Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: nonalcoholic | liver | cirrhosis | hepatitis | scarring | vaccine

Stopping Liver Cirrhosis

Thursday, 01 Dec 2011 09:42 AM


Question: I was diagnosed with nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis about three years ago. Is there anything I can do for it so it will not get worse?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver comes in many forms. Cirrhosis is a scarring condition of liver tissue that renders affected areas ineffective for detoxifying our blood. This can lead to full liver failure requiring transplantation in advanced cases.

Treatment depends upon the cause. If related to hepatitis infection, the treatment offered depends upon whether this was hepatitis A, B, or C, or one of the other more rare types of infectious hepatitis seen more commonly overseas. Hepatitis C infection has effective antiviral regimens with interferon and ribavirin that are very effective.

Hepatitis A and B are preventable by vaccine, and there is no excuse not to be immunized against these very common viruses that spread via fecal food, water, and blood contamination, as well as by sexual intercourse.

There is an inherited cirrhosis caused by an enzyme deficiency (alpha one antitrypsin) that is treatable by replacement if diagnosed and treated early enough. It is also associated with premature chronic pulmonary disease. Sometimes autoimmune disorders are associated with liver damage, so be sure all underlying disorders are managed well and in remission.

Other causes of cirrhosis may relate to toxin and carcinogen exposure (such as carbon tetrachloride in dry cleaner workers) whose treatment obviously involves removing toxin exposure and, in some cases, environmental rehabilitation.

Victims of cirrhosis are often advised to avoid high protein diets, alcohol, and drugs known to need the liver for metabolism. Also, optimize your lipid profile to prevent fatty liver accumulation that will further hinder normal liver function. Try to maintain a healthy exercise and dietary regimen to enhance healing, as our liver will regenerate and heal if all infections are controlled and no autoimmune issues are attacking the liver. Consider a consultation with a dietician to formulate an individualized meal plan that may be most appropriate for you and your degree of cirrhosis.

Consider vitamin and mineral supplementation under the guidance of your doctor, especially the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K vitamins since their levels may be reduced in advanced liver disease. Avoid all liver toxins, and this includes alcohol.




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Thursday, 01 Dec 2011 09:42 AM
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