The term — ‘cirrhosis’ — refers to chronic liver disease. Its root is the Greek word ‘kirrhos’ which connotes a weak nature.
The liver regulates several functions of our bodies. Hence, liver cirrhosis impairs several critical functions of the body. All these important activities – metabolism, digestion besides several others – are dependent on the correct functioning of the liver.
Liver Cirrhosis Symptoms
The patient generally suffers from appetite and weight loss due to malfunctioning of the metabolism process.
One may even experience a slight pain near the liver; i.e., in the abdominal right upper portion.
Some other common signs of liver cirrhosis are constipation, vomiting, nausea and morning sickness.
The other serious symptoms of liver cirrhosis are chronic gastritis, flatulence and diarrhoea.
Moreover, the patient can experience difficulty in coughing and breathing. This condition is a result of the increase in the size of the liver which, in turn, puts undue pressure on the diaphragm. This muscular wall separating the heart and lungs from the other abdominal organs stunts breathing and coughing.
Causes of Liver Cirrhosis
The liver also helps in the neutralisation process of the toxic after-effects of caffeine (contained in beverages like coffee and tea) and nicotine (contained in tobacco). However, excessive consumption of these substances hampers the liver activity.
More often than not, Liver cirrhosis results due to alcoholism. Excessive intake of alcohol and faulty diet comes in the way of the liver functioning to its optimum capacity.
Persons suffering from liver cirrhosis should go on fasts once a week. Missing a few meals once in every seven days boosts the liver functioning.
Other Important Points to Remember
- The patient needs rest for respite from the condition and also for quick recovery.
- He/she can, however, walk leisurely.
- Such persons must not do any heavy work. They should avoid activities involving violent jerks.
- Similarly, stay away from strenuous activities.
- Don’t make journeys on or ride a fast-paced vehicle especially on an uneven surface.
- Avoid sleeping during the day-time.
What Not To Eat
- First and foremost, the patient must give up all alcoholic drinks and beverages containing caffeine.
- The patient should not have food items that lead to constipation or are hard to digest.
- Hence, such persons must avoid all types of fats, ghee or oil.
- Never tender the patient buffalo milk as it contains a high percentage of fat.
- Similarly, the patient should not consume curd.
Water accumulates in the abdomen during this condition. If there is accumulation of water in the patient’s abdomen, the condition is known as ‘Ascites’.
‘Ascites’ happens because the veins remain blocked following the shrinkage of the liver tissues. As a result, circulation via the veins gets obstructed.
Then he/she should be given only a salt-free diet.
Camel’s milk needs to be taken with regularity. It is very good for such patients.
Other Dietary Regimen
Garlic should be consumed liberally. The patient can have it in the raw form while the prescribed controlled diet having rice and dal.
Butter-milk (prepared from cow’s milk by churning the curd) sans its fatty content is beneficial for such patients.
The patient must regularly have vegetables which have a bitter taste. Examples of such food items are drumsticks, bitter gourd, and patola.
Mentionably, cow’s milk as well as that of goat should be given to the patient only in small quantities.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Liver Cirrhosis
Ayurveda prescribes the following three quite effective medications to arrest liver cirrhosis: These are Arogyavardhini, Katuki, and Bhringaraja.
Arogyavardhini is a compound preparation. One can acquire Arogyavardhini across the Ayurvedic counters in the form of tablets weighing 0.25 gram each.
Arogyavardhini also contains copper in the form of bhasma. Copper is used after the proper purification process to reactivate the tissue cells. However, copper is a toxic substance. In Ayurveda, the processing neutralises the toxicity of copper. Thus, it is ensured that the purified and processed dust of copper is easily assimilated into the body. Thus, a toxic item is metamorphosed into a therapeutic substance
The dose: Depending on the intensity of the ailment, the dose is increased to even four tablets. But, normally the dose is of just two tablets thrice daily. The patient should follow each medication dose with a cup of warm water.
Katuki is recommended for adult patients. This powder medication has a bitter taste. It has strong a purgative power. It stimulates the liver and produces the require amount of bile. This augmented excretion of bile relieves the liver congestion and reactivates the defunct tissue cells.
The Katuki herb grows in the Himalayan range especially at high altitudes. Ayurveda uses the root or rhizome of the Katuki herb.
The dose: One teaspoonful thrice daily. It should be seasoned with a teaspoonful of honey.
If the patient suffers from constipation, then the dose should be increased to two teaspoonfuls. The patient should follow each dosage with a cup of warm water.
Bhringaraja is the commonly prescribed medicine for the patients suffering from this condition. It is generally recommended for children below eight years of age. Its juice should be consumed in an empty tummy.
The dose: A teaspoonful of the juice of this plant should be mixed with half-a-teaspoon of honey. This is required because the taste of Bhringaraja is rather astringent and bitter. Hence, it should be conditioned with a teaspoonful of honey.