Chronic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis

What is it?
The liver is an organ that is essential for digesting food, making vital nutrients, and ridding your body of toxic substances. Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis is marked by gradual, irreversible destruction and scarring of liver tissue over time. Scar tissue formation replaces normal functioning liver tissue, which decreases your ability to process nutrients, hormones, drugs, and poisons.

What causes chronic liver disease/cirrhosis?
• Main cause - Heavy Alcohol Use
• Heavy Drug Use, Personal/Family Genetic History, Diabetes, Obesity, High Blood Fat, and Chronic Hepatitis (long-term liver inflammation)

What can chronic liver disease/cirrhosis lead to?
High Blood Pressure in the veins that supply blood to the liver, swelling in the legs and abdomen, spleen enlargement, internal bleeding, higher risk for infection, buildup of toxins in the brain, increased risk for liver cancer, jaundice (your skin and eyes turn yellow), and malnutrition

What can you do to prevent it?
Limit alcohol consumption! Eat a healthy diet, exercise frequently, maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk to hepatitis (get vaccinated, don’t share needles, and have protected sex)

Resources
Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cirrhosis/basics/definition/con-20031617
Johns Hopkins Medicine http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/liver_biliary_and_pancreatic_disorders/chronic_liver_diseasecirrhosis_85,P00662/
WebMD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information


Special Thanks
Derek Chang graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. Go Utes! He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He aspires to become a physician-entrepreneur to find and create new ways of improving overall patient health. He enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, reading books, meeting new people, and learning anything new.
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Dear Auntie, Pot comes from Mother Earth. How can it be that bad for me?