This is the medical term given to the replacement of damaged liver tissue by scar tissue. This tissue is non-functional and blocks the liver cell ducts and the blood supply. The most popular concept for the cause of cirrhosis in the West is alcoholism, but worldwide the most common cause is malnutrition and hepatitis. Drugs and heart failure are also causes.
The liver is a phenomenal organ and the body may notice very little change in its well-being until 80 per cent of the liver is non-functional. It is this principle that is paramount in complementary medical treatment because medicine has no method of preventing cirrhosis from spreading through the liver once it has started. Helping the healthy and non-affected cells of the liver to work at their hardest encourages both well-being and longevity.
Diagnosis of cirrhosis is made by liver biopsy, which is usually performed after your GP has established that there are incorrect liver function tests. These are performed after an individual presents with excessive tiredness, jaundice, digestive problems, nausea, vomiting or a combination of any of these. Cirrhosis is not a painful condition unless associated with inflammation of the liver, such as in hepatitis.
Any jaundice or suspected liver problem should be assessed by a GP initially.
Cessation of any liver-insulting habits, such as the use of alcohol and drugs, smoking, bad diet and stressful living, is essential.
The use of magnesium, zinc and multi-trace-mineral supplement and a vitamin B complex is beneficial but correct dosage is best assessed by a naturopath. The liver is the main chemical factory of the body and too high a dose of any of the necessary compounds can be a strain on the healthy liver cells.
Beta-carotene rather than vitamin A should only be used after recommendation by a naturopath.
Homeopathic remedies based on the individual’s constitution can be taken but special attention should be paid to Berberis vulgaris, Natrum sulphuricum and Lycopodium.
Do not add salt to food, absolutely no alcohol, no fat from red meat and no dairy products, although fish oils and vegetable oils are essential.
Remember that the liver, according to Eastern philosophies, represents indecision and irritability and so these emotions may well be prominent after cirrhosis sets in but are more likely to have been present to allow cirrhosis to have occurred and must, therefore, be confronted through counselling.
The use of detoxifying regimes are most beneficial and should be used on a monthly basis.