Cirrhosis of the liver
Liver cirrhosis is an inflammatory degenerative condition in which the liver is unable to function properly. The complications of liver cirrhosis are portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the veins from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver), fluid retention, kidney failure and encephalopathy. Cirrhosis is a life-long disease with slow progression.
Causes: excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and malnutrition.
Symptoms: constipation, diarrhoea, fever, fatigue, weakness, poor appetite, generalised itching, weight loss, red palms and swelling in the abdomen and above the legs. In the latter stage of the disease people develop jaundice, anaemia, bruising and oedema.
Who to consult: Counselling, dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath.