The liver is one of the most vital organs in the human body, and it carries out many essential functions that help to sustain life. It is the largest organ in the human body and has a unique rapport with the circulatory system. It is in charge of eliminating toxins and other impurities from the blood. The liver also supplies essential nutrients that are transported to other parts of the body by blood as it travels back to the heart.
However, when the liver becomes inflicted by liver disease – known as cirrhosis – it loses the power to heal itself. Cirrhosis is a debilitating disease that wreaks havoc on the liver and the health of over 30 million people every year. It is so chronic that it is ranked among the top 10 leading diseases or causes of death in the USA today.
Doctors have declared that cirrhosis is irreversible and the only way to treat this chronic disease is for patients to undergo a liver transplant. This is mainly because orthodox medication, when meted to patients with cirrhosis, it also engenders other harmful side effects.
But recently, studies have emerged showing how beneficial marijuana can be to cirrhosis treatment without the additional side effects.
Cirrhosis is a chronic progressive liver disease that causes untold damage to healthy liver cells. The liver deteriorates over the course of several years, leading to the formation of scar tissue instead of healthy tissue. This development makes the liver to become lumpy and hard, thereby causing the vital organ to fail.
The formation of scar tissue also makes it very difficult for blood to pass into the primary vein – which is a large blood vessel – that enters the liver. This leads to the accumulation of blood in this blood vessel and hence, eventually enter the spleen and makes the organ to start malfunctioning as well.
Cirrhosis usually occurs as a result of long-lasting alcohol abuse and hepatitis. It is often the late stage of fibrosis or scarring. According to the Mayo Clinic, some causes of this chronic liver disease are inherited just like cystic fibrosis, genetic digestive disorder, and iron buildup.
Other causes which usually occur later on in life are attributed to prolonged alcohol abuse, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis b and hepatitis c.
In most cases, people with cirrhosis do not experience any symptoms. However, when one begins to notice any of the following warning signs, the probability of having cirrhosis is high:
- Itchy skin
- Loss of appetite
- Leg swelling
- Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
- The appearance of reddish, spider-like blood vessels on the skin
- Easy bruising and bleeding