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Treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver

Treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver:

The most effective treatment plan for cirrhosis of the liver uses a multifaceted approach and varies depending on the cause of the disease. Treatment plans are individualized to best fit the patient's age, medical history, and stage of the disease. The goal of treatment is to stop or slow the progression of damage to the liver and minimize and quickly treat any complications, such as such as portal hypertension, esophageal varices, ascites, liver failure, hemorrhage and kidney failure.

The first step in treatment is prevention. Prevention measures include not drinking alcohol or drinking in moderation and avoiding exposure to hepatitis. Any potential exposure to hepatitis should promptly be reported to a physician or other licensed health care provider.

Treatment of a diagnosed case of cirrhosis of the liver includes addressing underlying causes such as alcoholism or hepatitis or hemochromatosis. Treatment of cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism includes abstaining from alcohol. Treatment of cirrhosis of the liver due to hepatitis may include corticosteroid drugs for autoimmune hepatitis or the medication interferon to treat a hepatitis infection.

People with cirrhosis of the liver should not take any supplements, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs without consulting their health care provider. This is because the liver may not be able to clear the drugs from the body and can lead to toxic levels of chemicals or substances in the body.

Complications of cirrhosis of the liver are also treated as appropriate. Treatment of the life-threatening complications of liver failure may include liver transplant for some people. This major surgical procedure involves using a healthy donor liver to replace a severely diseased liver.

Treatment List for Cirrhosis of the liver

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Cirrhosis of the liver includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Healthy diet
  • Low-sodium diet - helps with fluid retention and swelling
  • Low-fat diet
  • High-protein-high-carbohydrate diet
  • Iron supplements
  • Vitamin B supplements
  • Vitamin K supplements
  • Mineral supplements
  • Treatment of underlying cause
  • Vitamin B6 - possibly used for treatment of vitamin B6 deficiency
  • In cirrhosis of the liver treatment of the underlying disease process may slow progression of the liver damage. However, treatment of cirrhosis itself is aimed at management of complications as they arise, as well as management of chronic poor health related to liver dysfunction. Treatments include:
    • Treatment of the underlying disease process - eg Wilson's disease, hemochromatosis, hepatitis
    • Abstinence from alcohol - which may worsen liver function even if alcohol abuse is not the underlying aetiology
    • Nutrition - supplements may be needed to ensure adequate calories and protein
    • Zinc supplementation - may help improve appetite
    • Vitamin D supplementation - if osteoporosis develops
    • Regular exercise to maintain muscle mass
    • Management of pruritus
    • Management of ascites
      • Low sodium diet
      • Diuretics - furosemide, spironolactone
      • Paracentesis - removal of fluid via a needle in the abdomen
      • Peritovenous shunts
      • Portocaval shunts
    • Management of portal hypertension
    • Liver transplantation

Alternative Treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Cirrhosis of the liver may include:

  • Milk thistle (silymarin)
  • Neominophagen C (glycyrrhizin, cysteine, glycine)
  • Salba seeds and salba seed oil
  • more treatments »

Cirrhosis of the liver: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Cirrhosis of the liver may include:

Hidden causes of Cirrhosis of the liver may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Cirrhosis of the liver: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Cirrhosis of the liver:

Cirrhosis of the liver: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Unlabeled Drugs and Medications to treat Cirrhosis of the liver:

Unlabelled alternative drug treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver include:

  • Albumin
  • Albumarc
  • Albuminar
  • Albutein
  • Buminate
  • Plasbumin
  • Plasbumin-5
  • Plasbumin-25

Latest treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver:

Hospital statistics for Cirrhosis of the liver:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Cirrhosis of the liver:

  • 360,000 hospital charges occurred for chronic liver disease or cirrhosis in the US 2000 (National Hospital Discharge Survey: 2000 Annual Summary, NCHS, CDC)
  • 0.033% (4,243) of hospital consultant episodes were for fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 73% of hospital consultant episodes for fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 45% of hospital consultant episodes for fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 55% of hospital consultant episodes for fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Cirrhosis of the liver

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Cirrhosis of the liver:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Cirrhosis of the liver, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Medical news summaries about treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Cirrhosis of the liver:

Discussion of treatments for Cirrhosis of the liver:

Liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment can stop or delay further progression and reduce complications. Treatment depends on the cause of cirrhosis and any complications a person is experiencing. For example, cirrhosis caused by alcohol abuse is treated by abstaining from alcohol. Treatment for hepatitis-related cirrhosis involves medications used to treat the different types of hepatitis, such as interferon for viral hepatitis and corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis. Cirrhosis caused by Wilson's disease, in which copper builds up in organs, is treated with medications to remove the copper. These are just a few examples--treatment for cirrhosis resulting from other diseases will depend on the underlying cause. In all cases, regardless of the cause, following a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol are essential because the body needs all the nutrients it can get, and alcohol will only lead to more liver damage.

Treatment will also include remedies for complications. For example, for ascites and edema, the doctor may recommend a low-sodium diet or the use of diuretics, which are drugs that remove fluid from the body. Antibiotics will be prescribed for infections, and various medications can help with itching. Protein causes toxins to form in the digestive tract, so eating less protein will help decrease the buildup of toxins in the blood and brain. The doctor may also prescribe laxatives to help absorb the toxins and remove them from the intestines.

For portal hypertension, the doctor may prescribe blood pressure medication such as a beta-blocker. If varices bleed, the doctor may either inject them with a clotting agent or perform a rubber-band ligation, which uses a special device to compress the varices and stop the bleeding.

When complications cannot be controlled or when the liver becomes so damaged from scarring that it completely stops functioning, a liver transplant is necessary. In liver transplantation surgery, a diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor. About 80 to 90 percent of people survive liver transplantation. Survival rates have improved over the past several years because of drugs such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus, which suppress the immune system and keep it from attacking and damaging the new liver. (Source: excerpt from Cirrhosis of the Liver: NIDDK)

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