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Cirrhosis of the Liver – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Cirrhosis of the Liver

There are several different forms of cirrhosis. The most common is portal cirrhosis, also known as Laennec’s cirrhosis. which is most often associated with alcoholism. It is usually seen in men in later life. Poor nutritionĀ seems to be partly responsible for this condition and may account for its prevalence among alcoholics. In some cases chronic poisoning with industrial fluids, such as carbon tetrachloride, may also play a part.

In the early stages of the disease there may be nothing more than frequent attacks of gas and indegestion, with occasional nausea and vomiting, and perhaps some abdominal pain and weight loss. As the condition advances, the patient begins to run a low grade fever. He has a foul breath, juandice skin, and distented veins on the abdomen. So-called “spiders” are seen on the face, neck, arms and trunk. These are hairlike, reddish markings in the skin somewhat resembling small spider. As the disease continues, the abdomen becomes bloated and swollen, the mind is clouded, and there may be considerable bleeding from the stomach.

Cirrhosis of the LiverĀ Treatment:

During the severe stage keep the patient in bed. He must avoid the use of alcohol in any form. His diet should be rich in protein and moderately low in carbohydrates and fat. If possible he should have atleast a quart of milk a day as well as extra vitamins in the form of Brewer’s yeast and B12 injection weekly. Salt should be restricted, particularly if there is swelling in the legs or abdomen. If massive bleeding occurs, the patient should be rushed to hospital and remain there until the hemorrhage is brought under control.

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