How can cirrhosis be treated

Treatment of cirrhosis of the liver

Treatment depends primarily on the underlying condition of the cirrhosis. However, there are currently no drugs that can be used to treat the excessive formation of connective tissue in cirrhosis of the liver. For many metabolic and autoimmune diseases, there are still no causal therapy options.

In many cases, your internist can stop the liver from being destroyed if they know the cause. However, he cannot undo any damage that has already occurred. In severe cases and advanced disease, a liver transplant is the only chance of a cure.

In any case, patients should avoid substances that may be harmful to the liver and only take medication after consulting their doctor. Patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver should consistently refrain from alcohol and have their alcoholic illness treated. The decision to withdraw from alcohol must always come from the person concerned. Relatives can have a supportive effect on the patient and establish contact with self-help groups, advice centers or therapy centers.

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and the promotion of bowel movements are also important in order to rid the body of toxins. In the case of fatty liver disease, overweight patients should change their lifestyle and reduce their weight through a low-fat diet and reduced calories. However, a special liver diet does not make sense if there are no complications and if the nutritional status is normal. So-called liver protection preparations also have no scientifically proven benefit.

Rapidly occurring ascites, hepatic encephalopathy or esophageal gastrointestinal bleeding are life-threatening complications and must be treated immediately in a clinic:

  • The fluid in ascites can be flushed out with water tablets (diuretics). In addition, patients should be on a low-sodium diet (max. 3 grams per day). If there is a large amount of fluid or if the diuretics do not work, the fluid can also be drained through a puncture.
  • Any inflammation in the abdomen must be treated with antibiotics.
  • With hepatic encephalopathy, the goal is to reduce the amount of toxins in the blood. To do this, the patient should consume less protein through food, reduce protein metabolism by increasing the intake of carbohydrates and improve the excretion of ammonia from the intestine with the help of lactulose. The intestines can also be cleaned by giving antibiotics.
  • Bleeding from varicose veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices) can be stopped by the gastroenterologist by sclerosing or attaching rubber band ligatures during a gastroscopy. He will also try to compensate for the loss of blood by giving them blood. With the help of medication, he can also lower the pressure in the varicose veins and thus reduce the risk of bleeding again.