Treatment of Liver DiseaseThe goal of medicine with regard to the liver is to prevent liver disease and, if it is diagnosed, to stop its progression toward cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is an end-stage disease with a poor prognosis and can require a liver transplant if liver failure occurs. Thus, lifestyle changes that support liver health, especially abstention from alcohol, are the cornerstone of treatment for liver disease. No matter the cause of cirrhosis, alcohol aggravates the condition and should be avoided.
In addition, physicians will attempt to treat the complications of cirrhosis, including portal hypertension and ascites, with various medications. In general, however, the use of medications must be approached with caution in people with liver disease because the liver metabolizes many of these substances. For example, aspirin should be avoided in patients with cirrhosis because of its effects on coagulation and the gastric mucosa (Kasper DL et al 2005). The following conventional medicines are often prescribed to treat cirrhosis or fibrotic liver disease:
- Corticosteroids. These drugs have been shown to reduce the inflammation that characterizes liver disease. While they may be helpful to patients with alcoholic hepatitis and encephalopathy, they are less helpful to patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (Kasper DL et al 2005; Glanze WD 1996; Mathurin P et al 2002).
- Ursodiol. Among people with biliary cirrhosis, this drug replaces lost biliary acids. Side effects are rare. This drug may not halt progression of the disease (Kasper DL et al 2005).
Life Extension Foundation RecommendationsLiver cirrhosis is a life-threatening condition that requires close supervision by a qualified physician. Because the liver metabolizes many nutrients and drugs, it is important that liver patients not add any substances to their regimen without cooperation and close monitoring by a qualified physician. The goal of therapy is threefold:
- Eliminate the toxins or conditions that cause liver damage. Among patients with alcoholic liver disease, this means the total elimination of alcohol. Cirrhotic patients should also limit exposure to environmental toxins, decrease consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (corn oil especially), and use monounsaturated fats such as olive oil instead.
- Provide the liver with appropriate nutritional and pharmaceutical support so that it may heal itself.
- Maintain health sufficient to undergo liver transplantation should other measures fail.
- PPC—2 to 4 900-milligram (mg) capsules daily. Each capsule contains phosphatidylcholine 900 mg.
- BCAAs:—L-leucine 1200 mg, L-isoleucine 600 mg, and L-valine 600 mg
- Silymarin (milk thistle extract)—900 mg
- L-glutathione—250 mg, in two divided doses
- SAMe—1200 mg daily, in three divided doses
- Vitamin B complex—1 capsule 3 times daily. Each capsule contains thiamin (B1) 100 mg, riboflavin (B2) 50 mg, niacin 200 mg, vitamin B6 75 mg, folic acid 800 mcg, vitamin B12 1000 mcg, biotin 600 mcg, pantothenic acid 1000 mg, betaine free base 50 mg, choline 45 mg, inositol 250 mg, and para-aminobenzoic acid 100 mg
- Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl)—100 mg
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)—6000 mg daily
- Vitamin E—800 international units (IU) daily
- EPA/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA—fish oil supplement supplying EPA 700 mg and DHA 500 mg, and ideally providing 100 mg of Polyphen-Oil™ Olive Fruit Extract 265 mg along with sesame seed (Sesamum indicum) lignans.
- PGX fiber—2 capsules with every meal or snack that includes nonfruit carbohydrates. Two capsules contain 1000 mg proprietary blend of Konjac root extract, sodium alginate, xanthan gum, mulberry powdered extract (leaf) 50 mg
Click HERE to learn more on Hepatitis and vitamins.... And remember, there is no quick fixes with liver disease, and once cirrhosis is present, the symptoms and restrictions become greater. If you do not stick with your health and diet regiment you can cause avoidable problems. It is not only luck that has kept me from needing Ascites fluid drained from my belly more then once... it is because I fight and because I have learned discipline... Though it is the nature of the disease - sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you try... but it's best to try anyways :)
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