Liver Cirrhosis refers to a condition affecting the human liver where there is a considerable loss of liver cells accompanied by permanent scarring of the liver. It causes general weakness in the body and a loss of appetite. In this condition, there is a yellowing of the skin, easy bruising, fatigue and feelings of itchiness. The major causes of the liver cirrhosis are alcohol and HIV. However, liver cirrhosis can be formed by a variety of other causes. This disease is diagnosed through physical examination and blood tests. At times a biopsy of the liver and the examination of the patient history are also used. If not treated early, liver cirrhosis can result in ascites, oedema, bleeding through varices, hepato-renal syndrome, hepato-pulmonary syndrome, liver cancer, hypersplenism and hepatic encephalopathy.
Liver Cirrhosis in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, liver diseases occur when there is an intense aggravation of the Pitta Dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor that represents fire or heat. An aggravated Pitta affects the functioning of the liver and later puts the other doshas in imbalance as well. Dhatus becomes and the rasa and raktha dhatus become intoxicated. In this situation, many body functions such as digestion of food and production of blood also get impaired.
The treatment for liver cirrhosis aims to stop additional damage to the liver, eradicate the complications of cirrhosis and prevent/ detect liver cancer. The major treatment option adopted by people is a liver transplantation. A liver transplantation is used only in instances where the patient has advanced liver cirrhosis.
CAUSES OF LIVER CIRRHOSIS
The most common causes of liver cirrhosis are:
● Excessive consumption of alcohol for a long time: Alcohol that reaches the body is broken down by the liver. However, if consumed in huge quantities, the cells in the liver will not be able to break it down and can also become damage to continuous exposure.
● Hepatitis B and C infection: The hepatitis C is a blood-borne infection and is the main cause of liver cirrhosis in North America and Western Europe.
● Exposure of the liver to toxic metals
● Family history and heredityFatty liver disease: This is a condition where there is an accumulation of fat in the liver.
● Here the Hepatitis B and C infection are the most commonly seen cause of liver cirrhosis.
SYMPTOMS OF LIVER CIRRHOSIS
Liver cirrhosis is a severe disease and therefore it can lead to a lot of symptoms and alter the body functions greatly. The commonly found symptoms of liver cirrhosis are:
● The blood capillaries of the upper abdomen becoming visible
● Feelings of tiredness and fatigue lack sleep
● Lack of sleep
● Itchiness in the skin lack of appetite
● Lack of appetite
● Losing body weight easily
● Anaemia caused due to lack of iron in the blood
● Palms becoming red and blotchy
● Pain in the region where the liver is situated
● Constantly feeling dizzy
● Enlargement of the liver and the spleen
● Haemorrhages from the body
● Hair loss
LIVER CIRRHOSIS IN AYURVEDA
According to Ayurveda, liver cirrhosis occurs when there in an intense aggravation of the Pitta dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humour that represents fire or heat. An aggravated Pitta affects the functioning of the liver and later puts the other doshas in imbalance as well. Dhatus becomes and the rasa and raktha dhatus become intoxicated. In this situation, many body functions such as digestion of food and production of blood also get impaired.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM LIVER CIRRHOSIS AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION?
Similar to most Ayurvedic treatment for diseases, the treatment for liver cirrhosis also calls for a change in the diet and lifestyle. Your doctor will diagnose your symptoms and find out the intensity of the damage to your liver. Once the treatment begins, you will have to strictly follow your new diet plan as prescribed by your Ayurvedic doctor. You will be asked to avoid food that is hot, oily, spicy and heavy. A vegetarian diet is recommended. You should also avoid refined flour like maida and polished rice. Mustard oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, preserved and canned food items, peas etc are also not recommended. Besides, you have to completely give up on pastries, chocolates, alcohol and alcoholic drinks, aerated drinks, cakes etc.
A healthy diet comprising of food items made from whole wheat flour and brown rice will be beneficial to the healing process. Include fruits and vegetables like grapes, lemons, dates, raisins, bananas, mangoes, parboiled rice, almonds and cardamom. Indian gooseberries, also known as amla, will be a great addition to your meals. While under treatment, avoid activities that require physical strain such as exercises and stress. You should also take care of your emotional well-being by avoiding situations of anxiety and anger. Complete bed rest is recommended during the whole treatment process. The consumption of alcohol should be stopped completely as it can further worsen the situation of your liver.