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Cirrhosis of The Liver

Liver disease is serious and requires treatment and regular monitoring by a liver specialist

I have presented my ideas on how to help those with liver diseases using nutritional medicine, which I have been using for many years with good success rates However my recommendations do not replace the care of your own doctor and you should remain under the care of your own doctor whilst using nutritional therapies

If you have any questions you may contact my naturopaths on 623 3343232 or email us at contact@liverdoctorcom

Cirrhosis of the Liver

This is the term used to describe liver disease where chronic inflammation of liver cells has caused an extensive and widespread build up of scar tissue in the liver Scar tissue is similar to collagen, as it is tough fibrous tissue, which replaces damaged liver cells This scar tissue is not functional and cannot do the work of liver cells

What causes cirrhosis?

Liver cells known as stellate cells produce the scar tissue to protect themselves from the inflammation that is occurring in the liver This inflammation is produced by free radicals generated by various liver toxic factors operating over many years

A healthy liver does not have many stellate cells and they do not produce excessive amounts of scar tissue In contrast, in a liver that is chronically inflamed, the stellate cells become activated and they multiply and produce excessive collagen

A cirrhotic liver is hardened with scar tissue, which reduces its blood supply There is not enough healthy liver tissue remaining to perform the metabolic and detoxification processes that the liver must perform to keep the body healthy

Cirrhosis of the liver is the fourth most common cause of death among people aged between 30 and 50 Chronic hepatitis (caused by the hepatitis B and C viruses) is gaining on alcohol as the leading cause of cirrhosis

The most common causes of cirrhosis are –

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Chronic hepatitis B and C infection
  • Auto-immune liver diseases such as auto-immune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
  • Genetic disorders of metabolism such as Hemochromatosis (iron overload) and Wilson’s disease (copper overload)
  • Adverse reactions to some drugs such as methotrexate, analgesics and statin drugs etc
  • Fatty liver of moderate to severe degree
  • Vascular disorders of the liver

Signs of advanced cirrhosis may include:

  • Spider nevi – spider shaped tiny blood vessels (capillaries) on the skin
  • Excessive bruising
  • Jaundice (yellow discoloration of skin and eyes)
  • Altered liver size
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Clubbing of the ends of the fingers
  • Ascites (extreme build up of fluid in the abdominal cavity)
  • Swelling of the legs with fluid (edema)
  • A flapping tremor of the hands
  • Mental confusion and disorientation
  • Vomiting of blood from varicose veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices)

Nutritional Medicine for cirrhosis

Increase antioxidant intake, to reduce damage to liver cells from free radicals

The most important antioxidants include –

It is vital to obtain plenty of beta-carotene and its related carotenoids from eating a wide variety of raw brightly colored fruits and vegetables Beta-carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A Beta-carotene, other carotenoids and vitamin A, have a powerful anti-cancer effect in those with cirrhosis This will reduce the risk of cirrhotic livers developing cancer Those with liver disease need to be careful not to take excessive amounts of vitamin A and should not take more than 10,000 IU daily

Selenium has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the incidence of liver cancer and should be taken daily by those with cirrhosis and/or other risk factors for liver cancer For more information see the website wwwseleniumresearchcom

Take a that contains the essential nutrients to support the liver’s ability to break down and excrete toxins This will reduce the damage that toxins can inflict upon liver cells and support the repair of damaged liver cells For cirrhosis, I would recommend a daily liver tonic that contains Milk Thistle, B vitamins, sulfur containing amino acids and Selenium

should be taken in a dose of 600mg three times daily to help the damaged liver to make more glutathione

General Measures for cirrhosis

Minimize the use of all medications, especially liver toxins such as alcohol, analgesic drugs (especially acetaminophen, paracetamol and narcotics) and anti- inflammatory drugs Avoid using household and workplace chemicals such as insecticides, pesticides, chlorine, bleach, paints, glues and solvents

Protein Intake – the cirrhotic liver cannot handle large amounts of concentrated protein at once time and for this reason minimize the consumption of red meat and poultry If you eat too much animal protein, ammonia levels will build up in the blood stream causing fatigue and mental confusion and supplements help to reduce ammonia levels in the body Suitable protein sources are legumes (beans, peas and lentils), grains, cereals, seeds, sprouts and nuts

Avoid constipation by consuming plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, and grind fresh seeds (flaxseed, pumpkinseed, sunflower seeds etc) and almonds to increase intestinal fiber powder is excellent to increase necessary fiber bulk in the bowel This increased fiber will speed the passage of toxins out of the bowels and reduce the ability of these toxins to re-circulate back to the liver The laxatives Osmolax and Lactulose are also good products to draw fluid into the bowel to ease constipation

Fifty percent of your diet should consist of raw and cooked vegetables and fruits Dressings can be made with organic apple cider vinegar and cold pressed olive oil Drink one or two glasses of daily

Eat cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy and watercress, as well as garlic and onions to help the detoxification ability of the liver

Ask your doctor to check that your body’s total iron content is within normal limits This can be confirmed with a simple blood test known as serum iron studies Excess iron can increase liver damage and cause cirrhosis If your iron levels are excessively high, avoid iron-enriched cereals, vitamin pills containing iron and liver

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease

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