The cirrhosis treatment goal is to slow the progression of liver scar tissue and prevent or treat symptoms if any. This treatment is dependent upon the cause and extent of liver damage. Hospitalisation is a must in case the liver damage is severe.
Treatment for the underlying cause of cirrhosis
In its early stages, it is possible to minimize cirrhosis-induced liver damage by simply treating the immediate underlying cause. These include the following options:
Treatment for alcohol dependency
For those people where the cause of cirrhosis is alcohol abuse, trying to stop drinking is the best course of action. In case you are facing difficulties in this regard, your doctor may recommend a treatment program for ridding your alcohol addiction.
Losing weight and controlling blood sugar levels can help those suffering from cirrhosis caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease become healthier.
Medications to control hepatitis: Medications can help control damage to liver cells caused by hepatitis B or C.
Medications to control other causes and symptoms of cirrhosis
Medications can slow the progression of some types of liver cirrhosis. For instance, people with diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis in the earliest stages and treated for the same may never experience symptoms at all.
Other medication aims to relieve patients with certain symptoms include: itching, fatigue, and pain. Additionally, nutritional supplements may also be prescribed to counter against cirrhosis-associated malnutrition as well as osteoporosis (weak bones).
Treatment for complications of cirrhosis
Your doctor will work to treat any and all cirrhosis-related complications. These include:
Excess fluid in your body: Edema or ascites can be managed with low-sodium in the diet and medication to prevent any fluid build-up. In the case of severing fluid build-up, other procedures to drain the fluid, or surgery to relieve pressure may be required.
Blood pressure medicines can control the pressure in the veins that supply the liver (portal hypertension) and prevent severe bleeding. The doctor, here, will perform upper endoscopy at certain regular intervals to find enlarged veins in the stomach (varices) or esophagus that might bleed.
You may require medication to reduce or stop the risk of bleeding if you have varices. However, if you cannot tolerate medication or show signs that your varices are likely to bleed, you may require a procedure called band litigation to stop the bleeding. In more severe cases, you may need a Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) – which is a small vein tube that can be placed to reduce the blood pressure in your liver.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and other treatments for infections, which may include vaccinations for pneumonia, hepatitis, and influenza.
“Staphylococcus aureus (AB Test)” by CDC / Provider: Don Stalons – phil.cdc.gov. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.
Increased liver cancer risk
Your doctor may further prescribe periodic blood tests and ultrasound tests to determine whether you have liver cancer.
Hepatic encephalopathy: Prescription for medications would help reduce toxin build-up in the blood caused due to poor liver function.
Liver Transplant Surgery
A liver transplant is a procedure that entails the replacement of the existing liver with a healthy one. The liver contribution can either be from a diseased donor or may be a part of a liver from a living donor. In those cases where the cirrhosis has moved to an advanced stage, where it has ceased to function altogether, a liver transplant may seem to be the only viable option. Cirrhosis is the most common reason for the requirement of a liver transplant. Take a look a http://www.cirrhosismedication.com for details.
It should be noted, however, that liver transplant, being a measure of last resort, require extensive training to ensure that the candidate is in perfect health condition to sustain the operation. Also, transplant centers also require a long period of abstinence from alcohol, typically six months before the procedure for people with the alcohol-related liver disease.