Liver cirrhosis is the last stage of liver disease, in which scar tissues gradually replace the liver tissues. It causes irreversible damage to your liver that can lead to liver failure. Liver cirrhosis is a result of persistent long-term damage over many years. This can be due to long-term chronic hepatitis, alcohol or drug abuse. Metabolic factors can also cause liver cirrhosis and that is called non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis (NASH). Liver cirrhosis is a progressive condition that worsens as there is the development of more scar tissue in the liver. In the beginning, your body adjusts to compensate for the liver’s reduced functioning, so no symptoms are observed. Eventually, as your liver function declines, you begin to experience symptoms. Scarring in your liver blocks the blood and oxygen supply to your liver tissues. It slows down your liver’s functioning in metabolizing nutrients, filtering out toxins, and forming blood. Liver cirrhosis reduces your liver’s ability to produce bile and proteins essential in the blood. The scar tissues can also compress the blood vessels, including the portal vein system, leading to portal hypertension. Liver cirrhosis is relatively common after middle age and is the leading cause of hospitalization and death. 

Role of homeopathy in liver cirrhosis

The pathological changes occurring in the liver are irreversible, and natural homeopathic medicines cannot claim to reverse such damage. The homeopathic treatment for liver cirrhosis aims to prevent further liver damage and the complications arising due to liver cirrhosis. 

 Six effective homeopathic medicines for liver cirrhosis

Carduus marianus (Carduus mar.)

Common name: Milk thistle

Carduus mar. is used in various complaints related to secondary liver affections. It helps to treat jaundice and bilious disturbances by acting on the liver and portal system. There is a dragging pain in the right hypochondrium with enlargement of the liver. The person feels fatigued and tired with nausea and vomiting. There is constipation with clay-colored stools. Alcohol abuse is usually present.

Nux vomica (Nux vom.)

Common name: Poison nut

Nux vom. is indicated in people who have a history of long-term alcohol abuse. The person suffers from acidity and constipation from a sedentary lifestyle. Stomach issues are caused by coffee, alcohol, and spicy food. There is bloating of the abdomen with tightness and heaviness. The constipation is scanty, with frequent desire for stool and burning pain. Nux vom. can help to decrease soreness in the liver region. There is stitching pain along with sensitivity to external impressions like noise, light, and odor.

Chelidonium majus (Chelidonium.)

Common name: Celandine

Chelidonium is indicated in hepatic diseases such as jaundice in people with liver cirrhosis. There is pain in the liver under the right shoulder blade. The person has a yellow-gray color of the whole skin with yellow urine and white-colored stools. There is a desire for hot drinks. 

Apocynum Cannabinum (Apocynum.)

Apocynum is indicated when the person presents with symptoms of ascites due to liver cirrhosis. The person has a bloated abdomen with a weak and slow pulse. There is increased thirst for water, difficulty breathing, and pressure in the chest may also appear. The person has an intolerance to food and water, which, when consumed, is immediately vomited out. The ascites is accompanied by pain in the liver and acidity.

Arsenic album (Ars. Alb.)

Common name: White oxide of arsenic

Ars. alb. is indicated for liver cirrhosis with fatigue. The person feels extremely exhausted from doing the slightest of labor work. They go on losing weight due to the debilitating effects of liver cirrhosis. It is indicated in a person who vomits out black bile or blood. Along with vomiting, there is a burning sensation in the abdomen. The liver region feels painful, with an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. The person feels relieved by taking warm drinks, and is generally anxious and restless with a fear of death.

Lycopodium clavatum (Lyco.)

Common name: Club moss

Lycopodium is indicated when the liver has atrophied due to long-standing cirrhosis. The liver region is very sensitive. The person feels fullness in the abdomen when eating small amounts of food. Excessive accumulation of gas and flatulence in the lower abdomen. The person has sour eructations, sour vomiting, and heartburn. The complaints worsen by cold drinks and are often relieved by warm drinks. All the complaints get worse in the evening from 4 to 8 pm. 

 Causative factors of liver cirrhosis

  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Alcohol-induced hepatitis
  • Non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis
  • Autoimmune biliary disease
  • Genetic disorders
  • Toxic hepatitis

 Signs and symptoms of liver cirrhosis

  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchy skin
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Nausea 
  • Swelling in the lower limbs
  • Yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin, called jaundice
  • Unintentional weight loss and muscle mass
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen, called ascites
  • Confusion, disorientation, or mood changes
  • Disruptions in menstrual cycle
  • Enlarged male breast tissue or shrunken testes
  • Blood in vomit or stools

Treatment and management of liver cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis involves permanent scarring of tissues in your liver, which cannot be reversed. While your liver has excellent healing powers in general, liver cirrhosis is a stage of disease where your liver does not have enough healthy cells left to heal itself. You may be able to slow down the process of liver cirrhosis, but this depends on the causative factors and how well you respond to the treatment.

Managing the cause

  • Treating the problem that led to liver cirrhosis (for example, you may be advised to cut down or stop drinking alcohol, use antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis, or lose weight).
  • Protection from hepatitis virus by avoiding close contact with infected persons.
  • Corticosteroids and immunosuppressants can help manage autoimmune diseases.
  • Managing or screening for complications of liver cirrhosis.
  • Liver transplantation.

 Diet and lifestyle modification for liver cirrhosis

  • Limit alcohol abuse. The best way to prevent alcohol-related liver cirrhosis is to drink within the recommended limits. Drinking alcohol can speed up the progress of liver cirrhosis, regardless of the cause.
  • Aiming for a healthy weight. Reduce your chance of getting non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases that can lead to liver cirrhosis. Ensure you eat a healthy diet to maintain weight and exercise regularly. 
  • Take medications only after discussing them with your healthcare provider.
  • Keep up with your routine healthcare appointments and screenings. 

 Conclusion

Liver cirrhosis can happen to anyone. While it is commonly associated with chronic alcohol consumption, you can also get it from conditions you are unaware of. Many people do not experience symptoms due to decompensated cirrhosis. Many liver diseases respond to lifestyle changes and medications. Even if you have permanent scarring, you can stop the progression of liver disease or damage. While some cases of liver cirrhosis are more advanced, you can work on the treatment plan with your healthcare provider for the best possible prognosis. Some people also opt for homeopathic treatment because the medicines are natural and without any side effects. It treats liver cirrhosis through its holistic approach. A healthier lifestyle and an organized way of living can reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis. It is highly advisable to consult a homeopathic physician before consuming the medications.

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