The liver is one of many important organs in the body and it has many functions, including filtering waste, providing and storing energy, producing cholesterol and metabolizing drugs, and one of the most important functions is that it produces bile, which is needed for digestion of food. The liver is quite remarkable, in that it can regenerate if it has been damaged in some way. However, sometimes when the liver is injured it can lead to certain consequences. When the liver is damaged repeatedly it eventually scars by fibrosis, and this is what is termed liver cirrhosis. To get rid of cirrhosis you must understand it better.
Signs of cirrhosis
- Jaundice: this is when the skin and eyes become yellow as a result of increased bilirubin, which the liver is meant to get rid of.
- Gallstones: the liver can no longer get rid of enough bile pigment, and this makes somebody with cirrhosis twice as likely to get gallstones.
- Abdominal and leg swelling: this happens because the liver no longer produces enough albumin. Albumin is the protein needed to keep fluid in the bloodstream and prevent an excessive amount from getting into the tissues.
- Encephalopathy: the liver can no longer filter toxins, and these build up and affect the brain, leading to signs such as confusion and delirium.
Getting rid of cirrhosis may not be entirely possible, but what you can do is prevent further damaged caused by it. Here is a look at a few ways you can do this:
- Avoid alcohol: the liver is responsible for metabolizing any alcohol that you drink. By avoiding alcohol altogether you are able to lighten the load for the liver.
- Limit medication: almost all medications you use are metabolized by the liver, and the more you take the bigger the load for the liver. A good way to prevent further damage is to limit the amount of medication that you take.
- Limit salt: salt draws water, so the more salt you have in your diet, the more water will stay in your body, aggravating the already swollen legs and abdomen. This means less salt, seasoning, junk food and processed food.
- Eat healthily: because the liver is so involved in nutrition, when you have cirrhosis it loses its ability to perform this function adequately, for this reason it is important to pay extra special attention to eating a balanced and healthy diet.
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