General Practice 2022

Hepática cirrhosis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Hepática cirrhosis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Hepática cirrhosis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
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Liver cirrhosis is the chronic inflammation of the liver characterized by the formation of nodules and fibrotic tissue, which make it difficult for the liver to work.

Cirrhosis is usually considered an advanced stage of other liver problems, such as hepatitis or steatosis, as it is necessary for there to be frequent lesions for the appearance of cirrhosis. In addition to these problems, cirrhosis can also develop due to excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged use of some medications, and even some viral infections.

Hepatic cirrhosis has no cure and, therefore, treatment is usually done with dietary changes, as well as the use of medication to control some of the symptoms. In more severe cases, liver transplant surgery may be necessary.

Main symptoms

In an early stage, cirrhosis usually does not cause symptoms, however, as liver damage increases, symptoms such as:

  • Weakness and excessive tiredness;
  • General malaise;
  • Frequent nausea;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Red spots on the skin, with small spider veins;
  • Weight Loss.

In more advanced cases of cirrhosis, it is common to observe signs such as yellow skin and eyes, swollen belly, very dark urine, whitish stools and itching all over the body.

When identifying a symptom that may be indicative of a liver problem, it is very important to consult a hepatologist or a general practitioner, because the sooner the diagnosis is made, the easier the treatment will be.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of liver cirrhosis begins with an assessment of the symptoms presented, as well as the person's lifestyle and he alth history. In addition, laboratory tests that evaluate liver and kidney function and clotting capacity are also usually ordered, as well as serological tests to identify viral infections.

The main laboratory tests that the doctor requests are the dosage of TGO and TGP liver enzymes, which are elevated when the liver is injured. In addition, the doctor usually requests the dosage of gamma-GT, which is also an enzyme produced in the liver and which can have its concentration increased in case of liver problems. See the main tests that evaluate the liver.

The doctor may also request imaging tests such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging in order to evaluate the liver and abdominal region, making it possible to identify injured regions and indicate the need for biopsy, for example.Liver biopsy is not done for the purpose of diagnosis, but rather to determine the severity, extent, and cause of cirrhosis.

Possible causes

The causes of liver cirrhosis can be diverse, however, the most common are:

1. Viral hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis B and C are diseases caused mainly by viruses and are transmitted through sexual contact or sharing contaminated objects, such as contaminated needles, syringes, manicure pliers or tattoo devices. These types of hepatitis affect liver cells and if not treated early can cause chronic inflammation, leading to cirrhosis. Learn more about this type of hepatitis and how to prevent it.

2. Consumption of alcoholic beverages

The excessive use of alcoholic beverages can cause immediate consequences in the body such as difficulty maintaining balance and loss of coordination.However, if the consumption is done many days of the week and in an amount above 60 g of alcohol per day, in men, or 20 g, in women, it can cause liver cirrhosis.

3. Metabolism Disorders

Some metabolism disorders can lead to liver cirrhosis, such as Wilson's disease. This disease is rare, genetic and has no cure and is characterized by the body's inability to metabolize copper, with accumulation in various organs, especially the brain and liver, which can cause serious damage to these organs. Learn more about Wilson's disease symptoms.

4. Fatty liver

Fat liver, known scientifically as fatty liver, is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver due to poor eating habits. This disease usually causes no symptoms and is most often discovered by chance. However, if left untreated, fatty liver can cause chronic inflammation of the liver, increasing the risk of cirrhosis.See what causes the accumulation of fat in the liver.

5. Use of medication

Some medications if used in excess and regularly can cause liver inflammation, because when they are in large amounts in the body, the liver cannot quickly metabolize these substances. Some examples of drugs that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver are isoniazid, nitrofurantoin, amiodarone, methotrexate, chlorpromazine and sodium diclofenac.

6. Chronic Cholestasis

Chronic cholestasis is a condition in which bile cannot be transported from the liver to a part of the intestine. bile production. Chronic cholestasis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and is more common in people who have ulcerative colitis, which is an inflammatory bowel disease.

How the treatment is done

The treatment for cirrhosis varies according to the cause, and can be done with the suspension of medication or alcohol, for example. In addition, it is important to maintain a proper diet that includes vitamin supplementation, since due to the impairment of the liver, the person may have difficulty digesting fats properly. Learn about the diet for cirrhosis.

Depending on the symptoms presented, the hepatologist may also prescribe the use of some medications, such as diuretics, antihypertensives or creams for itchy skin, in order to improve the quality of life of the person with cirrhosis.

In the most serious cases, where there are many lesions in the liver, the only form of treatment may be a liver transplant, which is done by removing the liver with cirrhosis and placing a he althy liver from a compatible donor. See more details on the main forms of treatment for cirrhosis.

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