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Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the term used to describe the end stages of liver disease where chronic inflammation of liver cells has caused an extensive build up of scar tissue in the liver. Scar tissue is the same as collagen as it is tough fibrous tissue, which replaces damaged liver cells. This scar tissue is not functional and cannot do the work of liver cells. Liver cells known as stellate cells produce the scar tissue to protect themselves from the inflammation that is occurring in the liver. This inflammation is produced by free radicals generated by viruses, toxins, unhealthy fats, alcohol, and some drugs or antibodies that are attacking liver cells. A healthy liver does not have many stellate cells and they do not produce excessive amounts of scar tissue. In contrast, in a liver that is chronically inflamed, the stellate cells become activated and they multiply and produce excessive collagen. A cirrhotic liver is hardened with scar tissue, which reduces its blood supply. There is not enough healthy liver tissue to perform the metabolic and detoxification processes that the liver must perform to keep the body healthy.
Liver dysfunction is very common and an increasing problem.

 What causes it?

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Chronic hepatitis B or C infection
  • Autoimmune liver conditions such as autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Metabolic disorders such as Wilson’s disease and Haemochromatosis
  • Adverse reactions to some drugs such as methotrexate and vascular disorders of the liver.

What are the symptoms?

Signs of advanced cirrhosis may include:

  • Spider naevi – spider shaped capillaries on the skin
  • Excessive bruising
  • Jaundice (yellow discoloration of skin and eyes)
  • Altered liver size
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Clubbing of the ends of the fingers
  • Ascites (fluid build up in the abdomen)
  • Swelling of the limbs with fluid (edema)
  • A flapping tremor of the hands
  • Mental confusion and disorientation
  • Esophageal varices

Treatment

To overcome these problems, drugs can only play a limited role that is mostly concerned with the control of symptoms. To treat the underlying causes we need to turn to the power of nutritional medicine. Over the past two decades there have been enormous advances in information in the scientific and medical literature linking incorrect nutrition to disease states. Most diseases are associated with nutritional imbalances. Research of the scientific and medical literature gives great insight into the nutritional factors in illness. Dietary changes and the appropriate use of nutrients will reduce the risk of disease and are becoming increasingly important in the treatment of illness.

Recommended books

Diet

Follow the vital healthy eating principles outlined on pages 20-27 of The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book Make these principles of eating a way of life. The diet should include as many raw foods as possible. Broiled fish and organic poultry are good protein sources.
Processed foods, industrial seed oils, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, sugar and flour should be avoided.

If the patient is in “liver failure” he/she should follow a low protein diet, which will produce less ammonia and should obtain protein from legumes, nuts and grains and seeds, and avoid all meats including poultry. It is not possible to avoid all ammonia containing foods, as proteins are broken down into ammonia and then to urea for elimination by the kidneys.

Raw juicing

Raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. This increases the elimination of toxins and waste products from the skin.

Appropriate juice recipes are:
• ‘Liver Tonic Juice
• ‘Liver Cleansing Juice’ found on page 116 of  the Raw Juices Can Save Your Life book

Recommended supplements:

Livatone Plus Powder or Livatone Plus Capsules

  • Take 1 teaspoon twice daily in raw juices or water or 2 capsules twice daily with meals - A good combination with a synergistic mix of herbs, vitamins and minerals which may stimulate the phase 1 and 2 detox pathways in the liver – therefore supporting general liver function.

Selenium Complete Tablets or Selenomune Energy capsules

  • Take 1 tablet or 1 capsule daily. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral that works to assist in the protection against further damage to liver cells.

Magnesium Complete Tablets or Magnesium Ultra Potent powder

  • Take 2 tablets twice daily or 1 teaspoon daily. Cirrhosis causes magnesium levels to be low.

N-acetyl cysteine

  • Take between one and three capsules daily. Along with selenium, n-acetyl cysteine is the raw material for glutathione production. Glutathione is strongly anti-inflammatory and a powerful detoxification agent.

MSM plus Vitamin C powder

  • Take 1/2 teaspoon  twice daily in juice or water- MSM is an organic sulphur food powder. Sulphur may assist in softening and preventing further scar tissue.

General recommendations

• If you want to improve liver function you must avoid dairy products such as ice cream, milk and cream – dairy foods contain high levels of antibiotics, steroids and artificial growth hormones, as this is what the herds are treated with in today’s high tech dairies to prevent disease and boost milk production. Even organic dairy products are very high in hormones, because breast milk is naturally high in hormones. As with humans where substances go through into breast milk, it is the same for cattle – only they neglect to tell you this in the advertisements when they are telling you how great milk is.
• Avoid deep fried food, margarine and industrial seed oils
• Avoid sugar. It can do just as much harm to the liver as alcohol.
• Avoid artificial sweeteners. Use Stevia

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

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