The Fundamentals

Cirrhosis is the chronic disease of the liver, marked by dense periolobular connective tissue, degenerative changes in parenchymal cells, structural alteration of the cords of the liver lobules, fatty and cellular infiltration, and often, development of areas of regeneration. This includes, as well, loss of liver function and increased resistance to blood flow through the liver. Cirrhosis can lead to ammonia toxicity. There are many causes of cirrhosis, the most familiar being alcoholism. It can also be caused by passive congestion of the liver from heart failure called cardiac cirrhosis; infantile, occurring in children as a result of protein malnutrition; metabolic, resulting from metabolic disease such as hemochromatosis; and toxic, caused by toxic substance poisoning like carbon tetrachloride. These are just a few of the causes. Cirrhosis is characterized by anorexia, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, and dull aching abdominal pain. Many other symptoms may be present as well.

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Cirrhosis of the Liver

he liver is the largest organ in the body. In the healthy adult, it weighs approximately three pounds and is wedge-shaped. Located immediately below the diaphragm, the liver occupies the entire upper right section of the abdomen. Cirrhosis of the liver is known to cause scarring, or fibrosis, the main damage to the liver. This occurs due to excessive alcohol use, viruses, or other causes. In response to the scarring, liver cells regenerate in abnormal clumps and form nodules around the scarred areas, acting like dams and altering the flow of blood and bile through the liver. This causes the spleen to overproduce nitric oxide, and small blood vessels and bile ducts in the liver itself to constrict. Bile builds up in the blood stream, resulting in high levels of bilirubin, which causes jaundice. It also causes swelling in the arms and legs. The liver enlarges early on in the disease, but later, often shrinks. There are alternative ways to protect the liver, including the use of Dandelion. The flowers of Dandelion are rich in lecithin, a liver protector. Echinacea is an excellent source of cichoric acid which studies show slows reproduction of viruses, and is helpful in liver-digestion. Turmeric and Scullcap are also known to protect the liver and aid against viruses attacking it.
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