FAQ - Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic
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Does any one know much about cirrhosis of the liver?

my father has been an alcoholic for 14 years drinking whiskey every day. he now has yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) and complains about stomach pains through the night. The doctor has been treating him for alcoholism for a long time but he won't let anyone go with him so I don't know if he has been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis yet. Any doctors or nurses out there, what is the average time someone has left when they get like this (bearing in mind that he will not give up the drink. He is determined to drink till he dies)

Alcohol & liver disease

When you drink alcohol it is quickly absorbed directly into the blood stream from the stomach and upper part of the gut (small intestine). The absorbed alcohol then passes through the liver and subsequently into the blood stream where it reaches all organs in the body. Although most tissues are capable of breaking down alcohol, this is mainly carried out by the liver, where alcohol is eventually converted into water and carbon dioxide, which is removed through the lungs.

Since the liver sees the highest concentrations of alcohol, it is one of the organs in the body most prone to developing alcohol related problems. However, alcohol also causes toxic effects on other organs in the body including the brain, heart, muscles and pancreas.

Almost all excessive drinkers will develop the first stage of alcoholic liver disease fatty liver. This is a ‘side-effect’ of the liver breaking down alcohol into carbon dioxide and water. Fatty liver disappears when patients stop drinking excessively. If patients continue drinking excessively then a proportion (around 20-30%) will develop the next stage of alcoholic liver disease - alcoholic hepatitis. In this condition, the liver becomes inflamed and in its extreme form, patients can die of liver failure.

An even smaller proportion of patients (around 10%) will develop a permanently scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis), if they continue to drink excessively.

Why certain heavy drinkers remain at the stage of fatty liver and others progress to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis is not known at present, although undoubtedly, the more you drink and the greater the frequency and duration of heavy drinking, the more likely you are to develop the more advanced forms of disease. Recent evidence suggests that being overweight increases the risk of developing serious alcoholic liver disease and as yet largely unidentified genetic (inherited) factors may also be important.

Excessive drinking can also cause:

stomach disorders
pancreatitis leading to diabetes
high blood pressure
heart muscle damage leading to heart failure
cardiac rhythm disturbances
sudden cardiac death
vitamin deficiencies
sexual difficulties
problems with the brain
problems with nerves in the limb
cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, gullet, large bowel and breast.  (+ info)

How long does it take for a person to develop alcoholic Cirrhosis?

A friend of mine drinks heavier and heavier, a minimum of a 5th of Vodka each night, along with a poor diet with alot of sweets/fats. He is 48, and his father died of alcohol cirrhosis at age 50.

It's been a year since my mother passed away from Cirrhosis of the liver. I am 16 years old. She was drinking those tall beers. ALOT of them everynight for about 9 years enough to where she was drunk then she was told if she did not stop she could possibly get sicker then die by the doctor. 1 year later (still did not stop drinking) got sick and a year and a half later died. She was sober for a year and a half. She fought so hard and I was so proud of her. She couldn't take it and I don't one bit blame her. I miss her so much. She was in so much pain she got on hospice. She was 42 when she passed away. So your friend could go at any time, I'm sorry, especially with his dad passing away from it, he has a greater chance.  (+ info)

What symptoms might a person experience in the final stages of cirrhosis of the liver?

I'm planning a story where a character finds out he has cirrhosis, and it's in the final stages. How long is someone typically given to live if they are in the latter stages of this disease, and what symptoms might they experience?

I was diagnosed with cirrhosis when 90% of my liver was already destroyed with scar tissue. I had 10% function left. The doctors still gave me a time frame of 5 years before I would reach total failure. If a person drinks or has hep C on top of the cirrhosis, the progression can be much quicker.

Later stage symptoms would be fluid retention (ascites), jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, blood clotting problems, internal bleeding if unwanted veins that form burst or leak, encephalopathy that can cause confusion, forgetfulness, memory loss, behavior changes, violence and even hallucinations if severe enough. If left untreated, it can progress to coma. Fatigue is always a problem that increases over time. It is not unusual for someone with cirrhosis that is near failure to sleep 16 hours a day. They also become increasing weak.

If you look up cirrhosis on Wikipedia, it will give you a lot of details that you could use.  (+ info)

my boyfriend have a cirrhosis, and found out that it start to damage the liver,does surgery is good,options?

hepatitis to cirrhosis, infecting the liver.would be better if just remove the effecting part, what do u need to do when surgery done and what is the best diet to improve the healing.

Cirrhosis is not curable, but the deterioration can be halted if your boyfriend stops drinking completely, including beer, and follows his doctor's orders and takes his medication. Many other serious conditions can also occur because of the cirrhosis. Transplant is only an option when it becomes an end of life issue. Even then, he must be healthy enough that the transplant is worthwhile. Organ donations are hard to get and he must be considered healthy enough to benefit from the transplant. If he hasn't stopped drinking, he must stop at once. If the cirrhosis is not because of alcoholism, then he must carefully follow his doctor's advice so that his general health is optimal. A good hospital for an assessment is the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They have a top notch organ transplant team as does Johns Hopkins. I have been a patient at both facilities and they are really great. Good luck  (+ info)

do all alcoholics develop cirrhosis of the liver?

and are women more suspectible than men? are overweight people less suspectible than skinny people?¿ how much do you have to drink in a week and are there certain kinds of drinks that make it more suspectible than others and how many years do you have to drink for cirrohsis to develop?

Of course alcohol ruins your liver and kidneys. It all depends on how much you drink how fast and how responsibly.  (+ info)

What is the prognosis for cirrhosis of the liver?

My girlfriend is 47 yrs. old and was diagnosed with liver failure do to alcohol. Her kidneys are functioning, although the spleen and colon are still inflamed. She is very jaundice and a lot of fluid in her abdomin. She has been moved from the hospital because there is nothing more they can do for her and transported to a nursing home. After a stay there she is suppose to be moved to Glenbeige. Nothing I have read tells me what her prognosise is. Does anyone have an answer?

I am sorry to say that the prognosis appears to be poor-the jaundice and abdominal fluid is because her liver has failed-That is all the information i can give because I have not seen her or know the results of her tests.One thing is absolute -is that to stand any chance of improving at all -SHE MUST NOT DRINK-if she does?  (+ info)

Cirrhosis of the liver level four?

My grandmother has non alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver they said it is level four could anyone explain this to me?

First, cirrhosis isn't a form of cancer. Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease where the healthy liver tissue is gradually replaced by scar tissue. This leads to a progressive loss of liver function. The most common causes of cirrhosis are alcoholism (most common), hepatitis (B and C), or fatty liver disease. There are several other causes as well. Sometimes there is no known cause; these cases are termed cryptogenic. Your grandmother has cirrhosis due to something other than alcoholism. Since the doctor used the term non-alcoholic, he may be referring to Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In this condition, fat builds up in the liver and eventually causes scar tissue. NASH is associated with diabetes, malnutrition, obesity, heart disease, and treatment with certain drugs.

Cirrhosis is not reversible. Doctors focus instead on preventing its further spread. Stage 4 indicates severe cirrhosis.

To learn more, look at the links below.  (+ info)

Has anyone ever heard of someone who has never has a drink in their life having Cirrhosis of the liver?

I'm 16 and my doctors recently diagnosed me with cirrhosis of the liver which is something i thought you could only get from to much alcohol. Does anyone know how you can get this without alcohol? I've never had a drink before but my doctors say it looks like ive been drinking heavily for the last 20 years.

Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is very common today. It is related to childhood obesity and is caused by a poor quality diet. The good news is that your liver can usually heal if you lose weight and eat a healthy diet.

Best wishes and good luck.

  (+ info)

Can you die suddenly from liver cirrhosis?

I've just found out that my best friend has died, apparently of cirrhosis of the liver. He was only 39. I hadn't talked to him for a few months, as we live halfway across the world from each other, but the last time I talked to him he sounded alright and did not mention anything to me about being ill. I know that he had been drinking quite excessively, but I had NO idea he was drinking as much as apparently he had. From what his sister has said, he called 911 on a Monday, vomiting blood and having breathing trouble, by Monday night he was considered brain dead and by Tuesday he had died. Could he have known how ill he was? He hated doctors, so I don't know if he'd seen one prior or not. How could he have died so suddenly? Surely, if he were so ill he were about to die, he would have been ill enough to have been hospitalised before it got so bad he called 911...? I'm left with too many unanswered questions, but I was just wondering if any of you out there know anything, thanks.

yes, you absolutely can die suddenly from cirrhosis of the liver. What happens is the liver just fails suddenly from the disease. When the liver fails it affects every organ in the body. He may have known he was ill, but perhaps he thought he Wasn't that bad off. I'm sorry for you because I know it's painful losing someone you love.

alcohol causes more death than any other drug and people still do not recognize the seriousness of consuming large amounts of alcohol.  (+ info)

my mom was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. what is her prognosis?

i live in another state and she called me today and said she was diagnosed with cirrhosis. she has been an alcoholic but now has stopped. apparently her and her doctor have discussed a liver transplant. HELP IM AFRAID

Cirrhosis is a very serious condition in which scarring damages the liver. The liver is a large organ that is part of the digestive system
When a person has cirrhosis, scar tissue (fibrosis.) replaces healthy tissue and prevents the liver from working as it should. For example, the liver may stop producing enough clotting factors, which can lead to bleeding and bruising. Bile and poisons may build up in the blood. Scarring can also cause high blood pressure in the vein that carries blood from the intestines through the liver (portal hypertension). This can lead to severe bleeding in the digestive tract and other serious problems.

Cirrhosis can be deadly. But early treatment can help stop damage to the liver.

How is it treated?
It is important to get treated for cirrhosis as soon as possible. Treatment cannot cure cirrhosis, but it can sometimes prevent or delay further liver damage. Treatment may include medicines, surgery, or other options, depending on what caused your cirrhosis and what problems it is causing.

There are things you can do to help limit the damage to your liver and control the symptoms:
* Do not drink any alcohol. If you don't stop completely, liver damage may quickly get worse.
* Talk to your doctor before you take any medicines. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, supplements, and herbs. Drugs that can be dangerous include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example).
* Make sure your immunizations are up-to-date. You are at higher risk for infections.
* Follow a low-sodium diet. This can help prevent fluid buildup, a common problem in cirrhosis that can become life-threatening.

Symptoms may not appear until a problem is severe, so it is important to see your doctor for regular checkups and lab tests. You may also need testing to check for possible problems such as:
* Enlarged veins, called varices , in the digestive tract. Varices can bleed.
* Liver cancer. People with cirrhosis are at higher risk for liver cancer.
If cirrhosis becomes life-threatening, then liver transplant may be an option. But transplant is expensive, organs are hard to find, and it doesn't always work.
If your cirrhosis is getting worse, you may choose to get care that focuses on your comfort and dignity. Palliative care can provide support and symptom relief so you can make the most of the time you have left. You may also want to make important end-of-life decisions, such as writing a living will. It can be comforting to know that you will get the type of care you want.

It can be hard to face having cirrhosis. If you feel very sad or hopeless, be sure to tell your doctor. You may be able to get counseling or other types of help. Think about joining a support group. Talking with other people who have cirrhosis can be a big help.

It took me a long time to decide if I should edit this before I sent it to you. I've decided that maybe it's important you see the whole picture. Be strong.  (+ info)

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