World Liver Day: Dispelling the myths regarding liver cirrhosis

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

The liver is needed to metabolize the food we eat. It is known to produce bile which breaks down fatty foods. It is also an important part of the immune system and purifies the blood. There are a large number of people who struggle with liver diseases such as cirrhosis and may require a liver transplant to survive. But, many people suffer silently and succumb to this situation. This is because there are many myths and facts regarding cirrhosis which need to be addressed timely.

Understand the myths related to liver cirrhosis, explained by Dr. Sharankumar Shivaji Narute, Director – Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery, Medicover Hospital, Navi Mumbai.

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Myths about liver cirrhosis

Myth #1: Absence of symptoms means someone doesn't have cirrhosis

fact: Someone can develop liver cirrhosis without having any obvious symptoms. There are people suffering from cirrhosis whose liver stops functioning effectively to maintain regular body functions. Fatigue is a common symptom of cirrhosis. As the liver becomes damaged, other warning signs such as leg swelling, bleeding, confusion, fluid retention and others become apparent.

Myth #2: Liver cirrhosis occurs only in people who consume alcohol

fact: It is true that alcohol is a cause of liver cirrhosis but it is not the only cause. Do you know? Various other injuries to the liver can cause serious liver damage. Lack of nutritious diet, hereditary disorders, hepatitis B or C and many others are other causes of liver cirrhosis and it can happen even to someone who does not even touch alcohol. It will be important for you to understand the underlying cause behind cirrhosis and seek timely intervention.

Myth #3: The liver can repair itself after cirrhosis

fact: The liver can regenerate, but this process slows down if there is extensive scar tissue. For the liver to function optimally and recover effectively from disease, it is necessary to be in good health. When cirrhosis occurs, the regenerative capacity of the liver is significantly reduced, and cirrhosis will not be reversed. To know where we stand, it is wise to consult experts.

Myth #4: Gaining too much weight when suffering from cirrhosis is good for the patient

fact: A patient suffering from cirrhosis starts gaining weight due to fluid retention in the body, which can be a cause for concern. Similarly, if the person is choosing calorie rich food then it can lead to accumulation of fat on the liver and ultimately lead to liver damage. Therefore, weight gain during cirrhosis should be monitored by the treating doctor as it is not a good thing.

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