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Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is a medical condition that can lead to anasarca. Specifically, it can cause this by bringing on liver failure, which is the thing that can lead to swelling.

What is cirrhosis?

This condition comes as a result of liver disease that is chronic in nature. In it, the liver's tissue is replaced by certain things, including scar tissue, fibrosis, etc. This results in the worsening of the liver's function.

Symptoms

As mentioned, when cirrhosis leads to liver failure, anasarca can also come about. There are many possible medical symptoms aside from this, though. As an example, spider angiomas may affect the person. Various changes to the person's nails may occur. The liver's size can change, either increasing or decreasing -- or it may stay the same size. Ascites can occur, in which fluid builds up in the person's peritoneal cavity.

Jaundice is another thing that may show up in the patient. In this, his skin gains a yellowish tone, although that hue may also affect the whites of the eyes, or mucous membranes of the body. Itching is another thing that can affect a person with this condition. Due to a drop in production of what are referred to as coagulation factors, the person may more easily bleed or bruise. A condition known as portal hypertension is another thing that has the potential to show up.



Causes

There are different things that can lead to a case of cirrhosis. Chronic hepatitis C is a common reason, although the chronic form of hepatitis B is also a possibility. Additionaly, continued alcoholism is something that is a frequent reason for cirrhosis. Wilson's disease, a genetic condition, can also lead to it. One of the other possible reasons is autoimmune hepatitis, in which the person's immune system attacks the liver's cells, leading to inflammation.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of cirrhosis in some cases involves a liver biopsy. However, there is some risk in this procedure. Additionally, it may not even be necessary in some cases, as other methods can already indicate that cirrhosis may be present. In most instances, any damage already done to the liver is irreversible. Treatment generally aims at reducing or halting advancement of the disease, as well as attempting to lessen complications of it. Talk with a doctor about specific items related to treating such a condition.

Further reading

If you would like to read more about anasarca, please visit the front page of this website. Alternatively, there is a different page which has information specifically related to medical causes of the condition.

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