Liver Cirrhosis in Illinois
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What is liver cirrhosis?
The liver performs a range of important tasks that allow the body to function properly, including filtering the blood of harmful toxins, breaking down fat, and more. However, the liver can become inflamed and scarred from late-stage liver disease and/or alcoholism — this is called liver cirrhosis. As more scar tissue forms, the liver continues to decline. There are four stages of the severity of liver cirrhosis:
Stage 1: Some scarring of liver tissue but few symptoms or complications
Stage 2: Symptoms such as enlarged and swollen veins and high blood pressure in the portal vein ( known as portal hypertension)
Stage 3: Swelling in the abdomen, advanced scarring of liver tissue, and possible liver failure
Stage 4: Can cause death without a liver transplant
For more information on liver cirrhosis and how it can be treated, contact GI Alliance of Illinois to find a Illinois location near you. Our gastroenterologists look forward to helping you obtain and maintain proper liver function.
What causes liver cirrhosis?
There are a number of reasons why the liver can become damaged, leading to cirrhosis. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Viral liver infections (hepatitis B & C)
- Chronic alcohol abuse
- Iron build-up
- Poorly formed bile ducts
- Genetic digestive disorder
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sugar metabolism disorders
- Wilson’s disease
- Destruction of the bile ducts
- Certain medications
- Liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
If you've experienced troubling symptoms related to your liver, we encourage you to contact your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location. Our knowledgeable providers can provide the assistance you need to regain your health.
What are the symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
Liver cirrhosis does not manifest symptoms early on. Early signs that you may have this condition include fatigue, weakness, and a lack of appetite. More advanced symptoms include:
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Swollen legs
- Swollen abdomen
- Bleeding or bruising easily
- Red palms
- Spider web-like veins
- Brownish urine
- Muscle cramps
- Blood in the stool
If you're experiencing these symptoms, you should contact a location near you in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, to meet with one of our GI specialists.
How is liver cirrhosis treated?
Liver damage cannot be reversed. However, it can still function and bounce back to a healthier state. Some treatment options offered at GI Alliance of Illinois include:
- Preventing further damage
- Addressing the specific complications of your cirrhosis
- Avoiding certain medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Liver transplant
- Antiviral medications for hepatitis B and C
- Immunization for hepatitis A and B
What are the complications of liver cirrhosis?
The liver is an important organ, and any damage done could impact the liver's normal function. Some complications that could arise with a liver cirrhosis diagnosis include:
- Inflammation of the abdomen wall (bacterial peritonitis)
- The build-up of toxins in the blood, leading to brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy)
- Overactive splenic function (hypersplenism)
- Liver cancer
Specialized care for liver health
Liver cirrhosis can be a scary diagnosis. However, with the help of the GI specialists at GI Alliance of Illinois, it doesn't have to be. Our Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, locations are able to provide in-depth knowledge about this condition and how you can better your liver health. For more information, contact your nearest location to request a consultation today.
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