Cirrhosis: is Reversal Possible?

Our liver is a dark reddish-brown, cone-shaped organ that sits in our abdominal cavity, beneath our diaphragm and on top of our intestines, stomach, and right kidney. At any given moment, our liver has about 13 percent of our blood flowing through it. Weighing about three pounds, our liver receives oxygen-rich blood from our hepatic artery and nutrient-rich blood from our hepatic portal vein. Its main function is twofold: to regulate the levels of most chemicals found in our blood and excrete bile, a fluid that aids our body in its digestive processes.

A condition that could befall your liver is called cirrhosis; about 1 in 400 adults living in the United States suffer from it. Cirrhosis is the culmination of fibrosis (late-stage scarring) of the liver. It can be caused by various other conditions, including but not limited to: chronic viral hepatitis (B, C, or D), cystic fibrosis, chronic alcohol abuse, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and even certain medications, such as methotrexate. 

There are also three major risk factors that may increase your likelihood of developing cirrhosis: being obese, the overconsumption of alcohol, and having chronic viral hepatitis. The disease also has several different potential complications, including bleeding, spleen enlargement, and jaundice. Cirrhosis is typically asymptomatic until your liver has undergone extensive damage. Once they appear, however, symptoms could include: weight loss, nausea, fatigue, and several other signs.

This begs the question: is cirrhosis reversible? 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the liver damage resulting from cirrhosis generally cannot be reversed. However, if the condition is diagnosed early and its underlying cause is taken care of, you could lessen further damage, and, in rare cases, reverse it.

The Ezra abdominal, torso, and full-body scans screen your liver for cancerous and precancerous states, as well as other conditions such as cirrhosis. If you’re interested in learning more, you can do so here.