What Is the Treatment for Cirrhosis of the Liver?
The basic treatment regimen for cirrhosis of the liver is designed to prevent further damage, treat the symptoms of cirrhosis and prevent liver cancer, according to MedicineNet.com. Severe cases of cirrhosis require a liver transplant. To prevent further damage, patients may take a multivitamin, avoid alcohol, stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, reduce inflammation, take anti-viral medications and consume ursodeoxycholic acid.
MedicineNet.com recommends a multivitamin with vitamins D and K, as liver damage may prevent the absorption of these nutrients. Patients should avoid drugs and alcohol that cause liver damage, because the organ filters foreign substances out of the bloodstream. Anti-viral medications eradicate hepatitis B and C. Patients with hemochromatosis may need blood transfusions to reduce iron levels. People with autoimmune hepatitis may take drugs that suppress the immune system such as prednisone. Ursodeoxycholic acid, a compound in bile, halts the progression of some forms of cirrhosis.
Symptoms of cirrhosis include swelling of the ankles and abdomen, bleeding veins in the esophagus and stomach, an enlarged spleen, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatic encephalopathy, according to MedicineNet.com. Drugs, antibiotics, surgery and dietary changes are treatments for these symptoms, depending on which ones appear in cirrhosis patients.
WebMD reveals that cirrhosis is permanent scarring of the liver, and there is no known cure as of October 2014. Doctors should test for liver cancer every six months and watch out for enlarged veins that could start bleeding. Treatment regimens depend on what caused the cirrhosis in the first place and what symptoms appear after cirrhosis occurs.