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Types of cirrhosis and their causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Cirrhosis is a liver disease that refers to the scarring of the liver and its deterioration and malfunction. It occurs when healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, which, among other things, causes a blockage of blood circulation through the liver. Consequently, this vital organ cannot perform its functions typically. The causes of its condition can be various, but cases of alcoholic cirrhosis and those linked to the hepatitis virus are more frequent. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we will detail all cirrhosis types, their causes and symptoms, and the most appropriate treatment.

Cirrhosis: causes

Liver cirrhosis is the direct consequence of suffering from prolonged liver disease. Although the causes of cirrhosis can be several, the most common are:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Hepatitis B or C infections.

As for the less frequent causes of this disease, there are the following:

  • Autoimmune diseases: When the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy liver cells.
  • Consumption of some medications.
  • Hereditary liver diseases, such as hemochromatosis, antitrypsin deficiency, or Wilson’s disease.
  • Obesity.
  • Bile duct problems.

Types of liver cirrhosis

Depending on the cause of the deterioration and malfunction of the liver, different types of liver cirrhosis are distinguished, so it is essential to know them all to know the medical treatment to follow in each case.

Alcoholic liver cirrhosis

This type of nutritional or portal cirrhosis is caused by excessive and prolonged consumption of alcoholic beverages and is the most common and frequent cause of liver cirrhosis. Those who drink a lot of alcohol over ten years have a 70% chance of developing this liver disease. Alcohol can poison healthy liver cells and cause them to swell and die.

Cirrhosis is linked to hepatitis.

This is cirrhosis caused by an infection with the hepatitis virus, which causes liver inflammation. Specifically, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the cause of liver scarring.

Cryptogenic cirrhosis

This type of cirrhosis refers to liver disease when the exact cause that causes it is unknown. Usually, if a liver biopsy is done, it is possible to know the cause of cirrhosis and its type.

Primary biliary cirrhosis

In this case, it is a failure in the immune system that causes cirrhosis. Healthy liver cells are erroneously attacked, and when they are lost, they are replaced by scar tissue, which later spreads throughout the organ. The bile duct is also attacked and destroyed.

Secondary biliary cirrhosis

Cirrhosis develops due to an obstruction of the bile ducts since the scar tissue is the one that is replacing the cells of the destroyed ducts.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis

In this condition, the bile ducts become inflamed, and the bile duct narrows, preventing bile from moving out of the liver. This later leads to cirrhosis and liver failure if the scar tissue spreads to healthy liver cells.

Cirrhosis: symptoms

Once all the types of liver cirrhosis are known, let’s see the main symptoms of this disease. In the beginning, it is possible that it is asymptomatic or that the appearance of the different symptoms occurs slowly and progressively. The initial signs and symptoms of cirrhosis are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Weightloss.
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Spider veins

When the disease is in more advanced stagessymptoms can include:

  • Jaundice: yellowing of the skin, the whites of the eyes, and the mucous membranes.
  • Ascites and edema.
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • It increased blood pressure in the portal vein.
  • Esophageal varices.
  • Splenomegaly or a swollen spleen.
  • Gallstones
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Pale-colored stools.
  • Redness in the palms of the hands.

Cirrhosis: treatment

Regarding cirrhosis, we must say that there is no specific treatment that can cure this disease completely. Therefore, treatments are usually aimed at reducing and alleviating its symptoms. They may include the following:

  • Drugs: administration of medications that help slow the progression of the disease and reduce pain, fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms.
  • Healthy lifestyle habits: in addition to a healthy diet low in sodium, you should eliminate alcohol consumption and try to lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Reduce blood pressure through vascular stents, which is also effective in case of fluid retention and edema or venous bleeding in the esophagus and stomach.
  • Improve the passage of bile: the bile ducts are stretched with an endoscope, which allows for eliminating gallstones that do not let bile pass.
  • Liver transplantation: the option of transplanting the liver can be considered in more advanced disease cases.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Types of cirrhosis and their causes , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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