Most cases of liver damage among adults result in form cirrhosis. The condition is a serious condition that can cause severe problems if not properly managed. Cirrhosis often leads to liver failure and increased liver cancer risks, which can be fatal in some circumstances. San Antonio Cirrhosis specialists can screen your liver’s health and catch cirrhosis early to control its progression. Understanding your risk factors for cirrhosis can help you play a proactive role in preserving your liver health. Remember that cirrhosis symptoms might not show until the liver is damaged. Knowing your risks will keep you alert. The following are six factors you should consider.
It is critical to consider how much alcohol you drink to evaluate your cirrhosis risk factors. Alcohol can affect the ability of your liver to process fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Excessive consumption of alcohol can cause these levels to build up at high levels causing your body to respond with reactive inflammation. As a result, you are at risk of developing fibrosis, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Heavy drinking is considered 15 or more drinks a week for men or eight or more for women.
Your chances of cirrhosis could be greater if you are diagnosed with hepatitis B and C. over time, the chronic liver inflammation can develop into cirrhosis. You are at more risk for hepatitis B if you have a blood transfusion, unprotected sex, and drug injections with unsafe needles. Body tattoos, piercings, blood transfusion, and drug use often contribute to Hepatitis C. One of the most common reasons you might need a liver transplant is due to Hepatitis C-related cirrhosis.
Research has found that about 15-30 % of cirrhosis cases are related to diabetes. The condition can result in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis. Diabetes is also common in Hepatitis C cases, often due to reduced pancreas function. Hemochromatosis is another cirrhosis-related complication associated with diabetes. It results in iron deposits in the pancreas, heart, joints, and skin.
Obesity accounts for various medical complications, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease. Your liver can have excess fat and develop inflammation when carrying excess weight. Also, the extra fat can damage your liver and cause non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Work with your doctor to determine your BMI and see if you are in a healthy weight range.
Autoimmune and Heart Disease
Autoimmune complications like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and thyroid disease increase your chances of cirrhosis. The conditions might not directly contribute to cirrhosis but increase other liver disease risk factors. Heart disease increases your chances of developing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and, eventually, cirrhosis. Heart failure related to heart disease can also cause liver congestion and more chances of cirrhosis.
Some liver disease types have been found to have a genetic pattern. Therefore, it is critical to investigate your family history about the condition of understanding your risk factors. A family history of Wilson’s disease, hereditary hemosiderosis, and alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency increases your chances of developing cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis might be irreversible, but understanding your risk factors can help you take proactive measures to slow its progression. Contact the Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC specialists to learn more. Make a call today or request your consultation appointment online.