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Sclerosis of the liver, also known as cirrhosis occurs when scar tissues or regenerative nodules form in
the liver and start replacing healthy tissues. Due to this scar tissue formation, the liver losses its ability to
produce proteins that regulate blood clotting, control and fight infections, filter blood by removing bacteria
and toxins, digest food, store energy, and produce bile that absorbs fats including cholesterol and fat-
soluble vitamins.

 

   

Sclerosis of the liver is not caused by trauma or acute or short-term damage to the liver. It mainly occurs
due to a chronic disease or injury left untreated for a long time. Following are some more causes for liver
sclerosis:

— Drinking too much alcohol


— Obesity
— Chronic Hepatitis B, C or D, infects the liver of the person and can lead to cirrhosis
— Auto immune hepatitis, condition in which body¶s immune system attacks the liver cells, causing
inflammation, damage, and eventually cirrhosis
— Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, disorder in which fat gets deposited in the liver and causes liver
inflammation
— Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, drug reactions, parasitic infections, etc
— Having certain inherited diseases like hemochromatosis, Cystic fibrosis, Wilson's disease or
Protoporhyria
— Blockage or damage of the bile ducts, causing the bile to back up in the liver and leading to
cirrhosis

  


   

Usually, no symptoms are observed during the initial stages of the disease. But as it progresses, the
patient may experience the following symptoms:

— Weakness and fatigue


— Loss of appetite and weight loss
— Nausea and vomiting
— Abdominal pain and bloating due to fluid accumulates in the abdomen
— Itching
— Spider-like blood vessels on the skin

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The diagnosis of sclerosis of the liver is usually confirmed by physical examination, blood tests, and
imaging. During the evaluation, the doctor may ask about the patient's medical history and examine the
medical signs experienced by the patient. The doctor may also ask the patient to go through a
computerized tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood test or liver
scan, as this will help him to have a close view and evaluation of the signs of liver enlargement, reduced
blood flow and ascites. For better diagnosing, the doctor may insert a laparoscope in the abdomen or can
even perform a liver biopsy in which a needle is inserted between the ribs or into a vein in the neck.

Malnutrition is commonly observed in people suffering from sclerosis of the liver, hence, a healthy diet is
essential during all stages of the disease. The patient should follow a well balanced meal plan
recommended by the doctor or health care providers. The patient should avoid eating raw shellfish, as it
can cause serious bacterial infection and should follow a sodium restricted diet. To improve the body's
nutrient intake,fruits, juices and liquid supplements can be consumed. Since alcohol is considered to be
one of the major cause of the disease, its intake should not be encouraged as it will cause more damage
to the liver. Oral and intravenous antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent severe infection. For treating
sclerosis of the liver due to any type of hepatitis, interferon, corticosteroid and other antiviral drugs are
usually prescribed.

The treatment for sclerosis of liver mainly depends upon the cause of the disease, symptoms observed
and various complications associated with it. The main aim of the treatment is to slow the progression of
scar tissues in the liver. The disease affects men slightly more often than women and can be fatal if not
treated on time. I am sure by now you must be having a fair idea of what is sclerosis of the liver and the
different parameters related to it.