Cirrhosis is a replacement of normal liver cells with a cicatrix tissue. There are two most important causes of cirrhosis: alcoholism and viral hepatitis. A certain role is played by long disturbance of bile outflow, poisoning with toxic substances, occlusion of hepatic veins.
At cirrhosis there is a rising of pressure in a portal liver vein, as a result of squeezing of fine vessels with expanded cicatrix tissue. The blood starts flowing bypassing liver in other vessels – veins about a belly-button, to hemorrhoid veins, veins of the lower third of esophagus. These veins extend, at the slightest damage there can be a severe bleeding. Also normal outflow of bile is broken, there is an icterus.
The first implications of cirrhosis are: appetite decrease, weight loss, and weakness, increase of liver and spleen sizes. The patient feels heaviness in the top part of abdomen or the right the hypochondria, there is a localized not sharply expressed aching pain in the same place.
Because of a phlebectasia round belly-button there is a bluish vascular network in the form of beams. Palms redden; there are red maculae similar to little spiders on the body. In people of both genders the ability to sexual life weakens, sexual signs atrophy.
The patient complains of a headache, disturbance of memory and attention. It occurs because of toxic substances accumulation in blood.
It is impossible to cure cirrhosis completely but at early stages it is possible to slow it down.
The diet with an exception of alcohol, fat, fried is prescribed. At viral hepatitis specific antiviral therapy is necessary. For pressure decrease in a portal vein propranolol is applied. Liver cells are protected from damages with hepatoprotector. Surgical treatment may be required.