Liver, a football-sized organ plays an important role in maintaining the body’s health. It is situated on the right side of the abdomen under the rib cage. It produces bile that helps the body digest food. Apart from this, it throws toxic substances out of the body. There are several reasons why liver functioning may deteriorate. Cirrhosis is the most common liver condition that can be seen both in kids and adults. Scar tissues are formed in the liver when liver cells are damaged. These scar tissues hamper the blood flow in the liver which results in building up of waste products in the body. Cirrhosis, therefore, demands immediate medical attention. Fortunately, liver hospitals in India are equipped with ultramodern equipment and the team of experts to provide effective treatment to the liver patients.
Cirrhosis in Kids:
It is a wide misconception that long-term alcohol abuse causes liver disease, especially cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can also be seen in children. There are many factors that affect liver health. Some of them are listed below.
- Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inherited diseases like glycogen storage disease, tyrosinemia, Wilson disease, Alpha 1- antitrypsin deficiency, cystic fibrosis, etc.
- Bile duct diseases like biliary atresia, sclerosing cholangitis, congenital hepatic fibrosis, choledochal cysts, etc.
- Drugs and toxins like isoniazid, methotrexate, excess deposit of vitamin A in the body
- Fatty liver disease
Unfortunately, symptoms of cirrhosis are visible only when substantial damage is caused to the liver. Scar tissues slowly start replacing the healthy liver cells. The symptoms become more severe when the liver is damaged to a great extent.
- Fatigue and weakness are the first signs of cirrhosis in kids.
- Abdominal swelling is another symptom that the parents should not avoid. Kids may feel pain in the swollen area.
- The family should be cautious if the kid has a poor appetite or is losing weight.
- The disease eventually blocks bile flow which results in jaundice. If the kid’s eyes and skin look yellow, parents should immediately consult an expert doctor. Bile pigment bilirubin can also turn the colour of urine dark.
- If the child is suffering from cirrhosis, he or she may be more vulnerable to bleeding and bruising and the scar may take longer to heal.
- Reddened palms, loss of body hair, enlarged liver or spleen, spider-like blood vessels visible on the skin and around the navel, water retention and swelling in the legs and abdomen, blood in vomit, frequent abdominal infections are some of the common symptoms of cirrhosis in kids.
If the paediatrician suspects that the child has an acute liver condition, he will perform various tests and scans to diagnose the root cause of the problem. Some of the basic tests recommended are blood tests, CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, Liver/Spleen Scan, Liver Biopsy etc.
What is the Course of Treatment?
The damage caused by cirrhosis cannot be cured or reversed. However, timely treatment can help control and prevent additional damage to the liver. The treatment may ease symptoms and further complications created by the disorders. Prescribed drugs may help control symptoms and infections to some extent. Some medicines are effective at eliminating excess fluid from the body. If medications do not work, liver hospitals in India is the best course of treatment.
Therefore, vaccination for influenza and hepatitis is extremely important for infants and kids to prevent diseases that can cause liver problems. In addition to that, kids should be given a balanced nutritional diet which will slow down the process of liver damage.
Cirrhosis in Adults:
– Viruses like Hepatitis A, B and C that cau acute liver problems and inflammation can spread through blood, semen, contaminated water or food or close contact with an infected person.
– Abnormality in the immune system may also cause liver disease. The primary reasons for this can be autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis.
– Various types of cancers like bile duct cancer, the liver adenoma can also substantially damage the liver.
– Chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol is one of the major causes of cirrhosis in adults.
– Fatty liver disease which means excessive fat accumulation in the liver is a prominent cause of cirrhosis in adults.
– Careless consumption of over-the-counter medicines and herbal compounds.
– Obesity and Type 2 diabetes, tattoos and body piercing, injecting drugs through shared needles, exposure to other people’s blood or body fluids, unprotected sex, constant and prolonged exposure to certain chemicals or toxins and family history of liver disease can also contribute to liver disorders.
How to prevent liver disease?
– Consume alcohol in moderation. Healthy adult men should not drink more than two drinks a day. For women, this limit is only one drink a day. Anything beyond 15 drinks a week for men and 8 drinks per week for women substantially adds to the risk of liver disease.
– Avoid unprotected sex. If you are fond of body piercing and tattoos, ensure needles used for it are clean. Avoid using illicit intravenous drugs and never share needles to inject drugs.
– If you have already been infected with the hepatitis virus, consult a doctor and take prescribes vaccines.
– Overdose of medicines have an adverse effect on the liver. Take medicines only when they are prescribed by the doctor. Never use medicines and alcohol together. Consult a doctor before you start using herbal supplements.
– Thoroughly wash hands before eating and cooking.
– Avoid using aerosol sprays in a closed environment. Wear a mask while spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and toxic chemicals. Read the manufacturer’s; instructions carefully before using it.
– Obesity can lead to fat accumulation in the liver. Maintain a healthy weight to avoid fat accumulation in the body.
The liver is a vital organ of the body and it is important that we take good care of it. With few precautions and timely medical treatment, you can prevent liver conditions from deteriorating. As soon as you spot any above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult an expert liver doctor in India for timely and effective treatment.Liver Transplant Treatment