Signs Of Psoriasis Of The Liver
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How Can I Control Ascites
If you have ascites, these steps can help you control the condition:
- Weight checks: Weigh yourself daily. Call your healthcare provider if you gain more than 10 pounds, or more than two pounds per day for three consecutive days.
- Limit alcohol: Its best to avoid alcoholic beverages entirely to reduce your ascites risk.
- Limit NSAID use:Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, affect your kidneys. They can cause your body to retain excess water and salt.
- Low-salt diet: Stick to a low-sodium diet, consuming no more than 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day.
How Is Cirrhosis Of The Liver Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will first ask about your medical history and over-the-counter and prescription drug use. They will also ask about any supplements or herbal products you may take. Your provider may suspect you have cirrhosis if you have a long history of alcohol abuse, injectable drug abuse or have had hepatitis B or C and have the symptoms listed in this article.
To diagnosis cirrhosis, your provider will perform a physical exam and may order one or more of the following tests:
- Physical exam: Your doctor will examine you, looking for the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis including: the red, spider-like blood vessels on your skin yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes bruises on your skin redness on your palms swelling, tenderness or pain in your abdomen enlarged firmer-feeling, bumpy texture to the lower edge of your liver .
- Blood tests: If your doctor suspects cirrhosis, your blood will be checked for signs of liver disease. Signs of liver damage include:
- Lower than normal levels of albumin and blood clotting factors .
- Raised levels of liver enzymes .
- Higher level of iron .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Raised bilirubin level .
- High white blood cell count .
- High creatinine level .
- Lower levels of sodium .
- Raised level of alpha-fetoprotein .
In addition, other blood work will include a complete blood count to look for signs of infection and anemia caused by internal bleeding and a viral hepatitis test to check for hepatitis B or C.
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How Does Gynecomastia Affect My Body
Gynecomastia can be seen as a button-sized growth underneath the nipple. You may be able to see this as a breast lump or feel it when you press on the area. The lump may move easily within the breast tissue and may be tender to touch. Breast lumps and breast enlargement may occur in one or both breasts.
What Is The Prognosis For People With Hepatic Encephalopathy
People with hepatic encephalopathy can slow, stop or reverse the disease by sticking to their prescribed treatment plan. People who have chronic liver disease may need to keep treating hepatic encephalopathy to stop symptoms from getting worse or coming back.
Its important to see a doctor right away when you first notice signs of hepatic encephalopathy. Untreated hepatic encephalopathy can get worse and increase your risk of serious complications, such as coma.
People who develop end-stage liver disease may need to consider a liver transplant. Youll undergo testing to see if you can withstand such a major procedure. A new liver often gets rid of hepatic encephalopathy.
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How Is Cirrhosis Diagnosed And Evaluated
The single best test for diagnosing cirrhosis is a biopsy of the liver. Liver biopsies carry a small risk for serious complications, and biopsy often is reserved for those patients in whom the diagnosis of the type of liver disease or the presence of cirrhosis is not clear. The history, physical examination, or routine testing may suggest the possibility of cirrhosis. If cirrhosis is present, other tests can be used to determine the severity of the cirrhosis and the presence of complications. Tests also may be used to diagnose the underlying disease that is causing the cirrhosis. Examples of how doctors diagnose and evaluate cirrhosis are:
How Is Gynecomastia Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will assess symptoms, perform a physical exam and review your medical and family history. A blood test may also be recommended to check hormone levels.
Because both gynecomastia and breast cancer cause breast lumps, your provider may order a:
- Breast ultrasound to view detailed images of breast growths.
- Mammogram to examine unusual growths or changes in breast tissue.
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Liver Cirrhosis From Inherited Conditions
Some inherited conditions damage the liver and this leads to the scarring that can contribute to cirrhosis. These conditions include:
- haemochromatosis the body accumulates iron, which can damage many organs, including the liver
- Wilson disease the tissues of the body accumulate copper
- galactosaemia the body is unable to process galactose so it accumulates in the blood and can result in liver damage
- cystic fibrosis mainly affects the lungs, but can also cause scarring of the liver
- alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can cause lung damage but can also affect liver function and lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Liver Cancer Risk Factors
A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed.
But having a risk factor, or even several risk factors, does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors.
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How Are The Complications Of Cirrhosis Treated
Portal hypertension: Portal hypertension is mainly the result of chronic end-stage liver disease. Treatment consists of treating its many complications. Treatments of portal hypertension include:
- Giving beta blockers or nitrates to lower blood pressure in your veins.
- Cutting off blood flow through the varices to stop or reduce further bleeding with procedure using tiny elastic bands or with sclerotherapy.
- Redirecting blood from the portal vein to reduce pressure in the portal vein and to control variceal bleeding. This is achieved using either one of two techniques distal splenorenal shunt or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.
- Prescribing lactulose to absorb toxins in the blood that result from hepatic encephalopathy, which cause symptoms including confusion and other mental changes.
- Draining excess fluid in your abdomen in a procedure called paracentesis or taking a diuretic medication to decrease extra fluids in your legs and other areas of your body.
Bacterial peritonitis: Antibiotics and infusion of a protein will be prescribed. Typically patients are admitted to the hospital for treatment and monitoring. Following a diagnosis of bacterial peritonitis, an oral antibiotic will be prescribed for daily use to prevent recurrence of infection.
Kidney failure: Treatment may include medication, dialysis and kidney transplant, depending on the cause and extent of failure.
What Is The Most Common Type Of Peritonitis
- The most common type of peritonitis is secondary peritonitis, usually caused by leakage or perforation of an abdominal organ, like the appendix.
- However, another common type of peritonitis is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis that is most often associated with individuals that have abdominal ascites fluid.
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What About Acute Liver Failure
Acute liver failure is often treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital. Supportive care is given to help stabilize the condition and control any complications during treatment and recovery.
If a medication overdose or reaction is suspected, drugs may be given to reverse the effects. A liver transplant may also be recommended for some people with acute liver failure.
You can help to prevent liver failure by making lifestyle changes that keep your liver happy and healthy. Here are some tips for improving liver health:
- Drink alcohol in moderation, and never mix medications with alcohol.
- Take medications only when needed, and carefully follow any dosing instructions.
- Dont mix medications without first consulting your doctor.
- Maintain a healthy weight theres a connection between obesity and fatty liver disease.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
- Be sure to have regular physicals with your doctor during which they perform liver blood tests.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Peritonitis
Peritonitis can rapidly develop into a life-threatening problem. Depending on its cause many different doctors will be involved in the treatment consequently, peritonitis is seen and treated by emergency medicine doctors, critical-care specialists, dialysis specialists, infectious disease specialists, gastroenterologists, hospitalists, internal medicine specialists, and surgeons. Other specialists may need to treat underlying causes.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Liver Cancer
A risk factor does not mean that you will develop a disease, but it does increase your chances of getting a disease. For liver cancer, risk factors include:
- Having other liver diseases, including hepatitis B or C or cirrhosis . Having a family history of liver diseases that can cause cirrhosis is also a risk factor.
- Being a man. Men are more likely to get liver cancer than women.
- Drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time.
- Being exposed to a type of poison made by moldy crops.
What Is The Prognosis For Someone With Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
PBC is a progressive disease that can be controlled but not cured. The prognosis depends upon a variety of factors including whether the patient has symptoms , liver function test abnormalities, and whether the patient has undergone treatment with medication or has required liver transplantation.
Advances in treatment have extended the life expectancy in the past many years. The average survival from diagnosis for a patient with PBC who is asymptomatic is 16 years, while that of patients with symptoms is 7 1/2 years.
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Edema Ascites And Bacterial Peritonitis Complications Of Cirrhosis
Edema and ascites
As cirrhosis of the liver becomes severe, signals are sent to the kidneys to retain salt and water in the body. The excess salt and water first accumulates in the tissue beneath the skin of the ankles and legs because of the effect of gravity when standing or sitting. This accumulation of fluid is called peripheral edema or pitting edema. The swelling often is worse at the end of a day after standing or sitting and may lessen overnight when lying down. As cirrhosis worsens and more salt and water are retained, fluid also may accumulate in the abdominal cavity between the abdominal wall and the abdominal organs causing swelling of the abdomen, abdominal discomfort, and increased weight.
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
How Can I Prevent Hepatic Encephalopathy
Proper management and treatment of liver disease is key to lowering the chances of developing hepatic encephalopathy. These steps can lower your risk:
- Avoid alcohol, which damages liver cells.
- Avoid medications that affect the nervous system, such as sleeping pills and antidepressants.
- Eat a nutritious diet, exercise and maintain a healthy weight .
- Take your prescribed medications to treat liver disease.
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Treatment: Home Care Medications And Surgery
Your treatment depends on how badly your liver is injured. The goal is to protect the healthy tissue you have left.
The first step is to treat the condition that’s causing your cirrhosis to prevent any more damage. Some things you may need to do include:
- Stop drinking alcohol right away. Your doctor can suggest a treatment program for addiction.
- Lose weight if you are obese, especially if your cirrhosis is caused by fat buildup in your liver.
- Take medications if you have hepatitis B or C.
- Keep all your doctor’s appointments.
- Eat enough protein. People with cirrhosis need more than most folks.
- Get shots for flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis A and B.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often.
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to take over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. You cannot take these medications if you have ascites.
- Drink enough fluids, even if you have ascites, so you don’t get dehydrated.
- Eat a low-salt diet if you have ascites.
- Eat a high-protein, high-calorie diet.
- Take a diuretic if your doctor prescribes one to help manage ascites.
- Take medicine your doctor prescribes if you have constipation .
Your doctor will also want to treat any complications that can happen with cirrhosis. They may suggest things like:
Low-sodium diet. This can help control swelling. Your doctor may also ask you to take medications for this problem. If you have a severe fluid buildup, you may need to get it drained.
What Are The Risk Factors For Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
- There may be a genetic component to the development of PBC since a person with the disease is likely to have a family member also afflicted.
- Women are nine times more likely than men to develop PBC. It most often develops in the middle age between the ages of 40 to 60.
- The disease is seen more often in white, northern Europeans, compared to African-Americans.
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Treating And Managing The Effects Of Cirrhosis
Another aspect of treatment is to deal with the complications of cirrhosis as early as possible. For this reason your doctor may suggest you have regular tests to identify problems even before you notice any symptoms. You may also be given other drugs to reduce blood pressure, to prevent and treat infections and to help support your bodys functions.
Preventing Further Liver Damage
Regardless of the underlying cause of cirrhosis, consumption of alcohol and other potentially damaging substances are discouraged. There is no evidence that supports the avoidance or dose reduction of paracetamol in people with compensated cirrhosis it is thus considered a safe analgesic for said individuals.
Vaccination of susceptible patients should be considered for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.Treating the cause of cirrhosis prevents further damage for example, giving oral antivirals such as entecavir and tenofovir where cirrhosis is due to hepatitis B prevents progression of cirrhosis. Similarly, control of weight and diabetes prevents deterioration in cirrhosis due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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Other Causes Of Liver Cirrhosis
A number of other medical conditions that result in liver damage can cause cirrhosis, including:
- some autoimmune diseases certain types of cells of the immune system attack and damage the liver. These uncommon conditions that can cause liver cirrhosis include autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis .
- exposure to poisons can damage the liver because one of the livers main roles is to remove toxins from the blood. Prolonged exposure to environmental toxins such as arsenic can damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis.
- schistosomiasis a tropical disease caused by a parasitic worm called Schistosoma. The worm is passed to humans from snails, and the disease is also known as bilharziasis. Chronic schistosomiasis causes damage to internal organs including the liver
- certain medications in rare cases, may cause cirrhosis in susceptible people
- unknown conditions can cause cirrhosis in about one third of cases .
Esophageal And Gastric Variceal Bleeding
For portal hypertension, nonselective beta blockers such as propranolol or nadolol are commonly used to lower blood pressure over the portal system. In severe complications from portal hypertension, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting is occasionally indicated to relieve pressure on the portal vein. As this shunting can worsen hepatic encephalopathy, it is reserved for those patients at low risk of encephalopathy. TIPS is generally regarded only as a bridge to liver transplantation or as a palliative measure. Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration can be used to treat gastric variceal bleeding.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
If you or someone you love has hepatic encephalopathy, you may want to ask your doctor:
- How is liver disease affecting my body?
- What can I do to improve liver function or slow liver disease?
- What liver disease treatment will work best for me now?
- What is the best treatment for hepatic encephalopathy?
- How long do I need to take medication for hepatic encephalopathy?
- Are there any medications I should avoid?
- Should I make any dietary changes to support liver function?
- Could I benefit from a liver transplant?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
Remember, hepatic encephalopathy is a serious but treatable condition. Symptoms often resolve with early detection and proper treatment. If you have liver disease, ask your doctor about warning signs of hepatic encephalopathy so you can start treatment promptly. You should also discuss how to best manage liver disease to keep hepatic encephalopathy from occurring or worsening.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/16/2020.