Can the liver repair itself from cirrhosis: Symptoms, Treatment, Diet & Life Expectancy
How Quickly The Liver Can Repair Itself
Alcohol consumption and liver health is a fine balance – you don’t have to become a teetotaler to stay healthy, but you should be aware of how alcohol affects one of the most important organs of the body and what you can do to keep it healthy.
Alcohol affects men and women differently
The digestion of alcohol is different for men and women because men have a higher concentration of dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol.
“When alcohol, or ethanol, reaches the liver, the cells of the liver have enzymes that help with the digestion and processing of alcohol,” explains Lance Stein, M.D., a transplant hepatologist at Piedmont Transplant. “When alcohol then reaches the blood, that’s when you feel the effects of alcohol.”
How the body processes alcohol
There is no denying alcohol is a toxin to the liver, says Dr. Stein.
“As the liver is processing alcohol, it can damage the liver’s enzymes, which can lead to cell death,” he says. “As with any damage to any cell of any organ, there is always a process of healing.”
The liver’s healing process
One of the most incredible facts about the liver is that it is self-healing, just like your skin. For example, if you cut yourself, the wound eventually scabs over as it heals and possibly leaves you with a scar.
The same process happens in the liver. As cells die, scar tissue develops. This is known as liver cirrhosis. If excessive alcohol use and scarring continues over time, eventually the liver can become too scarred to function properly.
Some alcohol-related liver damage can be reversed if you stop drinking alcohol early enough in the disease process. Healing can begin as early as a few days to weeks after you stop drinking, but if the damage is severe, healing can take several months.
In some cases, “if the damage to the liver has been long-term, it may not be reversible,” warns Dr. Stein.
How much alcohol is too much?
“It’s important to know what you’re drinking because when people mix their own drinks, they’re often using more than the recommended amount,” says Dr. Stein. “They think they’re drinking one drink, but they’re actually having two or three.”
One serving of alcohol looks like:
The bottom line is that moderate alcohol use – no more than two to three drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women – should be acceptable and you should not expect any long-term damage.
“People who drink more heavily should be concerned and should seek medical counseling for assessment of whether they need assistance with stopping alcohol use or if they have any damage as a result of long-term alcohol use,” says Dr. Stein.
Learn more about liver health.
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The Stages of Liver Disease
We all need a healthy liver to live – it’s so essential that “
live” is in the name!
Where to Find Your Liver
The liver is your body’s largest internal organ, weighing between 3 and 5 pounds. Your liver is located on the right side of your upper body, below the lungs, taking up most of the space in your rib cage. The gallbladder, which stores bile made in the liver, is found tucked under your liver. Your liver is made up of two separate sections, or lobes: the larger right lobe and the smaller left lobe. These two lobes are separated by tissue which anchors your liver in place.
What Your Liver Does
Your liver’s biggest role is to filter your blood all day, every day. A healthy liver gets its color, a deep reddish brown, because it is so drenched in blood. At any given moment, your liver contains about a pint of blood, or 13% of the body’s total blood supply. Your liver filters more than a liter of blood every minute which is about 22 gallons of blood per hour and more than 250 gallons of blood in a 24-hour time period. There are two sources that supply your liver with all that blood: the hepatic artery and the hepatic portal vein. The hepatic artery brings oxygen-rich blood to your liver. Blood coming from your digestive system enters the liver through the hepatic portal vein carrying nutrients, medications, or toxins.
The Parts of Your Liver
As was mentioned earlier, the liver has two lobes. Each lobe is made up of smaller sections called lobules which are clusters of liver cells. The portal vein and the hepatic artery enter the liver sending one large trunk to the left lobe and one large trunk to the right lobe, gradually dividing into smaller branches creating a network of vessels bringing blood to each lobule. Once the cells in the lobule process the blood, ducts (small tubes) transport bile from the cell while filtered blood empties into veins at the center of each lobule. Veins lead out of the lobules merging into larger veins eventually flowing into the hepatic veins; blood then leaves the liver through the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. Ducts transport bile out of the lobule flowing into larger right and left hepatic ducts. These two larger ducts come together to form the common hepatic duct. The common hepatic duct drains the bile to the gallbladder where it is stored and brings bile to the first part of the small intestine.
How Your Liver Works
Unlike the lungs or heart, we cannot feel our liver working. Many people don’t think about their liver unless or until there is something wrong with it. Your liver is an incredibly hard-working organ with more than 500 different vital functions. Only your brain has more functions than the liver. Many of the liver’s functions are related to your metabolism. These metabolic functions allow you to convert food to energy, break down food to basic building blocks needed by your body and eliminate waste.
- Produces bile
- Bile is a yellow-green acidic liquid that helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
- Produces proteins for blood plasma
- Blood plasma is a fluid which transports blood components (red and white blood cells and platelets), nutrients, hormones, proteins, and waste products
- Produces cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
- Converts unused glucose into glycogen for storage
- When needed, glycogen can be converted back to glucose for energy
- Balances blood sugar and makes glucose as needed
- Regulates levels of amino acids in blood
- Amino acids form the building blocks of proteins
- Stores iron processed from hemoglobin
- Hemoglobin is the protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen
- Converts poisonous ammonia, made during digestion, to urea
- Processes drugs and other poisonous substances to your body
- Regulates blood clotting (or our ability to stop bleeding)
- Fights infections by making immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
- Removes bilirubin from red blood cells
The liver removes harmful substances from our body often by breaking them down to smaller byproducts. These byproducts leave the liver through bile or blood – byproducts in bile are removed from the body through feces while those in the blood are filtered out by the kidneys and removed through urine.
Alcohol-related liver disease – NHS
Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) refers to liver damage caused by excess alcohol intake. There are several stages of severity and a range of associated symptoms.
Symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)
ARLD does not usually cause any symptoms until the liver has been severely damaged.
When this happens, symptoms can include:
This means ARLD is frequently diagnosed during tests for other conditions, or at a stage of advanced liver damage.
If you regularly drink alcohol to excess, tell your GP so they can check if your liver is damaged.
Get advice about coronavirus and liver disease from the British Liver Trust
Alcohol and the liver
With the exception of the brain, the liver is the most complex organ in the body.
Its functions include:
- filtering toxins from the blood
- aiding digestion of food
- regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- helping fight infection and disease
The liver is very resilient and capable of regenerating itself. Each time your liver filters alcohol, some of the liver cells die.
The liver can develop new cells, but prolonged alcohol misuse (drinking too much) over many years can reduce its ability to regenerate. This can result in serious and permanent damage to your liver.
ARLD is very common in the UK. The number of people with the condition has been increasing over the last few decades as a result of increasing levels of alcohol misuse.
Read more about the causes of ARLD.
Stages of ARLD
There are 3 main stages of ARLD, although there’s often an overlap between each stage. These stages are explained below.
Alcoholic fatty liver disease
Drinking a large amount of alcohol, even for just a few days, can lead to a build-up of fats in the liver.
This is called alcoholic fatty liver disease, and is the first stage of ARLD.
Fatty liver disease rarely causes any symptoms, but it’s an important warning sign that you’re drinking at a harmful level.
Fatty liver disease is reversible. If you stop drinking alcohol for 2 weeks, your liver should return to normal.
Alcoholic hepatitis, which is unrelated to infectious hepatitis, is a potentially serious condition that can be caused by alcohol misuse over a longer period.
When this develops, it may be the first time a person is aware they’re damaging their liver through alcohol.
Less commonly, alcoholic hepatitis can occur if you drink a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time (binge drinking).
The liver damage associated with mild alcoholic hepatitis is usually reversible if you stop drinking permanently.
Severe alcoholic hepatitis, however, is a serious and life-threatening illness.
Many people die from the condition each year in the UK, and some people only find out they have liver damage when their condition reaches this stage.
Cirrhosis is a stage of ARLD where the liver has become significantly scarred. Even at this stage, there may not be any obvious symptoms.
It’s generally not reversible, but stopping drinking alcohol immediately can prevent further damage and significantly increase your life expectancy.
A person who has alcohol-related cirrhosis and does not stop drinking has a less than 50% chance of living for at least 5 more years.
Treating alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)
There’s currently no specific medical treatment for ARLD. The main treatment is to stop drinking, preferably for the rest of your life.
This reduces the risk of further damage to your liver and gives it the best chance of recovering.
If a person is dependent on alcohol, stopping drinking can be very difficult.
But support, advice and medical treatment may be available through local alcohol support services.
A liver transplant may be required in severe cases where the liver has stopped functioning and does not improve when you stop drinking alcohol.
You’ll only be considered for a liver transplant if you have developed complications of cirrhosis despite having stopped drinking.
All liver transplant units require a person to not drink alcohol while awaiting the transplant, and for the rest of their life.
Death rates linked to ARLD have risen considerably over the last few decades.
Alcohol misuse is now one of the most common causes of death in the UK, along with smoking and high blood pressure.
Life-threatening complications of ARLD include:
- internal (variceal) bleeding
- build-up of toxins in the brain (encephalopathy)
- fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) with associated kidney failure
- liver cancer
- increased vulnerability to infection
Read more about the complications of ARLD.
Preventing alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD)
The most effective way to prevent ARLD is to stop drinking alcohol or stick to the recommended limits:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager or a pub measure (25ml) of spirits.
Even if you have been a heavy drinker for many years, reducing or stopping your alcohol intake will have important short- and long-term benefits for your liver and overall health.
See our drinking and alcohol pages for more information and advice.
Video: liver disease
In this video, consultant hepatologist Mark Wright explains liver disease and how not drinking alcohol can help.
Media last reviewed: 3 July 2018
Media review due: 3 July 2021
Page last reviewed: 10 August 2018
Next review due: 10 August 2021
Can the liver repair itself after years of drinking?
Dr Ghazanfar Ali
| Updated: 21/02/2020
Edited by: Emma McLeod
The liver is an organ with the ability to regenerate, but after consuming excess alcohol over a long time, there is a stage in which this ability can become impaired or impossible. Dr Ghazanfar Ali has been treating alcohol related liver disease (ARLD) for many years, and here he explains the stages of ARLD, if the liver can heal itself and more.
What is alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) exactly?
Alcohol is used as a drink to enjoy life, but many people may not be aware of the damage it can cause if consumed on a regular basis over a long period of time. If more than 14 units of alcohol are consumed weekly over the years, it can cause irreversible damage to the liver, even if the units are consumed over only two to three days a week.
What are the 3 stages of ARLD?
Alcohol causes liver damage in three stages.
- In the first stage, people develop fatty liver. This is an accumulation of fat in the liver cells which occurs due to alcohol being metabolised and the production of fat in the liver. It occurs readily in people who are overweight, sedentary and have an unhealthy diet.
- If one continues to drink, the second stage is alcoholic hepatitis. This is due to inflammation in the liver cells and at this stage, liver blood test results become abnormal. It can develop after many years of drinking or relatively early-on.
- The third stage is liver cirrhosis. It develops after many years of harmful drinking. In earlier stages after alcoholic hepatitis, liver cells start to die and this leads to scarring and fibrosis (excess tissue) of the liver cells. At this stage the liver starts to become stiff with reduced elasticity, forms nodules, its shape becomes distorted and the liver shrinks in size.
Can the liver repair itself after years of drinking?
Liver cells can regenerate if there is a single injury or trauma and if only some of the liver cells are damaged. If the liver injury occurs over the years with continuous prolonged damage, then cirrhosis develops and the damage becomes irreversible. Once cirrhosis has finally developed, the only treatment option is a liver transplant.
Is liver disease common in the UK?
Liver disease is the third leading cause of death in the UK and over 40 people die of the disease every day. Liver disease is now the biggest cause of death in those aged between 35-90 years old and since 1970 deaths due to liver disease have increased by 400%
ARLD, along with fatty liver and hepatitis C, is the most common cause of cirrhosis in the UK. ARLD accounts for 60% of all liver disease.
Can you offer any advice to avoid ARLD?
Prolonged and excess use of alcohol is what leads to liver damage. Drinking in moderation with two or more alcohol-free days a week should minimise the damage, and to be within safe limits, one should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, whether male or female, and avoid binge drinking as it’s harmful to the liver.
However, alcohol consumption, even in moderation, may cause liver damage if a person is overweight, has diabetes, and/or an unhealthy lifestyle. For a person with these characteristics, even drinking less than 14 units may cause liver damage, hence to prevent ARLD, one needs to avoid excess use of alcohol and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Dr Ghazanfar Ali is a leading gastroenterologist with many years of experience in treating liver disease. Don’t hesitate to visit Dr Ali’s profile and book a consultation.
in Greater Manchester
Things You Thought You Knew About Cirrhosis
You’ve probably heard of cirrhosis, a serious liver disease that leads some people to need liver transplants. But you may be surprised at what actually causes cirrhosis. Here, liver disease expert Helen Te, MD, explains the most common misconceptions about cirrhosis.
I don’t have any symptoms – there’s no way I could have cirrhosis.
False. It is possible to have cirrhosis of the liver and not know it. Many patients who have cirrhosis still have enough liver function to support their body’s daily operations and have no symptoms. Fatigue is a common symptom of cirrhosis, but feeling tired can be caused by many things. It’s only when liver dysfunction or failure sets in that you can experience symptoms like yellowing of the skin or eyes, confusion, fluid buildup in your belly, leg swelling and bleeding.
I don’t drink alcohol, so cirrhosis can’t affect me.
False. Cirrhosis is simply severe scarring of the liver caused by various ‘injuries’ over time. There can be several causes of those injuries, including hepatitis B or C, hereditary disorders of iron or copper overload, liver diseases caused by an overactive immune system, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or drinking too much alcohol.
I might have cirrhosis, but the liver will heal itself naturally. The liver can regenerate after cirrhosis, right?
Partly false. The liver is indeed a highly regenerative organ, but only if it’s still healthy enough to do so and doesn’t have extensive scar tissue. Once cirrhosis is present, your liver’s regeneration becomes very limited. That’s why in most cases, cirrhosis can’t be reversed.
I have cirrhosis, but that doesn’t mean I have liver cancer.
True. Liver cancer is one possible complication of cirrhosis, though. Early detection of liver cancer is critical, so if you do have cirrhosis, your doctor will want you to undergo periodic testing using blood and radiologic tests. Early-stage liver cancer can be cured with surgery or transplantation, depending on your health and the location and size of the tumor.
It’s good news that I’m gaining weight, despite having cirrhosis.
It depends. If your weight gain is from eating too many calories, this can lead to fat deposits on your liver, which can cause further injury. If your weight gain is due to fluid retention, it may be a sign that your liver is deteriorating. With cirrhosis, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet to provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs and to avoid losing muscle mass.
Now that I’ve been diagnosed with cirrhosis, I’m going to need a liver transplant.
Not necessarily true. Your liver may still be able to perform all of its routine functions on a daily basis for a long time. However, having cirrhosis means you may experience the previously mentioned symptoms and have a risk for developing liver cancer. If your symptoms aren’t adequately controlled with medical therapy or you have early liver cancer that can’t be removed with surgery, you may need a liver transplant.
I have cirrhosis with some complications; a liver transplant will fix my health problems.
Liver transplants are complex surgeries and are usually a patient’s last option to get better. Despite your transplant team’s best intentions and efforts, however, complications from the surgery can occur. You’ll also have to take medications for life to prevent liver rejection. These medications may have side effects such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney dysfunction or neurologic problems. Also, certain liver diseases can reoccur in the new liver after time, like cancer, autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis or primary biliary cholangitis. While a liver transplant is your best chance to return to a functional life if you have significant complications from cirrhosis, keeping your liver healthy enough to avoid a liver transplant in the first place is the best approach. You can do this by getting medical care for your liver condition early, taking medications prescribed by your doctor faithfully, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding additional injury to the liver from alcohol.
Is it Possible to Reverse Liver Damage from Alcoholism?
Alcohol dependence can have profound effects on an individual’s life. It does more than affect a person’s career and relationships, and on a practical level, it can seriously impact overall health and longevity. Long periods of heavy alcohol use are linked to brain and nervous system disease, nutrient deficiencies, and more. Perhaps the most well-established complication of long-term alcohol use is liver disease. An individual who completes a recovery program may go on to receive evidence-based interventions that address nutrition and the importance of self-care in recovery. However, the lingering question remains: can liver damage from alcoholism be reversed?
Common Liver Diseases
The body is an incredible machine that continually focuses on self-regulation. When exposed to alcohol, a toxin, the liver will step in to flush out the excess in an attempt to protect the body from damage. Over time, this process proves taxing for the liver and can lead to damage, from minor disease to permanent scarring. Liver diseases are common in people struggling with alcoholism, and the issue may persist even after a person stops drinking. Here are some of the most common liver diseases.
Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin or eyes, is the result of excess bilirubin in the body. During the course of normal blood production, the body produces bilirubin excreted by the liver. When the liver sustains damage from alcohol use, it is unable to excrete bilirubin, causing the pigmented substance to build up in the body. People with jaundice may also experience abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, and fatigue. The presence of jaundice itself is non-life-threatening, but it often signals an underlying issue with the liver itself.
Chronic alcohol use is also associated with Hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Left untreated, it can progress to cirrhosis of the liver. Alcoholic Steatohepatitis is a severe form of hepatitis that can affect up to 20% of heavy drinkers and can lead to permanent damage and scarring.
Alcoholic Fatty Liver
One of the most common conditions affecting heavy drinkers is Alcoholic Fatty Liver, affecting some 20% of chronic users. It often has no discernable symptoms, but the damage is still occurring within the liver tissues.
The most serious form of alcoholic liver disease is the formation of scar tissue, or cirrhosis. This scar tissue makes it difficult for the liver to perform its functions properly. People with cirrhosis may experience inflammation of the liver leading to abdominal pain, fat buildup in the liver cells, redness of the palms, shortening and thickening of the fingers, and more.
Can You Reverse Liver Damage from Alcoholism?
The human body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. At the same time, a limit exists for what it can do. The human body can reverse damage from several types of minor liver damage; however, in some cases, the damage might be permanent. If you can reverse liver damage from alcoholism, it will occur in the earliest stage of dependency. In the case of cirrhosis, for example, you cannot undo the damage that has already occurred. Scarring is permanent, and the liver has lost its previous ability to function normally. However, a healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the risk of further damage.
In other cases, such as fatty liver disease, you can reverse the damage from alcohol. The liver has the benefit of being the body’s only regenerative organ. In fact, if you lost 75% of your liver, it would regenerate to its previous size. When the Alcohol Liver Disease (ALD) is in its early stages, it is possible to heal the liver and restore its functioning completely. Improving liver health will require adherence to a healthy lifestyle and a dedication to feeling your best.
The Pillars of Good Liver Health
If you’re interested in promoting good liver health and reversing any damage from chronic drug and alcohol use, there are a few steps you can take to boost your efforts.
Firstly, and most importantly, stop drinking alcohol. If it is difficult for you to stop drinking, seek help. Evidence-based interventions can help you on the road to recovery. By cutting out alcohol use altogether, you have made the most vital step in helping your liver cells heal and regenerate.
Assess Your Other Unhealthy Behaviors
Drinking is not the only unhealthy behavior that can damage your liver. Other common causes of liver disease include smoking, excess consumption of saturated fats, and obesity. A healthy diet is essential to protecting the health of your liver. If your diet is high in processed fats or sugars, you are putting more stress on the organ as it works to filter out substances your body doesn’t need. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, and whole grains will help your body heal your liver.
Regular, moderate intensity exercise has documented benefits for your liver and other organs. Excess cholesterol is a known risk factor for liver disease, and exercise has the unique benefit of increasing your HDL (“good”) cholesterol while simultaneously lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which boosts your liver health. Additionally, exercise is good for your immune system, which aids in the healing of your liver overall.
Talk to Your Doctor about Your Medications
Certain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), can be harmful for your liver when taken in excess or for long periods. Talk to your primary care provider about the medications you take and how they can affect your liver health.
Be Aware of Your Risk
Exposure to toxins in common household and industrial items such as aerosols, insecticides, and chemicals can also increase your risk of liver damage. If you are in a profession that regularly handles these substances, take precautions such as wearing a mask and gloves. Limit exposure to household toxins and choose safer alternatives when feasible.
Drink Plenty of Water
Chronic dehydration is a common problem in those who suffer from alcohol dependence. The body needs water to effectively flush toxins from the body, and alcohol inhibits the production of an anti-diuretic hormone the body needs to reabsorb water. Dehydration also makes the blood thicker, which makes it more difficult for the liver to perform its functions, in turn making it work harder.
Drinking plenty of water seems to have the opposite effect. Water helps keep your blood thin and helps your body absorb nutrients. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day can help improve your body’s ability to filter toxins and heal itself.
Vitamins for Liver Health
You might be wondering how to reverse liver damage from alcohol naturally and more effectively. Lifestyle changes are the most important, but some evidence suggests that certain vitamins can improve your liver health.
Vitamin A and Vitamin B-12
Vitamin A is an antioxidant, but it also has a synergistic effect with iron. When Vitamin A levels are low, it can affect the body’s iron levels, which in turn can lead to anemia. An anemic person may have trouble healing because of the lack of nutrients in the bloodstream. However, people with a history of liver disease should discuss supplementation with a health provider, as too much can have a toxic effect on the liver that leads to scarring.
It’s common for those with alcohol use disorders to suffer from nutrient deficiencies, particularly since those with alcohol use disorder likely use alcoholic drinks as their main source of calories. Vitamin B12 is commonly found in meats, eggs, and other sources of protein such as nuts. B12 deficiency- anemia can affect your body’s ability to transport oxygenated blood throughout the body, leading to decreased immune system functioning and slowed regeneration. Since B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, it is safe to take as a supplement, but it should be under the guidance of a health care provider.
How Long Does It Take the Liver to Regenerate?
The liver is a vital organ that has the ability to heal itself, even after years of heavy drinking. In the event that 50-60% of the liver cells die, then it should be able to regenerate within 30 days. However, it’s important to recognize that good liver health is an ongoing effort that requires adherence to a healthy lifestyle.
In some cases, the liver cannot regenerate on its own. When Alcohol Liver Disease progresses to cirrhosis, it leads to scarring and the tissue becomes permanently damaged. Cirrhotic liver tissue cannot regenerate. However, following a healthy lifestyle can help minimize symptoms and improve overall life quality.
The single most important thing you can do to protect your liver is to cut out all forms of alcohol. If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol dependency, Family First offers evidence-based alcohol abuse intervention.
Symptoms, Causes, Stages, Diagnosis, and Treatment
American Liver Foundation: “The Progression of Liver Disease,” “Cirrhosis,” “How is Hepatitis C Transmitted or Spread?” “How can I prevent getting Hepatitis C?” “Who is at risk for Hepatitis C?” “Hepatitis B,” “25 Ways to Love Your Liver.”
Athena Health: “Cirrhosis.”
British Liver Trust: “Alcohol & Drugs,” “Life After Liver Transplant.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Cirrhosis of the Liver,” “What is portal hypertension?”
Hepatitis C Online: “Evaluation and Prognosis of Patients with Cirrhosis.”
Mayo Clinic: “Cirrhosis, “Cirrhosis: Diagnosis,” “Esophageal varices: Symptoms,” “Cirrhosis: Causes,” “Hepatitis B.”
Merck Manual: “Alcoholic Liver Disease.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Diagnosis of Cirrhosis,” “What is Cirrhosis?” “Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) & Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH),” “Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for NAFLD & NASH: How can my diet help prevent or treat NAFLD and NASH?”
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: “Can You Live Without Your Liver?”
UpToDate: “Cirrhosis (Beyond the Basics). “
KidsHealth: “Your Liver.”
CDC: “Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions.”
HCV Advocate: “What is Cirrhosis?”
Liverfoundation.org: “The Progression of Liver Disease: Cirrhosis,” “Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.”
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “Viral Hepatitis — Cirrhosis: A Patient’s Guide.”
NIH.gov: “Management options in decompensated cirrhosis.”
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Hepatic Medicine: “Management options in decompensated cirrhosis.”
Ucsf.edu: “When is a liver transplant indicated for cirrhosis?”
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American Family Physician: “Cirrhosis: Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”
Deutsches Arzteblatt International: “The Etiology, Diagnosis and Prevention of Liver Cirrhosis.”
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics: “Systematic Review with Meta-analysis: Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Cirrhosis.”
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Journal of Hepatology: “Statin Use and Risk of Cirrhosis Development in Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Infection.”
90,000 Cirrhosis of the liver – symptoms, signs, treatment, causes, nutrition and stages – health articles
Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious chronic disease. According to statistics, in developed countries it is one of the six leading causes of death of people aged 35 to 60 years. In the United States, about 50,000 people die from it every year. In Russia, where the population is half the size, the death rate from cirrhosis is comparable to that of the United States.*
This disease is an extensive liver damage in which the tissues of the organ die and are gradually replaced by fibrous (connective) fibers. In the process of replacement, the structure of the organ changes radically. Violation of the normal structure of the liver leads to the fact that it can no longer perform its functions. This is called liver failure.
Experts distinguish several types of liver cirrhosis. For the reasons that led to the development of the disease, the following variants can be determined:
- Viral – caused, for example, by hepatitis C and various biliary tract infections
- Toxic – caused by the use of alcohol, certain medications, food poisons and other substances that have a toxic effect on the body
- Congenital – represents the consequences of some diseases that the patient’s parents suffered, for example, hemochromatosis or tyrosinosis
- Stagnant – its origin is associated with circulatory failure
- Exchange-alimentary – develops due to obesity, as well as in severe forms of diabetes
Separately, mention should be made of the group of liver cirrhosis of unclear etiology.We are talking about those cases when it is not possible to clearly determine the cause of the disease.
Causes of occurrence
From the above, it can be seen that the onset and development of liver cirrhosis is due to many reasons. Most often people get sick from alcohol abuse. According to various estimates, this reason accounts for 40-50 to 70-80% of cases. *
The next most common factor influencing the onset and development of cirrhosis is the effect of viruses.In most cases, this is hepatitis C, as well as hepatitis B.
In addition, cirrhosis is caused by:
- Biliary tract diseases
- Various intoxications – for example, chemical or medicinal
- Unhealthy diet – first of all, chronic deficiency of vitamins and proteins in the diet
Cirrhosis caused by hereditary diseases is relatively rare. The same can be said about the aforementioned disease of unclear etiology, when it is not possible to determine the causes of its appearance.
In about 50% of patients, liver problems are caused by a combination of factors. For example, doctors often find cirrhosis caused by both heavy drinking and hepatitis B.
The main peak of incidence falls on the age group over 40 years old. Approximately 70-75% of those who suffer from cirrhosis of the liver are men.
The first signs and degrees of cirrhosis in adults
The first sign that a person is not all right with the liver is asthenovegetative syndrome.At the same time, the patient constantly feels tired, although there is no reason for this. He feels weak, becomes irritable and reacts sharply to completely innocent words or actions. He often has a headache.
Then there is the so-called. dyspeptic complex of syndromes. It includes:
- Nausea, which sometimes develops into vomiting
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Abdominal pain, aggravated by eating fried, pickled and fatty foods, as well as by drinking alcohol
- Reluctance to eat, up to a complete lack of appetite for a long time
- Severity in the stomach
All of the above may indicate other diseases.Therefore, at this stage, it is far from always possible to clearly diagnose liver cirrhosis. Moreover, in about 20% of people who suffered from it, it is possible to determine the true cause of the problem only after death.
Three stages of the disease are distinguished according to the severity
- Initial – symptoms either do not appear at all or are minimal
- Clinical – the symptoms are pronounced, and the doctor, when examining the patient, observes a typical picture of the disease
- Terminal – irreversible changes are detected, leading to death
Symptoms of liver cirrhosis
Approximately 60% of patients show symptoms of liver cirrhosis quite noticeably. The specific picture largely depends on the stage at which the disease is. But there are signs that are especially common.
The initial stage in most cases is not accompanied by biochemical disorders. But the disease progresses, and at the second stage, the so-called. hemorrhagic syndrome.
The main signs of hemorrhagic syndrome are:
- Bleeding from gums and nose
- In women – uterine bleeding
- Hematomas (bruises) on the body, appearing for unknown reasons
- Stomach and intestinal bleeding
- Ecchymosis – punctate subcutaneous hemorrhages that look like a rash
At the same time, the patient increasingly feels weakness.Irritability is gradually replaced by apathy and indifference, memory and attention disorders appear. Sleep problems are possible: the patient suffers from insomnia at night and drowsiness during the day. Over time, coordination of movements is impaired, the patient experiences problems with writing, his speech becomes less and less legible.
When examining a patient , the doctor can visually detect the following symptoms:
- Liver and spleen enlarged
- There are dilated veins and spider veins on the anterior wall of the abdominal cavity
- Skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes turned yellow
Cirrhosis of the liver can lead to various complications. This can be, for example, bleeding from varicose veins of the esophagus or pneumonia, peritonitis and other complications caused by infections. The following negative consequences often occur:
- Hepatic coma – a disorder of the functions of the central nervous system, which manifests itself in a sharp decrease in the size of the liver, increasing drowsiness, disorientation, slowing down of thought processes and, ultimately, in the fact that the patient falls into a stupor, and then into a coma
- Thrombosis in the portal vein system – thrombi (blood clots) impede free blood flow in the liver, which leads to cell death
- Hepatorenal syndrome – leads to impaired renal function, especially often occurs in those who suffer from acute liver failure or alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver
- Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma – formation of a rapidly developing malignant tumor, which is often associated with hepatitis C and hepatitis D
Cirrhosis of the liver is itself a dangerous disease. But when complications arise, the risk of death increases significantly. So, with hepatorenal syndrome, if you do not start treating it on time, death occurs 10-14 days after the development of this complication.
Experts recommend to see a general practitioner as soon as it seems to you that you have signs of liver cirrhosis. The doctor will refer the patient to laboratory tests. When he has the test results in his hands, he will send the patient to a gastroenterologist or immediately to a doctor specializing in liver diseases – a hepatologist.In some cases, for example, if signs of hepatic encephalopathy are detected, you will need to visit a neurologist. Also, when making a diagnosis, the following data are taken into account:
- Visual inspection
- Instrumental Diagnostics
The main laboratory tests , which are carried out when liver cirrhosis is suspected, are:
- Liver complex for biochemical studies – it shows how well the liver performs its functions, and helps to find out if its activity is not impaired
- Complete blood count – it is done because signs of cirrhosis can be a decrease in the number of leukocytes and erythrocytes, as well as a noticeable decrease in hemoglobin levels
- Coagulogram – it needs to be done to find out if there are problems with blood coagulation
- Fecal occult blood test helps to reveal hidden bleeding in the stomach and / or intestines
- Serological markers of viral hepatitis are used to clarify factors that could lead to the development of the disease
- Blood alpha-fetoprotein test should be performed if liver cancer is suspected
- The level of creatinine, electrolytes must be established to determine renal failure
Treatment of liver cirrhosis
If a patient is diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver , treatment can be carried out in different ways. The choice of a specific tactic is largely determined by the stage at which the disease is located and the reasons for which it arose. Also, experts take into account the individual characteristics of the patient. However, it is impossible to cure already formed cirrhosis. Modern medicine allows only to cope with the reasons due to which it arose.
Radical treatment for cirrhosis – transplantation of the affected organ. It is used if there is an immediate threat to the patient’s life.In all other cases, medical methods are used. As a rule, the patient should adhere to a strict diet, and in case of alcoholic cirrhosis, the intake of alcohol into the body should be eliminated. The choice of medicines depends on what type of cirrhosis doctors have to deal with. For example:
- Antiviral agents are used for viral hepatitis, in particular, pegylated interferons
- For biliary cirrhosis associated with a deficiency of bile acids in the intestine, medications are used to narrow the biliary tract
- Drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants) can help with autoimmune hepatitis
Nutrition and diet for cirrhosis
Diet in the treatment of cirrhosis is extremely important.Proper nutrition is both an excellent option for preventing a disease, and a way to eliminate the causes that led to its occurrence. If there are no complications, the patient is prescribed a full, high-calorie diet. It necessarily contains proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, it is necessary to exclude from the diet everything that irritates the digestive organs. First of all, these are:
- Chemical additives
In case of cirrhosis, should be abandoned from the use of products that are:
- Too salty
The diet should be prescribed by a specialist , who takes into account:
- Patient’s eating habits
- Individual product tolerance
- Pre-existing diseases of the digestive system
The diet is modified if there are any complications of cirrhosis or other diseases.
To normalize metabolic processes in liver cells, the doctor may prescribe a vitamin complex. As for any drugs, they must be used with caution. It is worth drinking only those tablets that are prescribed by specialists and for the use of which there are clear and unambiguous indications.
Advantages of the procedure in MEDSI
Treatment of liver cirrhosis is an important area of activity of the MEDSI clinic.We use effective modern techniques to eliminate the causes that influenced the onset of this disease and to make the patient’s daily life more comfortable. Our clinic employs a team of international doctors. She has a comprehensive approach to solving each specific problem. An individual approach is guaranteed to any patient: the doctor chooses an examination plan, which is based on genetic factors, risk factors, concomitant pathologies, drugs taken.
Communication with doctors begins with diagnostics. Experienced specialists, who have the necessary laboratory equipment at their disposal, will perform the tests and study their results. Fast and accurate diagnosis is ensured by the latest generation of diagnostic equipment: magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, video colonoscope, etc.
The specialists of our clinic use state-of-the-art techniques – fast path surgery and minimally invasive treatment.We have operating rooms equipped with the necessary modern equipment. Also we have:
- Reanimation and Intensive Care Unit
- Comfortable hospital with 3 meals a day, round-the-clock medical monitoring, single and double rooms of the “Lux” class, toilet and shower rooms
Do not forget: cirrhosis is an extremely dangerous disease, and the sooner we start treatment, the more likely it is that the threat to the body will be significantly reduced.The staff of the MEDSI clinic are ready to answer your questions and provide the necessary consultations.
You can sign up for a consultation with a specialist around the clock. Call us at +7 (495) 7-800-500.
* Sadovnikova I. I. Cirrhosis of the liver. Issues of etiology, pathogenesis, clinical picture, diagnosis, treatment / Appendix of breast cancer “Diseases of the Digestive System” No. 2 of 04.11.2003
Liver cirrhosis: treatment – a: care
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
As a prophylaxis, along with a balanced diet rich in omega-3, doctors recommend regular physical activity to patients without fail.
Clinically proven link between physical activity (PA) and indicators such as:
- tissue sensitivity to insulin;
- the level of lipids in the blood, including triglycerides, a high level of which can be a marker of high cholesterol;
- blood pressure normalization.
In addition, physical activity helps to reduce body mass index, which is one of the factors in calculating cardiovascular risk (CVR).
Types of liver cirrhosis and methods of its treatment
Most often, cirrhosis is the result of a long course of various liver diseases. Therefore, before starting treatment for cirrhosis, it is necessary to establish the causes of its occurrence.
The following main types of disease exist:
– Alcoholic: the disease becomes a consequence of progressive alcoholic liver disease caused by excessive drinking.
– Metabolic: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which develops with a violation of glucose and lipid metabolism.
– Infectious: cirrhosis develops against the background of viral hepatitis.
– Autoimmune: as a result of malfunctions of the immune system, which begins to attack the body’s own cells.
– Others: toxic, cryptogenic.
Practice shows that liver cirrhosis in 50% of all cases is caused by several reasons at once. However, chronic alcoholism is almost always a catalyst for the disease.
Treatment of liver cirrhosis: methods and their effectiveness
Methods for the treatment of cirrhosis include: treatment of the underlying disease that led to the development of cirrhosis (complete rejection of alcohol in the case of an alcoholic cause, treatment of viral hepatitis, weight loss in the case of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) and surgery.Additional medications can also be used for the purpose of symptomatic therapy.
The basis for the treatment of liver cirrhosis is drug therapy. And although a complete cure is possible only through transplantation, modern drugs and techniques significantly improve the quality and duration of a patient’s life, if prescribed in a timely manner and performed in full. Remember: at an early stage, you can stop the destruction of cells, and with an advanced disease, complications are inevitable.
How long can you live with liver cirrhosis?
In the case of timely diagnosis of cirrhosis and its systematic treatment, the patient can fully live for 10 years or more.However, in each case, this figure may change.
The patient’s life expectancy depends on:
– Causes of the disease: alcohol, viruses, intoxication, heredity. The most dangerous are viral and alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.
– The degree of organ damage before the start of drug treatment.
– Age and gender of the patient. Cirrhosis is more difficult for women and the elderly.
– Concomitant diseases complicating the course of the disease.
– Strict adherence to the doctor’s instructions.
– Opportunities to completely eliminate negative factors.
According to the degree of liver damage, cirrhosis is divided into:
Most of the liver cells are still working in full volume, but the process of replacing healthy tissue with fibrous tissue has already begun. With proper treatment at this stage, the development of the disease can be stopped.
If cirrhosis of the liver is not detected at the previous stage and progresses, the first symptoms of the disease appear due to a decrease in the number of healthy hepatocytes (liver cells).
With uncompensated cirrhosis, the liver can no longer perform its functions. Most often, liver transplantation is indispensable.
It is possible and necessary to treat cirrhosis regardless of the stage of the disease. In this case, treatment includes not only liver support, but also the prevention of complications (internal bleeding, abdominal ascites, hepatic encephalopathy).
Depending on the cause of cirrhosis, you can improve your condition:
1.Abandoning alcohol completely.
2. Having started taking antiviral drugs prescribed by a doctor in case of viral cirrhosis of the liver.
3. Adhering to the strict diet recommended for all liver diseases.
Remember: cirrhosis is not a sentence. Medical and surgical treatment can improve the course of the disease. It is only necessary to identify it in a timely manner and strictly follow all the instructions of specialists in order to improve the quality of life.
1. Belousov Yu. B., Khanina N. Yu. Approaches to the choice of the dose of drugs in patients with liver cirrhosis // Farmateka. – 2006. No. 1 (116). – S. 76-84.
2. Schiff, Yu. R. Liver diseases according to Schiff. Alcohol, drug, genetic and metabolic diseases / Eugene R. Schiff, Michael F. Sorrell, Willis S. Maddray; per. from English ed. N. A. Mukhina [and others]. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2011 .– 476 p.
3. Ivashkin V. T., Bueverov A.O. Present and future of clinical hepatology // Diseases of the digestive system (for specialists and general practitioners): breast cancer library. 2002. – T. 4, No. 1. – S. 13-15.
4. Loginov AS, Blok Yu. E. Chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. M.: Medicine, 1986 .– 256 p.
Co-author, editor and medical expert:
Shimbaretsky Georgy Alekseevich
Born on 23.06.1984.
2007- Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy.
2009 – Graduated from residency in the specialty “Health Organization” and “Public Health”.
The liver is getting better – Spark No. 30 (5188) dated 01.08.2011
Russian scientists have invented a substance that can fight a previously incurable disease – cirrhosis of the liver. If the drug passes clinical trials and goes on sale, the world will die by 40 million people a year less than
The wish “eternal minus” is well known to everyone who at least once in his life was interested in the problems of life with various viral hepatitis.”Minus” in the language of patients with hepatitis means good test results: it means that the virus has ceased to multiply uncontrollably, affecting liver cells, and a person can breathe calmly for a while. Sometimes for the onset of this respite, it takes a year, or even two, to take pills and injections daily, which have a strong toxic load on the entire body. If therapy is abandoned, the virus will gradually destroy the liver, causing cirrhosis, an irreversible process in which normal cells turn into connective tissue, which usually forms the skin and tendons.
The conventional wisdom that cirrhosis of the liver is the lot of alcoholics and drug addicts is quickly dispelled by doctors. Indeed, chronic alcohol intoxication is the cause of half of all cirrhosis cases. On average, every third alcoholic falls ill, usually 10-15 years after the onset of abuse, and the likelihood of cirrhosis after 15 years of drinking is 8 times higher than after 5 years. But here the question arises: who then suffers from cirrhosis in the other half of the cases? Teetotalers?
Cirrhosis grew stronger
Ancient doctors were convinced that the soul of every living creature lives in the liver, the liver was responsible for the health of the whole organism, and the ancient Roman priests of the haruspica used the liver of sacrificial animals to determine the future
Indeed, the popular Russian proverb “Who does not drink will not die of cirrhosis” is only partially true: a teetotaler is not threatened by only one of the main factors in the development of cirrhosis, although ethanol destroys the liver by itself, even the purest and highest quality. The fact is that ethyl alcohol has the ability to activate fibrogenesis in the liver tissues, that is, it is under its influence that the liver cells begin to produce collagen, triggering the processes of necrosis and fibrosis of hepatocytes – replacing the capable liver tissue with completely useless connective or scar tissue. As a result, the liver ceases to be a blood purification factory, and the human body begins to slowly poison itself. But the fact of the matter is that alcoholic cirrhosis is only one of the types of disease, and in total there are about a dozen of them.The causes of cirrhosis can be viral hepatitis, and diseases of the biliary tract, and the action of toxins, and an overdose of drugs, and infectious diseases.
Despite the fact that cases of liver death from alcohol abuse were recorded by doctors in ancient India, and the term “cirrhosis of the liver” (that is, “red liver”) appeared in medicine at the beginning of the nineteenth century, cirrhosis became a real scourge only in the last three decades. For example, according to the WHO, since 1960 the incidence of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis has increased 6-8 times, and at the beginning of our millennium, liver diseases moved to the 4th place in the ranking of the most deadly diseases, ahead of tuberculosis and coronary heart disease.A particularly difficult situation with cirrhosis has developed in Russia – due to all understandable historical reasons and the pathological attachment of the population to drunkenness. According to estimates of domestic epidemiologists, today in Russia there are several million patients with cirrhosis and chronic viral hepatitis. It is impossible to give more precise figures, since in Russia there is still no systematic registration of patients with viral hepatitis. As doctors say, the emergence of such statistics is hindered by the patients themselves – today the bulk of people with liver problems are not at all chronic alcoholics, but outwardly quite respectable entrepreneurs who survived the “dashing 90s” with crime, drugs, promiscuous sex and unrestrained drunkenness. However, the liver is not an image, and it is not easy to change it. Therefore, today’s respectable businessmen prefer to treat their “mistakes of youth” in complete anonymity.
The avalanche-like growth of hepatitis all over the world can be explained by purely civilizational reasons. As the head of the Russian Federal Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS Vadim Pokrovsky said at a recent conference of the World Alliance Against Hepatitis, the leading role in the spread of liver diseases in the second half of the 20th century was played primarily by the introduction of injecting drugs, which resulted in the spread of intravenous narcotic drugs. …
In addition, WHO experts talk about the general deterioration of the human environment, which has a detrimental effect on the liver: the air in megacities is saturated with car exhaust, we use more and more household chemicals, drink more and more drugs and lead an increasingly irregular lifestyle. At the same time, doctors state that mankind was not ready for such a state of affairs – we still do not have sufficiently effective and safe drugs to treat liver disease.
The liver is a mysterious organ. Ancient physicians were convinced that the human soul dwells in it. In some ways, they were right: among the more than 500 functions of the liver, there is also the synthesis of substances associated with human mood. It is known that the use of modern drugs against cirrhosis often causes depression and even nervous disorders, as it inhibits other liver functions.
Unlike all other organs, the liver is capable of regeneration: if 10 percent of the liver remains in the body, it can grow back.This remarkable ability is based on the myth of Prometheus, who overnight grew a liver that had been pecked out the day before.
But without a liver at all, a person cannot live a single day. It is a whole biochemical factory for the production of many essential enzymes, although its main function is still blood purification. Every hour the liver passes through itself more than a hundred liters of blood, carefully choosing from it everything that can harm a person. It is known to be able to deal with many powerful poisons.
If the cleaning function is impaired, the first thing the brain begins to suffer – encephalopathy begins, that is, a complex of neuromuscular disorders caused by severe liver failure. It all starts with a decrease in activity and apathy. Then the patient becomes aggressive and untidy, makes senseless acts. Changes in the hormonal sphere also occur, an excess of estrogen or testosterone deficiency is formed. As a result, men experience gynecomastia (breast enlargement to female sizes) and impotence.However, often patients already do not care what happens to them – due to self-poisoning, confusion of consciousness, muscle cramps, and impaired coordination of movements develop. The last stage is hepatic coma, first with periods of clear consciousness and excitement, then without reflexes and sensitivity to pain, then death.
Of course, not all liver diseases end in death – according to one of the classifications accepted in medicine, cirrhosis can result in death or in a stable state, and sometimes even improvement.But the word “recovery” is absent from this list – alas, changes in liver tissue with advanced cirrhosis are irreversible. Scientists are faced with the fact that the complexity and multifunctionality of the liver tissue does not allow inventing a universal medicine that would simultaneously have a positive effect on all liver functions at once or at least not violate several of them. As a result, if we compare the list of drugs that are used in cardiology and the list of drugs that treat the liver, the second list will be hundreds of times smaller.
However, until recently, many doctors relied on hepatoprotectors – drugs that used essential phospholipid lecithin (for example, the advertised Essentiale Forte), that is, the main building material for cell membranes. It was assumed that artificial lecithin could replace natural and start the process of restoring liver tissue at the cellular level. But later studies debunked the prospects of lecithin – it turned out that only half of the introduced substance was absorbed by the body.And in general – it turned out that no phospholipid can work a miracle and restore tissues in which irreversible changes have already occurred.
Nevertheless, recent discoveries in the field of cloning, decoding of the human genome and the properties of so-called stem cells have opened up new perspectives for a long-awaited breakthrough in the study of the liver. Many scientists started talking about the fact that the affected liver does not need to be treated and restored at all, but it is easier to grow a new one – and not in a test tube, but inside an old organ.
Pill for life
The Americans were the first to announce the creation of a cure for liver cirrhosis back in 2001. Then doctors from the University of California at San Diego managed to find the RSK protein, which triggers the formation of fibrosis. It is associated with the work of the so-called stellate cells of the liver: the more such cells, the more connective tissue they produce. Scientists led by Martina Buck have found a substance that would block the action of harmful proteins and destroy the “extra” stellate cells that lead to cirrhosis.The first results were excellent: mice that simultaneously received hepatic toxin, causing the rapid development of cirrhosis, and the drug, cirrhosis did not get sick. True, further experiments revealed too many side effects, so the Americans took time out to improve the drug.
The second discovery was made not so long ago by the Japanese from Sapporo Medical University. With the help of a new substance, scientists for the first time managed not only to stop the formation of scar tissue, but also to truly reverse time – to destroy dead tissue and give the liver a chance to form a new one.
– The liver itself is responsible for the production and accumulation of connective tissue, – said the author of the work Yoshiro Niitsu, – it also creates some enzymes that break down fibrosis. After the elimination of fibrosis, the liver itself begins to repair tissue.
The Japanese drug is currently undergoing preclinical trials.
Another line of liver treatment was presented last year by British scientists at the University of Newcastle. Professor Colin McGucklin announced the receipt of the world’s first artificial liver.Scientists have grown the liver in a test tube from stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord blood of babies. They selected a complex composition of enzymes and hormones that pushed the stem cells to transform into liver cells. As a result, the British received several small, penny-sized pieces of the organ. In the rather distant future, such “patches” will be able to replace areas affected by cirrhosis and thereby save lives.
In light of the above achievements, the discovery of Russian scientists from the Research Institute of Pharmacology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Novosibirsk company “Scientific Futures Management” has no analogues in the world – it is fundamentally different from all previously proposed methods and at the same time it is quite realistic in terms of production time.
– The available drugs often turn out to be unable not only to completely restore the state of the organ, but also to prevent the development of the pathological process, – says one of the authors of the development, Gleb Zyuzkov, scientific secretary of the Research Institute of Pharmacology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. with completely new liver defense mechanisms.
A new substance with the poetic name immobilized hyaluronate-endo -? – N-acetylhexosaminidase (imHEAGA) was obtained as a result of more than 10 years of research. The mechanism of action of the future drug is based on the stimulation of stem cells. It is known that when the liver is damaged, the body tries to restore it precisely with the help of stem cells, which are both in the liver itself and in a kind of “depot” – in the human bone marrow. Stem cells that can transform into any other, if necessary, become hepatic, “patching up” the affected areas. But the more serious the disease, the sooner this process is inhibited and the possibilities for rebirth are depleted.At the Research Institute of Pharmacology, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, for the first time in the world, the possibility of controlling the functions of stem cells and increasing their reserve has been developed.
– In experiments on animals under the influence of imHEAGA, stem cells of both liver and bone marrow were stimulated, – says Gleb Zyuzkov from the Institute of Pharmacology. …
It can be argued that today on the world pharmaceutical market there are no such drugs that can defeat liver cirrhosis.Moreover, even the development of similar drug candidates is not described in the world literature. With a favorable set of circumstances, scientists hope to release the drug in 5-6 years.
The liver is a small life
Since the treatment of cirrhosis is still a matter of the future, the main way to fight liver diseases is still related to their prevention. True, it is one thing when it comes to the stomach or lungs, which react rather quickly to external stimuli, the liver is another thing.The liver is a patient organ. Since there are almost no nerve endings in it, it “tolerates” our destructive behavior for a long time. Outwardly, liver diseases begin in a rather abstract way: a person feels tired, drowsy, irritable, digestion is upset from time to time. Patients often begin to feel the characteristic heaviness or pain in the right side already at a very advanced stage.
The liver is especially hard in the summer, when blows are inflicted on it on several fronts at once. Firstly, many begin to hastily lose weight by the summer, shedding the hated kilograms in a short period. During fasting or a strict diet, a large amount of fat is immediately released into the bloodstream, which passes entirely through the liver. The liver cells cannot cope with so much of this “good” – they become clogged and cease to perform their functions.
Secondly, the Russians’ classic vacation is invariably accompanied by barbecue, that is, a plentiful fatty meal along with spicy sauces and alcohol.The all-inclusive system, so beloved in our country, is especially noticeably undermining the health of the liver.
Both fasting and overeating equally “effectively” lead to the so-called fatty degeneration of the liver – chronic inflammation. Add to this smoking, the load from used repellents from mosquitoes and all sorts of blood-sucking agents that release toxic substances into the blood through the skin, smog from fires, as well as returning to the hot cities, where fumes from asphalt and exhaust from cars in the heat are absorbed by the body much more actively.Not coping with the increased load, the liver becomes sick – inflammation begins, which, if left untreated, develops into serious disorders.
– In recent years, there has been a surge in morbid obesity among the population of industrialized countries and the subsequent increase in the incidence of non-alcoholic liver disease, says hepatologist of the highest category Tatyana Ignatova from the Clinic of Occupational Diseases of the Moscow Medical Academy. Sechenov. – Moreover, the true prevalence of this disease is unknown.
The onset of problems can only be noticed during a preventive examination, that is, medical examination, which, like everything obligatory, is treated with disdain in post-Soviet countries. According to a recent survey by ROMIR, almost half – 41 percent – of Russian adults have never thought about how their liver works.
Meanwhile, the liver is a grateful organ. If you pay attention to it, at an early stage absolutely all changes are reversible.
Cirrhosis of the liver: stages and signs | | Infopro54
Liver problems affect everything from mood and eating habits to brain function and joint mobility.One of the most common and dangerous liver diseases is cirrhosis.
What is liver cirrhosis
Cirrhosis, if you omit a lot of buzzwords, is the replacement of healthy liver tissue with diseased connective tissue that is incapable of performing the functions that are assigned by the body to this organ. In addition, cell mutation occurs at the genome level, and the immune system perceives them as foreign and tries to destroy them. All this guerrilla struggle can go on unnoticed for some time, with symptoms similar to the usual severe overwork, but then the changes become irreversible, and serious problems begin.I would like to go from the end and outline the last stage and its consequences.
When the liver is almost entirely composed of connective adipose tissue, the patient will constantly show signs of severe poisoning. General symptoms:
- drowsiness, apathy
- problems with memory and mental activity
- speech and movement disorders
- severe edema
- gastric and intestinal bleeding
- jaundice, pruritus
Also, against the background of cirrhosis in the last stage, many serious side complications can develop.These are thrombosis, pneumonia, peritonitis, liver cancer.
This condition is irreversible, medical statistics in this case gives from one to three remaining years of life, and quite painful. A small percentage of hope is given by a liver transplant, but the general condition of the body is already such that the implant takes root and gives positive dynamics only in less than 20 percent of operations.
Of course, if there is no goal to bring the body to self-destruction, at the second stage of the disease, when the symptoms are already quite clearly expressed, but there is still the possibility of compensation, the enhanced joint work of the doctor and the patient may well lead to the stabilization of the state. If all medical recommendations are followed, patients with stage II liver cirrhosis have a significant chance of living for many years, albeit with significant restrictions. The diagnosis will still remain lifelong, even if the liver is successfully transplanted. Approximately two-thirds of the operations are successful at this stage.
Now let’s tell you how it all starts, seemingly harmless. The first signs of incipient liver destruction are:
- bitterness and dry mouth, especially in the morning
- Unreasonable irritability and fatigue
- recurrent stool disorders, increased flatulence
- pain under the ribs on the right side (worse after physical exertion or after eating fatty foods, alcohol)
- spider veins on the face and body
- yellowing and dry skin, hair loss
If you go to the doctor at the very beginning of the disease, you can hope for a complete cure! The first stage is sometimes also called compensated precisely because the disease can be stopped and the body can be returned to a full life.Although excesses in food and alcohol will still have to be abandoned …
What actions can be taken in advance to reduce the likelihood of getting sick and stay healthy?
- Stop alcohol and drug abuse
- Get vaccinated against viral hepatitis
- to undergo regular medical examinations
- eat right
90,000 Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, cancer and other serious liver diseases – can it be cured? Interview with Professor Eli Zuckerman
What do you know about your liver? What is the difference between fatty liver and cirrhosis? What is hepatitis? What is the difference between the types of hepatitis? Can Hepatitis C Be Cured? Answers – in an interview with the famous Israeli hepatologist Professor Eli Zuckerman.
Professor Eli Zuckerman is a renowned Israeli hepatologist, specialist in the treatment of liver diseases, one of the scientists who pioneered modern methods of treating hepatitis in Israel. Professor Zuckerman heads the Liver Institute at Carmel Medical Center.
Facts about our liver
The liver is the largest internal organ and one of the most important. The liver is located on the right side of the upper abdomen, more precisely, on the right side is most of it.On the left side is the smaller, left lobe of the organ. The liver weighs approximately 1200-1500 grams, and makes up the fiftieth part of the human body weight. Most of us know the main function of the liver, as a laboratory for the processing of toxic substances into substances that are less hazardous to humans. But this organ has many more useful functions that help our body maintain and maintain balance in normal metabolism. It is important to know that impaired liver function can be life-threatening and may require urgent treatment in some cases, up to a liver transplant.
New methods and drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C in Israel
How to protect your liver from the hepatitis virus?
Debunking the most common myths about hepatitis C
Common liver disorders
Liver disease can be caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most common diseases – obesity of the liver – begins to develop as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle: alcohol abuse, obesity, and may also be associated with the presence of concomitant diseases – diabetes and metabolic syndrome.Another important factor is the presence of the hepatitis virus, especially hepatitis C. Lack of proper treatment can lead to serious consequences – liver cancer and cirrhosis.
- Fatty liver is the most common liver disease in the western world. It occurs in about 25% of the population. In 5-10%, the disease can develop into a more serious disorder – cirrhosis of the liver.
- Hepatitis is a viral liver disease that is considered one of the most dangerous for humans. Several types of the virus are known to medicine.Three of them – types B, C and D – cause chronic inflammation of the liver, which can develop into cirrhosis, cancer, or liver failure. About 3% of the population of developed countries are carriers of the hepatitis C virus, but most of them (75%) do not know about it.
- Hepatitis B and C can lead to fibrosis – scarring of the liver. Hepatologists distinguish 4 degrees of the disease:
– Stage F1 – the liver does not function in full, metabolic processes between liver cells and blood are disrupted.With the right treatment, the disease is curable.
– Stage F2 – the area of organ damage increases. The symptoms of the disease become more complicated, the disease is difficult to control with the help of drugs.
– Stage F3 – seals form in the liver tissues. Without proper treatment, the prognosis is extremely poor: the disease goes into the stage of cirrhosis.
– Stage F4 – liver cirrhosis. Liver transplantation is often the last resort.
In the past, a liver biopsy was performed to determine the severity of scarring; today, Israeli doctors have at their disposal a blood test and an ultrasound scan.For the treatment of fibrosis, even in the advanced stages, there are now powerful drugs.
- Hepatitis is a type of “silent” disease. This means that in most cases the disease does not have any warning symptoms. If the patient is not at risk and does not undergo blood tests on a regular basis, it is almost impossible to diagnose the disease, let alone determine the type of hepatitis and prescribe the correct treatment, and, ultimately, save a life.
- Physicians have identified seven strains (genotypes) of hepatitis C. The majority of patients, about 70%, suffer from genotype 1, the concern of specialists is mainly caused by patients with genotype 3. On the one hand, only 20-30% of patients suffer from this strain , but this is a very problematic genotype that is quickly generated: the disease progresses rapidly, very quickly becomes severe. Among patients with genotypes 3, fatty degeneration of the liver is widespread, and scarring occurs very quickly – up to a complete failure of the liver to function.
- New modern drugs appeared in Israel in 2015 – these are Sofosbuvir and Harvoni . Both drugs are intended to treat all types of hepatitis infections. The main task is to neutralize the hepatitis C virus, prevent it from fixing in liver cells and destroy the genetic code of the virus. The drugs have already proven their effectiveness – in many cases we are talking about the complete elimination of hepatitis C.
- In the past, for the treatment of hepatitis C in general, and genotype 3 in particular, specialists used treatment with Interferon and Ribavirin (Riboirin).The course of treatment lasted about six months and was accompanied by serious side effects. Treatment with Sofosbuvir and Harvoni is radically different from its predecessor. The course lasts on average 12-24 weeks, side effects include fatigue, weakness, headache, diarrhea.
- If you look at the statistics, you can see that there is a very high percentage of patients (about 98%) with a positive body response to treatment. In 90-98% of cases, we are talking about the complete disappearance of the virus.Treatment is also effective in fibrosis, and in some cases in patients with liver cirrhosis. In other words, thanks to new drugs, other, radical treatments (liver transplants) can be avoided and lives saved.
D.R.A Medical presents Professor Eli Zuckerman
For examination and treatment, call + 972-77-4450-480
or + 8-800-707-6168 (free for residents of Russia).
or leave a request on the website
Translation from Hebrew
Source of interview in Hebrew on the website zap doctors
Liver cirrhosis: symptoms, causes, can it be cured
With cirrhosis of the liver, the replacement of living “working” cells with unproductive fibrous tissue occurs.As a result of the pathological process, the organ ceases to cope with its functions. In severe cases, the disease can be fatal. The timely treatment will stop the development of pathology and significantly prolong the patient’s life. Cirrhosis of the liver in women and men occurs with approximately the same frequency.
Symptoms of liver cirrhosis
The disease is insidious in that it is almost asymptomatic at an early stage. In 20% of cases, there are no manifestations of it.The early symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver are non-specific, often patients wait for the discomfort to pass or drown it out by taking various medications. At the initial stage, there is:
– recurrent pain in the right hypochondrium;
– bitterness in the mouth;
– dryness of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity;
– upset stomach, diarrhea;
– weight loss;
– icteric skin tone, sclera of the eyes;
– irritability, fatigue.
With the further development of the disease, more specific signs appear:
– pain in the right side intensifies, colic appears;
– nausea, vomiting, sometimes with blood;
– further depletion of the body;
– itchy skin;
– jaundice becomes more pronounced;
– swelling in the tongue, fingertips, joints;
– the appearance of angiomas;
– vessels appear, “stars” are formed;
– enlargement of the spleen;
– with cystitis in men, the mammary glands are enlarged;
– disorders of the central nervous system: tremor, insomnia, memory impairment, apathy.
Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver
In alcoholic cirrhosis, organ damage is caused by the intake of alcoholic beverages. Because of this, it becomes scarred. This tissue replaces normal liver cells – hepacites. As a result, the organ starts to work worse, this leads to persistent liver failure.
It is difficult to predict the course of alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, since much depends on the patient: his motivation, dedication. With the refusal of alcohol, adherence to a diet, you can stop the development of pathology. However, the process itself cannot be reversed. An affected liver will never be healthy.
Treatment of liver cirrhosis
Can cirrhosis of the liver be cured? It is possible to completely get rid of the pathology only with a healthy organ transplant. However, this method is used only in extreme cases.
If the disease is detected at an early stage, its development can be stopped. The liver will no longer fully recover, but it will cope with the functions assigned to it.
Treatment of liver cirrhosis should be comprehensive. First of all, find out and eliminate the cause of the disease. Only in this case can cirrhosis be stopped. As a rule, patients are prescribed:
– funds for the treatment of hepatitis;
– homeopathic medicines;
– physiotherapy – with caution, only under the supervision of a doctor.
A prerequisite is adherence to a special diet, complete elimination of alcohol. You also need to refrain from serious physical activity.
Treatment of liver cirrhosis with the Ricta apparatus
With serious liver pathology, the development of a hepatic coma is possible. In this case, the laser effect on the area of the projection of the organ is stopped or refrained from its appointment. In intensive care, the use of non-invasive blood irradiation is permissible.In this case, laser therapy will accelerate the normalization of the biochemical composition of the blood, make the positive dynamics more pronounced.
The transition to local irradiation, in this case – to the effect on the projection area of the liver, is carried out during the period when the acute symptoms are removed. It is also permissible to use quantum therapy for convalescence.
Treatment with the Rikt apparatus is carried out in courses.Their duration ranges from 10 to 15 days, depending on the patient’s condition. They are carried out daily or every other day. After each course, blood biochemical parameters are monitored. If progress is noticeable, the treatment does not give complications, then the courses can be repeated up to 4-6 times a year.
Additional materials :
CIRROSIS | TREATMENT OF THE LIVER WITH NATURAL MEANS
Cirrhosis of the liver is a chronic liver disease in which working hepatocytes are replaced by connective tissue.
The most common cause of cirrhosis is alcoholic hepatitis or viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or C) / parasitic genesis. The reason may be: chronic hepatitis caused by drugs, circulatory disorders that cause congestive disorders in the liver due to pathology of the cardiovascular system (chronic heart failure). Also cirrhosis of the liver can develop due to metabolic disorders and stagnation in the portal vein system.
Biliary cirrhosis has an unclear etiology.However, biliary cirrhosis is quite common – the proportion among all cirrhosis can reach 35%. Biliary cirrhosis develops as a result of destruction of the epithelium with subsequent necrosis of the segments of the hepatic tubules, with further disturbances in the excretion of bile.
Cirrhosis of the liver, symptoms:
Due to the fact that all the numerous functions of the liver are affected, cirrhosis of the liver has a variety of non-specific symptoms: asthenia, pain and nausea, flatulence, fever, weight loss.
Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver can also have a specific character:
Due to an increase in pressure in the portal vein system, blood clotting disorders, spider veins appear on the body. – for overfilling of the veins of the anterior abdominal wall. The liver and spleen are enlarged.
Disruption of hormone metabolism in liver cirrhosis can lead to symptoms characteristic of hormonal disorders.