Cirrhosis of the Liver

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Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis of the Liver: Causes, Detection and Prevention

University of Phoenix- Online Campus

Cirrhosis of the Liver is a horrible disease that takes the lives of many people every year. There are many causes, symptoms, ways to diagnose and treatments that surround this disease as well as many ways that this fatal disease can be prevented.

The liver is a key organ when it comes to making the body function properly (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003). As the second largest organ the body has, next to the skin, it serves many purposes. It produces immune agents to control infections, removes germs, bacteria and poisons from the blood, and it makes proteins that produce bile and keep the blood clotting (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003). No one can live without a functioning liver, and that is why Cirrhosis of the Liver is such a deadly disease.

Cirrhosis of the Liver causes the liver to stop functioning properly by replacing normal tissue in the liver with scar tissue (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003). This keeps the organ from working properly by blocking the blood flowing through. There are many ways that Cirrhosis of the Liver can be caused. The leading causes in The United States are alcoholism and hepatitis C, (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003). Some other ways that it can be caused are inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, Glycogen storage disease and Wilson's disease (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003).

Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by too much metal, such as copper or iron, in the liver which can cause abnormal storage (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). Wilson’s disease is related to this because it is caused by the body storing too much metal in the liver, brain or corneas. Access copper or iron in the liver can cause Cirrhosis of the Liver so it must be removed as quickly as possible (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). After the removal of one or both of these metals, it is important that the liver is monitored to be sure that they liver is no longer storing them abnormally. Hemochromatosis occurs when too much iron is absorbed and deposited into the liver and other major organs (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). Cirrhosis can also be caused by the blockage of bile ducts (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). This means that bile cannot be carried to the intestines, which is a vital process for the digestion of fat, (Health Encyclopedia - Diseases and Conditions Liver Cirrhosis, 2001). Glycogen Storage Disease occurs when the body is unable to turn glycogen into glucose which is a main source of energy for the body (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). A fatty liver can also cause Cirrhosis of the Liver. This can be associated with obesity and diabetes. Repeated heart failure can cause liquid to back up into the liver and can also cause liver problems (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008).

Alcohol is a leading cause of Cirrhosis of the Liver right along with hepatitis C (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). People that drink heavily are at a higher risk of getting Cirrhosis of the Liver then those who drink less often. Women that drink heavily are at a higher risk of getting this disease than men (Digestive Disorders Health Center Cirrhosis of the Liver, 2008). Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver which is very damaging. After decades of this inflammation not being treated, it can eventually cause Cirrhosis of the Liver (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2003). People that have hepatitis on top of drinking heavily are at a higher risk of getting Cirrhosis of the...
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