Liver Cirrhosis in Indianapolis, IN
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What is liver cirrhosis?
Your liver is a bodily organ that is responsible for a multitude of essential functions necessary for health, including metabolizing fat and filtering harmful toxins from the blood. Liver cirrhosis, additionally called hepatic cirrhosis, describes the health condition that occurs when the liver is inflamed and scarred from issues such as chronic alcohol abuse and late-stage liver disease. As additional scar tissue develops, the ability of the liver to function properly continually diminishes. The various grades of severity involving liver cirrhosis are sorted into four distinct stages.
Stage 1: Some scarring of the liver but there are not many symptoms and no complications have developed.
Stage 2: Further symptoms begin to develop, including swollen and enlarged veins and hypertension involving the portal vein in the liver (known as portal hypertension).
Stage 3: Symptoms in this stage involve advanced scarring of liver tissue and abdominal swelling, accompanied by serious complications and possibly liver failure.
Stage 4: This stage of liver cirrhosis can be fatal without a liver transplant.
At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our GI providers can identify, address, and help manage liver concerns. To find care for liver cirrhosis in Indianapolis, IN, please request an appointment with us today.
What causes liver cirrhosis?
There are a multitude of factors that can damage the liver, which might lead to cirrhosis. Some of these factors can involve the following:
- Inherited GI disorders
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Liver disease caused by autoimmune hepatitis
- Excessive body fat
- Cystic fibrosis
- Certain medications
- Sugar metabolism disorders
- Abnormal formation of bile ducts
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Iron accumulation in the body
- Bile duct damage
- Wilson’s disease
- Viral liver infections (hepatitis B & C)
- Chronic alcohol abuse
Should you begin to experience liver problems and need assistance, partner with the GI providers at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Our knowledge and expertise can lead you in the appropriate options for personalized care.
What are the signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis?
The initial stages of liver cirrhosis may not carry any symptoms. However, a few of the initial signs that you might notice could include exhaustion, weakness, and lack of appetite. When the liver cirrhosis proceeds to progress, the symptoms may involve:
- Bloody stools
- Redness of the palms
- Brownish urine
- Jaundice yellowing of the eyes/skin
- Swollen abdomen
- Veins that are spider web-like in appearance
- Abrupt weight loss or gain
- Cramping of muscles
- Swelling in the legs
- Bruise or bleed easily
How is liver cirrhosis treated?
Scarring and damage to the liver generally cannot be cured but it can often still function even in the event two-thirds has been excised (removed) or damaged. Below are a number of the treatments the Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology team might recommend to help elevate the liver's ability to function:
- Avoiding specific medications (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
- Targeting the unique issues surrounding your cirrhosis
- Undergo a liver transplant
- Vaccination for hepatitis A and B
- Antiviral medications for hepatitis B and C
- Prevention of additional liver damage
What are the complications of liver cirrhosis?
Your liver maintains a highly critical role in the body, and any amount of damage done to the liver will negatively affect its ability to function as normal. Some of the potential health complications resulting from liver cirrhosis include:
- Liver cancer
- Bacterial peritonitis (an inflamed abdominal wall)
- Hepatic encephalopathy (the buildup of toxins in the bloodstream resulting in brain damage)
- Hypersplenism (overactive splenic function)
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Get personalized treatment for liver health
Liver cirrhosis can impact your life and health in many aspects. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, we wish to help you enjoy a life in which further damage to the liver is prevented. To get treatment for liver cirrhosis in Indianapolis, IN, please request an appointment with our team as soon as possible.
I highly recommend Dr. Michael Morelli, M.D. at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology in St. Francis Hospital. He and his nurses always make me feel very comfortable and well informed.
I was referred to Dr. Drake after my initial colonoscopy. He has performed two more this year to remove large polyps and to verify I was “all clear”. He takes time to explain the process and easy any concerns I had. He has a wonderful bedside manner and I would highly recommend him!
Was able to get an appointment quickly. Doctor was very thorough and got back to me in a timely matter with test results
Very personable and easy to talk to. Gives you info straight up and best way to take care of it. I highly recommend him.
Dr. Haynes is very friendly