Although liver damage from cirrhosis is irreversible,
treatment can often help prevent further damage and reduce
complications. The best treatment for you depends on the underlying
cause of your cirrhosis.
Abstaining from alcohol is the main treatment for alcoholic cirrhosis.
Fortunately, a number of treatments are available to help people with
alcohol problems. Treatment is tailored to the individual and may
involve an evaluation, a brief intervention, an outpatient program or
counseling, or a residential inpatient stay.
In addition, because people with cirrhosis, and
especially alcoholic cirrhosis, are frequently malnourished, nutrition
is often a key part of therapy. A doctor or dietitian can recommend a
good dietary plan, which may include 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day to
help liver cells regenerate.
Researchers are also studying certain substances that may
prove useful in treating alcoholic cirrhosis. These include drugs that
block factors that contribute to liver inflammation and a soybean
extract that may stop the progression of liver scarring.
In addition to treating the cause of cirrhosis, your
doctor will focus on preventing or improving any complications:
Your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medications such as beta
blockers — usually propranolol (Inderal) or nadolol (Corgard) — to
help lower portal vein pressure and prevent bleeding from enlarged
Bleeding blood vessels.
To help stop actively bleeding blood vessels, you may be given drugs
such as octreotide (Sandostatin) or vapreotide (Octastatin) —
derivatives of a natural hormone. You may take medications alone or
in combination with certain surgical procedures. One of these,
endoscopic variceal band ligation, treats bleeding in the esophagus.
In this procedure, latex bands are used to pinch off the blood
supply to bleeding blood vessels. If this isn't successful, your
doctor may use a catheter with a balloon on the end to compress the
veins and stop the bleeding. When bleeding is severe or recurs
often, you may need a surgical procedure to create a bypass (shunt)
between the venous system in your liver and your general venous
system. Although this lowers the pressure in the portal vein and
stops internal bleeding, shunt operations pose serious risks,
Sometimes avoiding alcohol and salt are all you need to reduce fluid
buildup in your legs or abdomen. If not, your doctor may prescribe
diuretics such as spironolactone (Aldactone) or furosemide (Lasix).
Severe cases may require paracentesis — a procedure in which large
amounts of fluid are removed through a thin tube inserted in the
Doctors often prescribe antihistamines such as cholestyramine (Questran)
and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) to reduce itching caused by
metabolites in the blood.
Treatments for hepatic encephalopathy.
The medication lactulose (Cholac, Duphalac), a synthetic sugar, can
help lower blood ammonia levels by changing the type of bacteria in
the intestine and decreasing the absorption of ammonia. Your doctor
may also recommend the antibiotic neomycin to reduce the level of
bacteria in your intestine that produce ammonia.
When complications can't be controlled or liver function is severely
impaired, a liver transplant may be the only option for some people.
The encouraging news is that the success rate of liver
transplantation continues to improve, and more than 90 percent of
people who receive transplants are still alive 1 year later.
Unfortunately, the number of people awaiting transplants far exceeds
the number of donated organs. But several new developments in
transplantation may make it possible for more people to receive the
organs they desperately need.
These developments include the donation of liver segments from
living relatives, splitting one donated liver between two
recipients, new organ allocation policies and, especially, new
approaches to liver transplants for people with hepatitis C. Until
recently, hepatitis C-infected livers were routinely discarded. But
studies show that people already infected with hepatitis C who
receive livers from hepatitis C-positive donors do as well as if
they had received a liver not infected with the virus. This may mean
that many more livers will become available for people with
hepatitis C. Nevertheless, hepatitis C may recur in the new liver.
1 > 2 > 3
Complementary and Alternative medicine
and mind-body-spirit approaches to health and
Live Blood Analysis
of blood under a specialized high powered ultra-dark
field microscope, reveals anomalies in the blood.
unique tool for prevention.
is recognized by most as
the most powerful and versatile therapy known in
alternative health because it plays a vital role in
maintaining the well-being of the body.
Check it out why.
contact the doctor
This information is
provided for general medical education purposes only and
is not meant to substitute for the independent medical
judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and
treatment options of a specific patient's medical
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any
decision made or action taken in reliance upon the
information provided through this web site.
Chiang Mai 50230,