Cirrhosis of the Liver: Life Expectancy, Risk Factors, Diet

If you start suffering from cirrhosis, your liver will get scarred, shrink, and become hardened. If you have this condition for years without treating it, your liver won’t be able to regenerate. With severe cirrhosis, your liver will start failing until it gradually stops working. This development will lead to your death. But in most cases, the full recovery of the liver is possible if cirrhosis is discovered in time and treated appropriately. Just like with most health conditions, the key to recovery lies in prevention, early detection, correct diagnosis, and adequate treatment.

Cirrhosis Risk Factors

People who are at the most significant risk of liver cirrhosis are those diagnosed with hepatitis B or C and those who over-consume alcohol. Also, you will have a higher risk of developing this condition if you have liver disease, fatty liver disease, and two very rare inherited diseases called hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease. If you don’t have any of the named diseases above, you can avoid cirrhosis of the liver by simply not drinking or doing it moderately, and of course you should avoid drugs.

People who are in the early stages of liver cirrhosis can, in most cases, reverse the health of their liver. The best and easiest way to do this is by adopting the cirrhosis diet plan. This diet revolves around lower sodium intake, which should cause your liver swelling to drop. Another important thing for liver health is to keep your weight in line. If you have one of the liver-related diseases mentioned above, we recommend that you take a look at this diet plan.

Life Expectancy at End Stages

Stage One

Stage one can be hard to detect because the symptoms are still mild. To be honest, there aren’t many symptoms that can point to cirrhosis. One of the most obvious is fatigue. If detected at this stage, there is a chance that you can regenerate your liver to its full extent. Patients who recognize this condition in this stage can recover in one year’s span, and the death rate is almost non-existent. But as we said, because of the lack of symptoms, it is hard to detect it this early.

Stage Two

During this stage, the scar tissues that cirrhosis creates replaces healthy liver cells. When this starts to happen, you will have increased blood pressure in that part of your body—and because of this, cirrhosis becomes easier to detect. The good news is that even in this stage, you can still recover your liver. During year one, 98% of patients succeed in doing this.

Stage Three

Stage three of cirrhosis is marked by the fluid which accumulates in your abdominal cavity. In this stage, symptoms pile up, like weight loss, yellowing skin, fatigue, and confusion, so cirrhosis is easy to detect. At this stage, the liver cirrhosis can become irreversible. In phase three, the survival rate drops to 80%. For most patients, a liver transplant is recommended. There are risks that the body will reject the operation, but in patients that accept a new liver, the continuation of healthy life is a possible.

Stage Four

At this stage, you already have a staggering amount of scar tissue built up in your liver. With the high amount of scarring, there is a chance that your liver will rupture. If this happens, you can die due to internal bleeding. When stage four is diagnosed, the survival rate during the first year drops down to only 43%.

Life Expectancy Estimates

Regardless of the stage of cirrhosis, it is hard to estimate life expectancy. It varies from patient to patient. Doctors can be close when guessing, but it mostly depends on the patient. With prevention and early detection, cirrhosis can be reversed, and life can continue as normal.

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