What is cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis occurs when the liver is scarred. The liver is unable to function properly due to long-term damage. Cirrhosis can even be fatal in certain cases, if it results in liver failure. It is also known to be one of the biggest risk factors for liver cancer.
What can cause cirrhosis?
Excessive alcohol consumption over years and infections of Hepatitis C are common causes of cirrhosis. An excess of fat build-up in the liver that is caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is another cause of cirrhosis, although other causes such as Hepatitis B and haemochromatosis also exist.
Symptoms of cirrhosis
Signs and symptoms of cirrhosis vary from person to person. Initially symptoms include a loss of appetite, nausea and itchy skin. In later stages, the disease may present with jaundice, vomiting blood, and dark, tarry-looking stools. There may be oedema, which is a build-up of fluid in the legs, or ascites, a build-up of fluid in the abdomen.
During the early stages, cirrhosis may seem asymptomatic. Consequently, it is often diagnosed during tests for other unrelated illnesses. It is important to see your GP if you present with symptoms such as fever and shivering, bloating, black tarry stools or vomiting blood.
How TCM may help
According to TCM, the causes of cirrhosis include an invasion of exogenous pathogens, excessive drinking, and emotional upset or contaminated food. These factors may result in damage of the liver and spleen, as well as stagnation of blood and Qi. In chronic cases, the kidney is also involved, which results in failure of Qi to discharge water, as well as retention of water in the interior.
When treating cirrhosis with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), two courses of action are pursued. First, the underlying cause is treated. Second, further damage is prevented from occurring.
According to Chinese Medicine, it is essential to differentiate excess and deficient types of cirrhosis. Excess types can be due to liver Qi stagnation, accumulation of damp-heat and obstruction of the meridians by blood stasis, or blood stagnation in the liver and spleen. While deficient types mainly present with spleen and kidney deficiency.
How we can help
Dr Xing has developed a great interest in treating this condition, and has travelled to China on several occasions to visit a well-known traditional Chinese professor in Sichuan province, who specialises in treating diseases relating to the liver and kidneys. Through studying with and keeping in contact with Professor Zhou, Dr Xing has been able to broaden his knowledge on this condition.
Book your appointment today
We are dedicated to helping you achieve the health and wellness that you desire. If you are interested, feel free to call us at our Frankston clinic on 9785 6688, or our Murrumbeena clinic on 9041 8879 to book an appointment today.