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What is the Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis?

Discover a holistic approach to liver cirrhosis treatment, tackling root causes, symptom control with medications, and lifestyle changes. Learn about liver transplant as a final option.

  • 23 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 76 views

Liver cirrhosis, a condition characterised by scarring of the liver, needs different treatments to help manage symptoms and slow down its progress. Treatment focuses on lifestyle changes like eating better, not drinking alcohol, and handling other problems like hepatitis. Certain medications might also assist with alleviating symptoms. A successful course of therapy depends on early diagnosis, individual care, and addressing associated health conditions. Improved quality of life, reduced complications, and delayed liver deterioration are the goals of these initiatives for cirrhosis patients. Read on to learn more about the various liver cirrhosis treatment methods.

Treatment of Liver Cirrhosis

Depending on the underlying cause and extent of liver damage, cirrhosis therapy attempts to control symptoms, minimise liver scarring, and avoid consequences. Approaches to liver cirrhosis treatment include:

1. Dealing with the Root Causes

a) Alcohol Addiction:

  • Quitting drinking is essential for those with cirrhosis brought on by excessive alcohol consumption. 
  • Given that alcohol damages the liver no matter how much of it is consumed, treatment programmes for alcohol addiction may be suggested to help achieve sobriety.

b) Weight Management: 

  • Blood sugar management and weight decrease can help alleviate cirrhosis associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

c) Managing Viral Hepatitis: 

  • Certain drugs assist in preventing more hepatitis B or C virus-induced liver damage.

2. Managing Other Causes:

  • If detected early enough, medications that target forms of liver cirrhosis—such as primary biliary cholangitis—can reduce the disease's progression.

3. Medicines and Symptom Control:

  • Pain, weariness, and itching are among the symptoms that medications reduce. 
  • Nutritional supplements can prevent osteoporosis and combat malnutrition associated with cirrhosis.

4. Addressing Complications:

  • Targeted approaches are necessary for the successful treatment of cirrhosis complications. 
  • A low-sodium diet, medicines, and, in extreme circumstances, fluid drainage techniques or surgery are used to treat ascites or fluid accumulation. 
  • Medication for high blood pressure and frequent upper endoscopy to repair veins are used to treat portal hypertension, which is defined by increased vein pressure and lowers the risk of life-threatening bleeding.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat infections; hepatitis, pneumonia, and influenza shots are advised. 
  • While drugs help reduce toxin accumulation causing hepatic encephalopathy, they also improve the overall treatment of cirrhosis-related problems. Regular blood tests and ultrasounds are used to screen for liver cancer.

5. Liver Transplant:

  • When liver failure occurs due to advanced cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be required as a last-resort for liver cirrhosis treatment
  • This entails using a healthy liver from a deceased or living donor to replace the damaged liver.
  • Patients are put through a rigorous testing process to guarantee an excellent surgical result.
  • Previously, transplants were not available to those with alcoholic cirrhosis because of the risk of alcohol recurrence.
  • According to recent research, some people with severe alcoholic cirrhosis who match the conditions of the transplant centre and pledge to abstain for life can succeed after receiving a transplant.

Also read:

Conclusion

Liver cirrhosis demands a multifaceted approach to treatment, addressing both its root causes and associated complications. Lifestyle changes, managing underlying conditions like alcohol addiction or viral hepatitis, and medications for symptom control constitute crucial aspects of therapy. Moreover, investing in a comprehensive health insurance plan is recommended to cover the high cost of treatment and management. Proactive management is essential for successful liver cirrhosis treatment outcomes, highlighting the need for prompt treatments and all-encompassing care in the effective management of liver cirrhosis.

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