Liver Cirrhosis in New Orleans, LA
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What is liver cirrhosis?
The liver is an organ in the body that carries out many critical functions necessary for your health, such as filtering the blood of harmful toxins and breaking down fat. Cirrhosis of the liver, additionally called hepatic cirrhosis, is a disorder that occurs when the liver is inflamed and scarred from issues like chronic alcohol abuse and late-stage liver disease. As more and more scar tissue develops, liver function continually declines. The various levels of severity of liver cirrhosis are classified into four stages.
Stage 1: There is some scarring of liver tissue but not a lot of symptoms and no complications have developed.
Stage 2: Additional symptoms start to present, including swollen and enlarged veins and hypertension involving the portal vein in the liver (portal hypertension).
Stage 3: Symptoms involve abdominal swelling and advanced scarring of liver tissue, along with serious complications and possibly liver failure.
Stage 4: At this stage, the condition can lead to death in the absence of a liver transplant.
At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our GI team can identify, address, and help patients manage liver issues. To get care for liver cirrhosis in New Orleans, LA, request an appointment with one of our providers in your community today.
What causes liver cirrhosis?
There are a variety of factors that can cause liver damage, which might lead to cirrhosis. These can include:
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Poorly formed bile ducts
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Inherited gastrointestinal disorders
- Certain medications
- Wilson’s disease
- Iron accumulation in the body
- Excessive body fat
- Viral liver infections (hepatitis B & C)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis
- Sugar metabolism disorders
- Chronic alcoholism
- Damage to the bile ducts
If you experience concerns with your liver and need assistance, reach out to our GI providers at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates. Our knowledge and expertise can guide you in the ideal direction for individualized treatment.
What are common symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
The initial stages of liver cirrhosis may not present with any symptoms. However, a few of the initial signs that you might experience may include tiredness, weakness, and appetite loss. As the condition continues to progress, some of the symptoms might include:
- Swollen abdomen
- Brown-colored urine
- Cramping of muscles
- Bloody stools
- Bruising or bleeding easily
- Abrupt weight loss or gain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin/eyes)
- Swollen legs
- Nausea or queasiness
- Red palms
- Veins that are spider web-like in appearance
What are the treatment options for liver cirrhosis?
Damage to the liver cannot be reversed but it can often still function even if two-thirds has been destroyed or excised (removed). Below are some of the treatments the Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates providers may recommend to enhance liver function:
- Undergo a liver transplant
- Managing the unique concerns surrounding your cirrhosis
- Avoid taking certain medications (such as naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.)
- Antiviral medications for hepatitis B and C
- Vaccination for hepatitis A and B
- Reduce the risk of further damage to the liver
What are the complications of liver cirrhosis?
A person's liver maintains a critical role in the body, and any amount of injury or damage inflicted upon the liver will negatively impact its normal functions. Some of the potential health complications related to liver cirrhosis include:
- Bacterial peritonitis (an inflamed abdominal wall)
- Hypersplenism (an overactivity of splenic function)
- Hepatic encephalopathy (a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream causing brain damage)
- Cancer of the liver
Advanced treatment for liver health
Cirrhosis of the liver can interfere with your life in a variety of ways. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, we strive to help you enjoy a life in which further damage to the liver is avoided. To get treatment for liver cirrhosis in New Orleans, LA, please request a consultation with a local digestive health specialist as soon as possible.
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