What cause the cirrhosis (liver disease) and why? Critically discuss any social issues related to the cirrhosis (liver disease) such as: -The social issues that might happen to the sick person at home and at work e.g the ability to work or the relationship with family members, friends, or other. - The long term affects of drinking and smoking to human health. - The budgetary for governments of alcohol and tobacco use?
Liver Cirrhosis is the disease in which the healthy liver tissue is replaced by a scar tissue. This prevents the normal functioning of the liver. The flow of blood via the liver is blocked by the scar tissue. The liver is not able to perform the vital functions of the body like metabolism, production of protein and blood clotting factors are produced less in the body. Ascites or fluid accumulation inside the abdomen is considered as the common problem of cirrhosis. It is related with poor life quality, increased infection risk and poor continuing effect. Other associated life-threatening problems are hemorrhage of esophageal varices and hepatic encephalopathy. The one and only option left for the treatment of advanced cirrohis stages is a liver transplantation. Excessive consumption of alcohol is considered one of the major factors contributing to liver cirrhosis (Better Health Channel, 2015).
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis
The major causes of liver cirrhosis are hepatitis C, fatty liver and alcohol abuse. The fatty liver can result in liver cirrhosis which results due to obesity and diabetes. Other causes of liver cirrhosis include chronic viral infections for example: hepatitis B, C and D. Blockage of the bile duct can result in liver cirrhosis. The blockage of the bile duct stops the flow of bile formed in the liver to the intestine. Other causes of liver cirrhosis are repeated failure of the heart with the fluid backing up into the liver. Inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis or hemochromatosis result in liver cirrhosis (Webmd.com, 2015). Few inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis, disease associated with glycogen storage, alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency are associated with the cause of liver cirrhosis. In case of glycogen storage disease, human system becomes incapable to utilize glycogen, which is a type of sugar and is translated to glucose. This serves as the energy source for the human system. Other causes are reactions with prescription drugs, extended exposure to ecological toxins and parasitic infection.
Long term effects of drinking and smoking to human health
Excessive consumption of alcohol damages the functioning of the liver. The liver cells are damaged by the excessive consumption of alcohol. The alcohol is broken down by liver so that it can be removed from the body. The harmful substances of the blood are removed by liver. The liver can become excessively damaged if one consumes more alcohol. It is difficult for liver to process the alcohol. Excess and chronic consumption of alcohol causes damage to the liver. Drinking alcohol for many years can damage the liver cells and the liver becomes incapable to digest the alcohol. However the amount of alcohol consumption that causes liver cirrhosis can vary among people. A woman drinking the same level of alcohol has higher risk of developing cirrhosis than a man. Children are more prone towards liver cirrhosis. However liver cirrhosis can occur as a result of genetic predisposition of any injury related to the liver.
Smoking is rarely considered to be the cause of liver cirrhosis. The functions of the liver are largely affected by the consumption of coffee. Excessive consumption of coffee reduces the functional capability of the liver and results in liver cirrhosis. Consumption of coffee reduced the serum level of total protein and albumin content. However smoking resulted in the rise of the serum level of the body and decreased the albumin level. Consumption of coffee and smoking and alcohol drinking affects the normal functioning of the liver. A person has to undertake regular medications in order to survive from the adverse effects of liver damage (Nlm.nih.gov, 2015).
Protection against liver disease
Cirrhosis of the liver can be protected by reducing the intake of alcohol to a considerable extent. This will not reduce the normal functioning of the liver. One should check his lifestyle and food habits in order to avoid the disease. Liver is considered as the second largest organ in the human system. It creates protein and generates bile to clear proteins and simplify fats. Therefore, protection against liver cirrhosis is very much significant. Individual should consume less fructose, fired and processed foods that contain hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Detoxification of system is also important because liver help the human system to process and remove harmful substances via sweat, feces and urine. Detoxification helps to increase and support natural process.
Symptoms of the disease
The indications of liver cirrhosis vary from one stage to another. In the initial stages no symptoms may be present. But along with the disease progression symptoms may become noticeable. The symptoms of liver cirrhosis include weakness of the body, loss of hunger, fatigue, itchy skin, fluid retention or edema, swelling in legs, abdomen, ankles, weight loss, easy bruising, orange or brownish colored urine, faded stools, personality changes, disorientation, confusion, fever and presence of blood in stool. One can suffer from jaundice where the skin color will change to yellow.
Social issues related to the disease
A person affected by liver cirrhosis will not be able to lead a healthy lifestyle. An acute level of the disease will prevent an individual from working. The person has to stay under regular medication. Liver cirrhosis can cause an individual to become very sick and consequently it is become difficult for the person to perform important and productive work activity. Because of the illness the person may feel weak or unwilling to work in their own respective workplaces. This can badly affect the income of the family and this condition can become worst if the affected individual is the only working person of the family.
Liver cirrhosis is incurable. But in some cases the treatment of liver cirrhosis can reduce the likelihood of the condition of becoming worse. The treatment of liver cirrhosis is done by treating the underlying cause of liver damage. The treatment of hepatitis or viral infection can increase the longevity of the person suffering from the disease. Apart from medicinal treatment palliative care can also be offered to the affected patients so that the affected individuals get relived from the stress, pain and serious indications because of liver cirrhosis. The aim of this type of care is to modify quality of life of the affected individuals and their family members.
Better Health Channel, (2015). Liver disease - cirrhosis - Better Health Channel. [online] Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Liver_disease_cirrhosis?open [Accessed 21 Feb. 2015].
Nlm.nih.gov, (2015). Alcoholic liver disease: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [online] Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000281.htm [Accessed 21 Feb. 2015].
Webmd.com, (2015). Cirrhosis of the Liver Stages, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/cirrhosis-liver [Accessed 21 Feb. 2015].