Liver Cirrhosis in Denver, CO
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What is liver cirrhosis?
The liver is a bodily organ that performs several vital functions necessary for health, such as filtering the blood of harmful toxins and metabolizing fat. Cirrhosis of the liver, also called hepatic cirrhosis, is a condition that occurs when the liver becomes inflamed and scarred from issues like chronic alcohol abuse and late-stage liver disease. As further scar tissue develops, the ability of the liver to function properly continually diminishes. The different levels of severity of liver cirrhosis are sorted into four separate stages.
Stage 1: Some scarring of liver tissue but there are not a lot of symptoms and no complications have developed.
Stage 2: More symptoms begin to develop, including enlarged and swollen veins and high blood pressure in the portal vein around the liver (referred to as portal hypertension).
Stage 3: Symptoms involve abdominal swelling and advanced scarring of liver tissue, along with significant complications and the potential for liver failure.
Stage 4: In this stage, the condition can be fatal without a liver transplant.
Our GI providers at Denver Digestive Health Specialists can detect, address, and help manage liver problems. To get treatment for liver cirrhosis in Denver, CO, request a consultation with a member of our team today.
What causes liver cirrhosis?
There are a multitude of reasons why a liver experiences damage, leading to cirrhosis. These factors can include the following:
- Iron buildup in the body
- Cystic fibrosis
- Genetic gastrointestinal disorders
- Wilson’s disease
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Chronic alcohol abuse
- Sugar metabolism disorders
- Viral liver infections (hepatitis B & C)
- Certain medications
- Poorly formed bile ducts
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Bile duct damage
- Liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis
Should you start to develop problems with your liver and require help, reach out to our gastroenterologists at Denver Digestive Health Specialists. Our skill and expertise can guide you toward the right options for personalized treatment.
What are the signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
The initial stages of liver cirrhosis may not present with any symptoms but some of the initial indicators you might experience could include tiredness, weakness, and lack of appetite. If the condition proceeds to advance, the symptoms might involve:
- Bloody stools
- Red palms
- Nausea or queasiness
- Muscle cramps
- Swollen legs
- Unexpected weight loss or gain
- Veins that are spider web-like in appearance
- Swollen abdomen
- Jaundice yellowing of the eyes/skin
- Bleed or bruise easily
- Brownish urine
What are the treatment options for liver cirrhosis?
Liver damage cannot be reversed; however, it can still function and bounce back even in the event two-thirds has been damaged or removed. Listed below are a number of the treatment strategies the Denver Digestive Health Specialists providers might recommend to improve liver function:
- Managing the specific concerns surrounding your cirrhosis
- Avoid taking specific medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Antiviral medications for hepatitis B and C
- Prevention of additional liver damage
- Liver transplant
- Vaccination for hepatitis A and B
Are there any complications of liver cirrhosis?
A person's liver has an extremely important role in the body, and any amount of damage or injury sustained by the liver will inhibit its normal functions. Potential health complications resulting from liver cirrhosis involve:
- Bacterial peritonitis (inflammation of the abdomen wall)
- Liver cancer
- Hypersplenism (overactive splenic function)
- Hepatic encephalopathy (the aggregation of toxins in the blood causing brain damage)
Advanced care for liver health
Scarring of the liver can interfere with your life and health in several facets. At Denver Digestive Health Specialists, we aim to help you experience a life in which additional liver damage can be averted. To find help for liver cirrhosis in Denver, CO, request a consultation with a member of our team without delay.
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