Cirrhosis: What You Need To Know
The term cirrhosis means scarring of the liver. In this disease process the healthy liver tissue becomes replaced with hard fibrous scar tissue, which distorts the structures in the liver. This 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 and the flow of blood back to the liver from the intestines and the spleen becomes restricted.
Cirrhosis is a process that occurs slowly and takes many years to develop, eventually resulting in failure of the liver to perform its functions. There are 5 stages of cirrhosis with stage 1 being mild and stage 5 being severe with a large amount of scar tissue.
What causes cirrhosis of the liver?
The process of inflammation in the liver damages liver cells, eventually resulting in their death and the dead liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Thus the process of cirrhosis is caused by chronic (long lasting) inflammation.
The inflammation can be caused by several things such as –
- Excess alcohol
- 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
- A poor diet that lacks raw fruits and 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. Thus fatty liver can lead to 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, all the B vitamins, organic sulphur, selenium and antioxidants. Milk thistle has been proven to reduce liver inflammation.
- Increase omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish (tuna, herrings, salmon and trout), fish oil supplements or vegan DHA, ground flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and most people do not consume nearly enough of these life saving fats.
- Boost your intake of selenium by taking a selenium supplement and by eating Brazil nuts. Selenium is important for your immune system to fight viruses and to reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune disease.
- 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 can also take a supplement of vitamin E.
- Increase your intake of the mineral sulphur by eating foods high in this mineral 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; MSM Plus Vitamin C powder is sweetened with stevia. 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 my 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.