Liver cirrhosis is a chronic illness which leads to severe scarring of the liver. Normal liver cells are replaced with abnormal and nonfunctional ones which affects the function of the organ and may eventually cause lethal outcome.
The liver is an organ highly necessary for detoxification of many substances. It cleans the blood and is engaged in metabolism of different substances.
Liver cirrhosis can develop as a consequence of many illnesses and most of them initially cause inflammation of the liver tissue which eventually (if it lasts long enough or is repeated) leads to inability of the liver tissue to regenerate. Instead, the normal tissue is replaced with nonfunctional scars and loses its function for good.
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis
In order to realize how liver cirrhosis can be prevented we first must get to know all the factors and illnesses which may contribute to the onset of the disease.
The most common cause of liver cirrhosis and eventual loss of function of the organ is alcohol abuse. Chronic alcohol abuse always leads to severe and irreversible damage to the organ. Furthermore, liver cirrhosis may develop as a consequence of hepatitis B and C, particularly in case of chronic forms of these two infections. Liver cirrhosis may also affect patients suffering from cystic fibrosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, galactosemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, glycogen storage disease, hemochromatosis, autoimmune hepatitis and biliary atresia. It is also possible to develop liver cirrhosis if one has had parasitic infestation with schistosomiasis or is suffering from untreated Wilson's disease.
Prevention of Liver Cirrhosis
Even though the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate, it is essential never to abuse this fact and treat the organ with respect and care.
It is good not to drink at all. However, since this is simply not possible, one may drink but in moderation. It is forbidden to drink more than two drinks per day (men). Women and elderly are not supposed to consume more than one drink per day. Still, it would be better to completely abstain from alcohol.
Proper diet will supply the body with all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals and if it is not rich in fat, it would not burden the liver or cause some structural or even functional changes.
One more way to prevent liver cirrhosis is to avoid hepatitis infection. If one avoids hepatitis (particularly hepatitis B and C ) he/ she reduces the risk of developing liver cirrhosis.
And finally, by avoiding exposure to some toxins or by limiting intake of medications that are hepatotoxic, one may successfully prevent liver cirrhosis.