Liver Cirrhosis - Symptoms, Causes, Natural Treatment
What is Cirrhosis of Liver?
Liver is the seat of all metabolism and all the toxins, hormones, drugs, alcohol, preservatives, chemicals, body toxins are metabolized by the liver. It is working all the time to clear the toxins and provide our body a +When the liver cells are under too much burden of clearing debris and carrying out complex reactions to clear the free radicals and prevent damage. If the liver cells are not able to cope up with the too much supply of toxins, they give up. The cells called hepatocytes wear out and firstly swell, become inflamed and filled with fatty deposits. If the inflow of toxins is still there, then they give up completely and die and are covered by a fibrous scar. This stage is called Cirrhosis of the liver.
This is a final stage of liver failure when the liver is not performing optimally and most of the liver cells are shrunk and fibrosis has taken place. It is very difficult to revive the liver at this stage but still there are ayurvedic herbs and natural remedies which help to improve the function of remaining hepatocytes and regenerate new liver cells, thereby almost bringing the person to lead a normal life.
Major Causes of Liver Cirrhosis
- Chronic alcohol consumption - Consuming alcohol regularly causes the development of liver cirrhosis. This is the most important and common cause of liver cirrhosis. 30 % of the individuals who drink 8 to 14 ounces of alcholol ( hard drinks) for about 10-12 years can develop liver cirrhosis. In the beginning, it is fatty liver but slowly the fat keeps on accumulating over the liver cells and hampering their functions, suffocating them and more alcohol keeps on injuring them, leading to their death and scarring.
- Hepatitis A,B, C, D ,E , F ,G - Although hepatitis A has not been implicated as major reason for cirrhosis of the liver but more deadly hepatitis types like B, C and G are considered devastating for the liver. The virus can remain dormant for years but can attack anytime leading to fulminant hepatic failure. Treatment of hepatitis is very important to prevent cirrhosis at later stage. Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of liver cirrhosis.
- Too many drugs consumed for other diseases - for example for gout, for arthritis, for skin, for allergies and so on - people keep on consuming various drugs which are metabolized in liver but ignoring the burden on liver, they keep on popping pills and putting pressure on liver, causing liver cirrhosis.
- Non alcoholic fatty liver disease - This disease can be caused by metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. Obesity also puts a lot of burden on the liver and slowly causes cirrhosis.
- Cryptogenic Cirrhosis - It is one of the major reasons for liver transplant now a days. It is called cryptogenic cirrhosis as it is not explainable. The reasons are not known to current day medical science and tht's why it is called cryptogenic. Usually it is due to long standing obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis is a liver disease caused by disturbance of immune system, when the immune system starts attacking our own bile ducts in the lvier. The bile ducts carries the bile From liver to the intestine. This bile helps in digestion and contains bilirubin. If these bile duct is blocked due to certain reasons, the process of liver destruction starts. Slowly as the liver cells are being destroyed, the whole liver becomes inflamed and a process of hepatic cells damage starts leading to accumulate of waste products in the liver and causing more damage.
What are the signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Weakness and fatigue
- Accumulation of water in abdominal cavity called Ascites
- Bleeding in esophagus due to backlog/ pooling of blood. Also called esophageal varices
- Redness of the palm.
- Duputryen's contracture.
- Clubbing of the fingers
- Enlargement of parotid and lachrymal gland
- Red spidery patches on the skin.
- Spider naevi - around naval
- Decreased body hair
- Gynaecomastia in men
- Hirsuitism, menstrual abnormalities in females
- Enlarged spleen.
What are the normal functions of Liver?
Liver performs hundreds of functions in the body. It regulates most chemicals in the body. It produces bile which is used to digest the food.
Bile also helps to carry way toxins From the liver. Liver works like an immigration officer as all the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through liver. Anything suspicious in the blood is filtered out by liver and broken down into less harmful or unharmful substance.
The liver processes this blood and breaks down the nutrients and drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body.
- Liver produces certain proteins for plasma to help in blood clotting.
- It produces cholesterol and smaller protein molecules which carry fats and other enzymes through the body.
- It keeps the excessive glucose stored in itself as glycogen. Whenever the need arises, it again converts the stored glycogen into glucose.
- It regulates the blood level of proteins, and amino acids.
- It also processes hemoglobin for use of its iron and stores iron in itself.
- It converts poisonous ammonia gas into less harmful substance called Urea. The urea is eliminated by the kidneys in the urine.
- Liver clears the drugs and also metabolizes them to lesser harmful substances.
- It regulates blood clotting mechanisms.
- Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances.
- It removes many harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi From our blood.
Diagnosis of Liver Cirrhosis - How to diagnose it?
There are clinical signs and symptoms mentioned above which tells about the problem in the liver but there are certain tests which are conducted to ascertain the liver cirrhosis.
- AST and ALT are aminotransferaces which are elevated in liver cirrhosis.
- Alkaline phosphatase is also slightly elevated in this condition.
- Gamma -glutamyltransferase - It is typically higher in liver failure due to alcohol.
- S.Bilirubin - is an indicator of jaundice and can be elevated
- Low platelets and white cells - due to congestion in the spleen and decreased production of thrombopoietin in liver, but low platelet count is not severe. Usually they are above 50,000.
- Albumin - the levels of this protein falls as the liver is the place where this protein is exclusively synthesized.
- Globulins - These are increased due to shunting of bacterial antigens away From liver to lymphatic tissues.
- Plasma clotting factor fibrinogen is synthesized in liver and if it is not working properly, the prothrombin time increases.
- Low Sodium Levels - Due to high levels of ADH and aldosterone causing water retention.
- Other tests for Hepatitis, ANA antibodies, Ferritin, Transferrin saturation ( Iron overload markers), Copper and ceruloplasmin ( markers of copper overload)
- Cholesterol, Glucose levels
- Alpha-1 -Anti-trypsin test
- IgG, IgM, IgA levels
What is the treatment? and is there any care?
Modern medical treatment of cirrhosis is focused mainly on providing symptomatic relief and handling complications. There are no specific medicines which can care liver cirrhosis but there are only ayurvedic herbs which are very effective in treatment of liver cirrhosis naturally.
Ayurveda considers liver cirrhosis under the topic of complications of "Kaamla". The disease Kaamla is explained in ancient ayurvedic texts having same signs and symptoms as cirrhosis of liver and the treatment recommended for Kaamla works very well in cirrhosis. The kamala associated with ascites is called Kumbha kamala and with fever is called Halimak. If there is diarrhea along with cirrhosis it is called Paanki.
All types of cirrhosis respond to the treatment mentioned in ayurveda.
The Liver Care Pack mentioned here helps to:-
- Regenerate the liver cells
- Improve appetite
- Improve hemoglobin
- Improves albumin levels in the blood
- Clears the Ascites
- Helps in general weakness
- Relieves bleeding From esophageal varices
- Relieves itching
- Clears jaundice and improves overall clinical as well as laboratory picture of the user
- Yakritplihantak churna - 1 teaspoonful twice daily
- Phyllanthus Niruri - 2 twice daily
- Echinacea capsules - 2 thrice daily
- Liver detox capsules - 2 twice daily
Where to buy Liver Care Pack?
To buy Liver Care Pack, please visit store.planetayurveda.com/liver-care-pack.html
Some people are treated with a drug called a beta-blocker to lower the pressure in the blood vessels. The above mentioned herbal package helps to reduce the congestion in the liver cells and relieves portal hypertension also.
The package improves the blood flow through the liver there by relieving the pressure inside the blood vessels and relieves ascites. The herbs have a little diuretic action also but without causing any weakness, the herbs relieves the ascites symptoms. Still if the ascites is huge, then a stronger herbal diuretic "Punarnava Capsules" or Punarnava mandur tablets can be used along with the above mentioned pack in the dosage of 2 capsules/ tablets twice daily.
In severe cases of ascites the fluid retained in the abdominal cavity can be removed directly by inserting a needle into the abdomen by a health care professional. Take care that this procedure should be done in a proper hospital where everything is sterilized, otherwise there can be infection, which can lead to septic shock also which needs immediate treatment with intravenous anti-biotics.
If the symptoms are severe, and the liver is not able to process the accumulated ammounia gas then this condition arises. The patient becomes confused and disoriented. Usually lactulose drink is given to reduce toxins, and a low protein diet regimen is followed. This helps in a lot of patients but using the herbal remedies described above helps a lot. These can be used along with the lactulose drink and low protein diet regime.
Bleeding Disorders - Proper protein intake and using vitamin supplements helps but the bleeding comes on and off. Natural treatment of bleeding From the esophageal varices consists of consuming 10 ml ( 2 tablespoonfuls ) of Marigold flower juice… just pluck fresh marigold flower From the garden, make juice and give it to the patient. It helps to stop the bleeding. Simple garden grass can also be used if the marigold flowers are not available.
Itching - There are certain medicines given to control the itching due to cirrhosis but they help a little. Drinking coconut water is recommended. Small quantity is recommended if the fluid accumulation is too much.