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/cirrhosisis 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, build-up 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 shareneedles, and have protected sex)
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/
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.