Fibrosis of the liver: symptoms and treatment
Fibrosis of the liver is a pathological irreversible process, as a result of which the liver cells are replaced by a connective tissue. It is worth paying special attention to the fact that cells are not restored. The replacement process is slow. The first 5 years the clinical picture is almost completely absent.
This has a negative effect on treatment, since it is only possible to diagnose liver fibrosis in the early stages, when researching about another disease. The prognosis for such a disease is disappointing, since the pathology is irreversible.
Causes of pathology
One of the most common causes of the development of liver fibrosis for today is excessive consumption of alcohol, the use of unhealthy food. In addition, we can distinguish such factors:
- long-term drug treatment
- toxin poisoning
- congenital fibrosis
- viral hepatitis
- diabetes, metabolic disorders
- Deficiency of minerals and vitamins.
In some cases, progression of liver fibrosis can be due to heredity. Also, if the patient has suffered or is ill with Group C hepatitis, hepatic fibrosis is practically assured.
As already mentioned above, the first five years the disease does not manifest itself in any way. At the end of this time interval, you can observe such symptoms of liver fibrosis:
- spleen expansion;
- bleeding from the walls of the esophagus
- bruising and dilated vessels
- malaise, increased fatigue
- instability to loads of any type — physical, mental.
It should be noted that the severity of symptoms largely depends on the degree of the disease. In the early stages of the symptoms of the disease may be completely absent, but in later terms they are very pronounced, so this condition gives the person considerable discomfort.
Stages and forms of the disease
There are four degrees of this pathology in total. If you do not start radical treatment in a timely manner, cirrhosis of the liver can be the last stage.
The disease can begin to develop in any part of the liver lobule. Depending on this, the following degrees are distinguished in medicine:
- 1st degree — portal and periportal fibrosis (this degree is relatively easy and does not require specific treatment)
- 2 degree — port-portal septs
- 3 degree — port-central septs
- 4th degree — false lobules in the structure.
It is the false lobules that lead to the most terrible — cirrhosis of the liver. It is already impossible to stop this process. This degree in most clinical situations results in a fatal outcome. However, this can be prevented if you contact the doctor in time and start treatment.
Depending on how the liver fibrosis spreads, the form of the disease is determined:
- venular — lesion of the central part of the liver
- pericellular — formations around the cells of the organ
- septal — necrosis of tissues
- periductal — the environment of bile ducts
- mixed type.
Also distinguish between cardiac fibrosis and periportal. Cardiac can develop on a background of heart failure. As for the periportal subtype, such liver fibrosis can be caused by problems with the gastrointestinal tract and malnutrition. Periportal fibrosis, as well as cardial fibrosis, leads to deformation of the liver and its subsequent cirrhosis. It is difficult to diagnose this particular form, since the clinical picture is almost identical to the venular fibrosis of the liver. More often it is cardinal fibrosis.
Diagnosis of liver fibrosis is one of the most difficult. To accurately establish the diagnosis, it is necessary to carry out not one instrumental and laboratory analysis. Among the mandatory methods of diagnosis are the following:
- general tests of urine, feces, blood
- biochemical blood test
- Liver ultrasound
- computed tomography of the liver
In addition, the doctor should pay attention to the family history and take into account the patient’s complaints. When carrying out the examination and diagnostic activities, it is necessary to take into account the patient’s diet, the presence of bad habits. If you diagnose liver fibrosis at an early stage, the prognosis is not so pessimistic. In any case, cirrhosis and death can be ruled out.
Fibrosis of the liver is treated only medically. Conditionally treatment of liver fibrosis can be divided into such stages:
- elimination of the causes of pathology
- reducing symptoms that occur with liver fibrosis
- elimination of processes that cause a destructive process.
At each stage of treatment, proper nutrition is necessary — the diet is prescribed by a doctor individually. Treatment also depends largely on the stage of the disease. If the pathology is detected in the early stages of its development, then the treatment will be simpler — diet and intake of vitamins. In more severe situations, the doctor may prescribe the use of other synthetic medical products that will help to eliminate signs of an illness.
At the initial stage, in addition to diet, prescribe antiviral drugs. If any signs of further damage to the tissues appear from any medication, they should be stopped immediately, and replaced with similar actions, but less aggressive.
It should be noted that the diet for fibrosis differs significantly from the one that is prescribed for excess weight. The patient should receive the necessary complex of vitamins, minerals. At the same time, the load on the liver should be minimized. During treatment is strictly prohibited use:
- greasy and fried foods
- sharp, salty foods
Naturally, smoking should be excluded. The right diet can not only help in the treatment of fibrosis, but also cleanse the body of toxins, help to lose weight.
Prevention of fibrosis
Prevention of this disease is appropriate only if fibrosis is not associated with renal insufficiency and hepatitis of group C. In the latter case, one can direct therapeutic actions only to reduce the load on the liver.
Special attention in prevention should be given to proper nutrition and weight. If the body weight exceeds the norm, then you need to lose weight. However, you need to do this smoothly, in tandem with proper nutrition and physical exertion. The use of dietary supplements, questionable tablets and starvation will not lead to a positive result. On the contrary, if there are problems with the liver, then this can provoke fibrosis.
The main measures of prevention include the following:
- the exclusion from food of too fatty and spicy food
- You can not abuse alcohol
- You should stop smoking (do it better smoothly);
- moderate exercise;
- Minimal consumption of medications.
If you are at risk (genetic predisposition, weak immunity), then periodically you should undergo a survey. At the slightest signs, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor, to clarify the diagnosis. The earlier the disease is detected and the treatment begins, the greater the chance of a complete recovery.