Liver disease: NHS Doctor talks about link with alcohol
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As with most diseases, there are certain crucial stages when prior to major damage occurring, changes can be made to reduce the severity. In the third stage of fatty liver disease, a person is on the borderline of it becoming cirrhosis which is a late-stage disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue and the liver is permanently damaged. What symptoms can be spotted prior to this and how can you reverse it?
Patients with compensated cirrhosis have a median survival that may extend beyond 12 years.
Patients with decompensated cirrhosis have a worse prognosis than do those with compensated cirrhosis; the average survival without transplantation is approximately two years.
Cirrhosis is not caused by trauma to the liver or other acute, or short-term, causes of damage.
Usually, years of chronic injury are required to cause cirrhosis.
“When liver damage progresses to an advanced stage, fluid collects in the legs, called oedema, and in the abdomen, called ascites,” warns UCSF Department of Surgery.
The health site adds: “Ascites can lead to bacterial peritonitis, a serious infection.
“When the liver slows or stops producing the proteins needed for blood clotting, a person will bruise or bleed easily.”
Ascites is a landmark in the progression into the decompensated phase of cirrhosis and is associated with a poor prognosis and quality of life; mortality is estimated to be 50 percent in two years.
Apart from oedema and bruising, other symptoms indicating your condition is heading to an irreversible stage include:
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Vomiting blood
- Itchy skin.
The liver has an amazing ability to repair itself. If you avoid alcohol or lose weight, it’s possible to reduce liver fat and inflammation and reverse early liver damage.
Research suggests that losing weight is the single best thing you can do to control or reverse the condition.
A good goal is to lose 10 percent of your total body weight, but even a loss of three percent to five percent can improve your liver health.
Talk with your doctor about the best way for you to lose weight safely and effectively.
Shifts in your diet may help you lose weight, but there are other payoffs as well.
These small tweaks to your diet include:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat more fish
- Eat more high-fibre foods
- Don’t eat too many carbohydrates
- Limit sugar
- Limit saturated and trans fats
- Limit salt.
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