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What is the prognosis of someone with cirrhosis of the liver?

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Quick Answer

Cirrhosis of the liver is usually curable by a liver transplant, but changes in diet and lifestyle and the use of certain medications are effective methods for slowing the complications, thus avoiding the need for transplant, reports WebMD. Abstaining from alcohol can help stop the progression in alcohol-related cirrhosis.

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Full Answer

There is no cure for cirrhosis, but depending upon the cause, medications such as anti-viral drugs or steroids may be used to mitigate damage to the liver cells, states WebMD. Laxatives are often used to increase transit time of waste through the digestive system, removing toxins to lessen the burden on the liver. Lowering dietary salt intake can often control fluid retention in the limbs and abdomen. Liver transplantation is the final option for severe cases of cirrhosis.

Complications of cirrhosis include diabetes, loss of muscle mass, kidney disease, and excessive bleeding and bruising, explains WebMD. Women may undergo menopause earlier than normal, and men may experience breast enlargement. Individuals with cirrhosis are at increased risk for infections due to the impaired immune system and lower blood oxygen levels. Preventive measures to reduce the risk of cirrhosis include minimizing exposure to chemicals, consuming less than two alcoholic drinks per day, and losing or maintaining weight because excessive fat in the liver tissue may lead to fatty liver disease.

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