue, the urge to skip meals, and unintentional weight loss. Your liver may eventually lose its ability to function well or at all.

Knowing the origin of your cirrhosis is crucial for determining the best course of treatment and preventing further progression. The most frequent reasons include:

  • Abuse of alcohol. It’s critical to seek assistance if you have a drinking issue. The liver is harmed by alcohol. Consult your physician. They might suggest a treatment centre for you.
  • Fatty liver disease without alcohol. Obesity increases your risk of developing this illness. If this illness is the source of your cirrhosis, losing weight and managing your blood sugar levels may help your liver health.
  • Hepatitis B or hepatitis C. The treatment for these illnesses can prevent further liver damage.

The following conditions can also result in cirrhosis:

  • Dysplastic fibrosis
  • health conditions that make it difficult for your body to metabolise sugar
  • Having too much iron in your body
  • Wilson’s illness, in which the liver accumulates too much copper
  • illnesses that trigger your immune system to assault liver cells
  • the bile duct, which transports digestive enzymes from your liver to your intestines, is blocked
  • certain gastrointestinal genetic disorders

How cirrhosis is diagnosed?

A thorough history and physical examination are the first steps in cirrhosis diagnosis. A thorough medical history will be taken by your doctor.

If you have a history of chronic alcohol abuse, hepatitis C exposure, autoimmune disease in your family, or any other risk factors, you should be as honest as you can about them.

The physical examination will search for indicators like:

  • eyes or skin that appear to be more yellow
  • flamboyant palms
  • Hand trembling
  • an enlarged spleen or liver
  • decreased vigilance

The extent of the liver damage can be determined via tests. Among the tests used to assess cirrhosis are:

  • an examination of anaemia using a complete blood count
  • blood testing for coagulation to determine how rapidly blood clots
  • tests for albumin, a protein produced in the liver,
  • testing for liver function
  • Alpha fetoprotein, a test for liver cancer

The following additional tests can assess the liver:

  • an upper endoscopy to check for the presence of esophageal varices
  • a liver ultrasound examination
  • an abdomen-related MRI
  • an abdominal CT scan
  • The most accurate test for cirrhosis is a liver biopsy.

Preventing cirrhosis

Hepatitis B or C risk can be decreased by engaging in barrier-method intercourse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that all newborns and adults who are at risk, such as medical professionals and first responders, receive the hepatitis B vaccine.

Cirrhosis can be avoided or slowed down by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption. Other preventative strategies comprise:

  • Eliminating illicit drugs
  • discussing any drugs you take with your doctor, taking them as directed
  • getting tested for heptitis if you think you could be susceptible to it


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Important factors of Hepatitis C you need to know.

Important factors of Hepatitis C you need to know.

After contracting the hepatitis C virus, you experience hepatitis C, an inflammation of the liver. This virus is bloodborne, which means that the only way to spread or get it is through blood that has the virus in it.

Acute or chronic hepatitis C are both possible.

  • Acute hepatitis C: Many times, acute hepatitis C has no symptoms at all. Any symptoms you do have may start to show up a week or two after exposure. They may go away on their own in a matter of weeks.
  • Chronic hepatitis C: On the other hand, chronic hepatitis C symptoms may emerge (and worsen) over the course of months or even years. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up until they’re quite bad.

Around 58 million people worldwide are thought to have chronic hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis C is one of the most prevalent hepatitis kinds in the United States, along with hepatitis A and B. A vaccination to prevent hepatitis C does not yet exist, in contrast to those for hepatitis A and B.

If untreated, hepatitis C can result in serious, sometimes fatal health issues, such as:

  • cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • liver damage
  • liver tumour

However, hepatitis C is typically curable. Rapid testing and treatment can lessen your risk of developing severe symptoms and liver failure.

Symptoms of hepatitis C


Most sufferers of acute hepatitis C don’t exhibit any symptoms. If they do, symptoms usually start to manifest two to twelve weeks following exposure. Acute hepatitis C is rarely diagnosed since there are no clear signs. As a result, physicians frequently refer to hepatitis C as the silent pandemic.

The severe symptoms resemble those of other viral illnesses quite closely. Acute hepatitis C symptoms include:

  • the fever
  • fatigue
  • abdomen ache
  • reduced appetite
  • dizziness or vomiting
  • dark faeces
  • stool in a shade of clay
  • joints hurt
  • jaundice, hardly ever

These illnesses frequently only last a few weeks and are minor. You might not require medical therapy if you have acute hepatitis C. This is because your body can sometimes fight the illness on its own.

It’s possible that you won’t even be aware of having the illness if you don’t exhibit any symptoms. Even though you may not be experiencing any symptoms, you can still spread the infection to others.


Acute hepatitis C will progress to chronic hepatitis if your body cannot rid itself of the hepatitis C virus. Of those who have hepatitis C, between 55 and 85% go on to have chronic hepatitis C.

Without treatment, the chronic type of hepatitis C won’t go away on its own, and your symptoms may worsen. There may be long-term health effects from these symptoms. They might potentially result in liver cancer and long-term liver damage.

Chronic hepatitis C symptoms include:

  • chronic fatigue
  • a general sense of being sick
  • Aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • unaccounted weight loss
  • mood swings, including depressive or anxious thoughts
  • difficulty paying attention or remembering things

The chronic type of the illness won’t always result in immediately noticeable symptoms, similar to acute hepatitis C. You should get tested as soon as you can if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms and think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Causes of hepatitis C

Blood-to-blood contact is how the virus is spread. In other words, if the blood of a person who has hepatitis C comes into touch with your blood, you could contract the virus. This could occur because of:

  • transplantation of organs
  • sharing goods like toothbrushes and razors
  • sharing syringes
  • childbirth (the person giving birth can spread the infection to the infant) 
    the exchange of blood during sexual intercourse
  • piercing or getting a tattoo using non-sterile tools
  • If you’ve already had the virus, you could get it again.

Blood transfusions were thought to be a very plausible source of hepatitis C virus transmission before 1992. You now have a far lower probability of catching the virus through a transfusion because to medical advancements in blood screening.

You could be at an increased risk of transmission if you:

  • before 1992, you had a blood transfusion
  • had a transplanted organ before 1992
  • received blood products or clotting factor concentrates prior to 1987
  • received long-term hemodialysis treatment
  • hepatitis C-positive mother gave birth to them
  • had a hepatitis C-infected sexual partner
  • used needles that weren’t sterile

You can avoid spreading hepatitis C by:

  • kissing, embracing, or otherwise touching
  • feeding your infant
  • sharing meals and beverages
  • sneeze and coughing

Is hepatitis C curable?

Hepatitis C infections, whether acute or chronic, are frequently fully curable. (Keep in mind, though, that you still risk getting the virus again.)

Antiviral medication-based therapy can effectively treat hepatitis C 95% of the time. When tests no longer show the virus in your blood 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment, medical specialists will consider you to be cured.

How is hepatitis C treated?

Hepatitis C patients do not always require therapy. Your immune system might be strong enough to successfully combat the illness and eliminate the virus from your body. Medication is typically effective in treating the illness if your immune system is unable to eradicate the infection.

Hepatitis C medications

Hepatitis C can be treated with a wide range of drugs. Antivirals are the most common type of treatment, while Riboviria may also be recommended if other measures have failed.

Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), a class of medications, work to completely eradicate the hepatitis C virus from your body. It also assist in the prevention of liver damage.

Several of the brands of these medicines include:

  • Zepatier
  • Harvoni
  • Epclusa
  • Vosevi
  • Mavyret

Hepatitis C has been classified into 6 distinct genotypes, or strains, by researchers.

Knowing your genotype will help your doctor or other healthcare provider decide which drug will work best for you. Your genotype may have an impact on the kind of treatments you can receive because some strains have acquired a tolerance to some drugs.


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