Cirrhosis: What You Need To Know
The term cirrhosis means scarring of the liver. The healthy liver tissue gradually becomes replaced with hard fibrous-like scar tissue. This scar tissue distorts the normal structures in the liver. Scar tissue is non-functional, meaning it cannot perform the functions of liver cells. The scar tissue reduces the flow of arterial and venous blood in the liver as well as the flow of blood back to the liver from the intestines; this causes the pressure inside the blood vessels to rise and the tissues and veins in the spleen and intestines become congested; this is known as portal hypertension and can result in many problems. The spleen may enlarge and varicose veins may form in the esophagus because of this high venous pressure.
Cirrhosis is a process that occurs insidiously and takes many years to develop.There are 5 stages of cirrhosis with stage 1 being mild and stage 5 being severe with a large amount of scar tissue and very poor liver function.
What causes cirrhosis of the liver?
Chronic inflammation in the liver damages liver cells, eventually resulting in their death (necrosis). The dead liver cells are replaced with scar tissue.
The inflammation can be caused by several things such as –
- Excess alcohol over many years
- Viral infections in the liver such as hepatitis C and B viruses
- Many types of prescribed medications – so always ask your doctor about side effects of the drugs you are taking
- Autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), sclerosing cholangitis etc
- Genetic diseases such as Hemochromatosis (iron overload) or Wilson's Disease (copper overload) or enzyme deficiency (Alpha-1- Anti-trypsin deficiency)
- A poor diet that lacks vegetables and is high in sugar and bad fats (deep fried foods and margarine and trans-fatty acids) can lead to fatty liver disease. The excess fat in the liver causes inflammation and is very toxic for the liver; fatty liver is the most common cause of cirrhosis.
How can we reduce the inflammation that causes cirrhosis?
There are several vital things you need to do and it is important to be regular with these things and implement them long term, otherwise the inflammation will recur and continue.
- Take a powerful liver formula such as Livatone Plus to support your liver function. Livatone Plus contains a high dose of pure milk thistle, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), activated B vitamins, organic sulphur, selenium and antioxidants. Several of these ingredients have been proven to reduce liver inflammation.
- Increase omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish (tuna, herrings, salmon, sardines and trout), fish oil supplements or vegan DHA, flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation.
- Boost your intake of selenium by taking Livatone Plus which contains adequate amounts if you take 4 capsules of Livatone Plus daily. Selenium is vital for your immune system to fight viruses and to reduce inflammation in the liver.
- Consume foods high in vitamin E such as avocados and raw nuts and seeds. Vitamin E reduces the formation of scar tissue and softens existing scar tissue. You may also wish to take a supplement of vitamin E.
- Increase your intake of the mineral sulphur by taking NAC and eating foods high in sulphur such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), onions, garlic and eggs. Make sure you eat the whole egg, as it’s the yolk of the egg which contains the sulphur. Don’t worry about eating too many eggs, as contrary to old myths about eggs, they do not have any effect on your cholesterol levels. The formula MSM Plus Vitamin C powder provides you with extra organic sulphur and can be stirred into juice or water. Livatone Plus contains NAC but you may need extra NAC to repair a badly damaged liver. Sulphur is a mineral, which helps your liver detoxification pathways to remove toxic chemicals which build up in the liver and cause inflammation.
- Ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers and most fresh fruits. Livatone Plus contains vitamin C but you may need to take extra if you have a lot of inflammation. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can prevent scar tissue forming.
How do you know there is inflammation in the liver?
A blood test for liver function will show that your liver enzymes are elevated – see tests section on Liverdoctor website. There are other tests available to see if you have inflammation and cirrhosis in your liver, such as a fibroscan.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.