I was reading some of your other posts and I am very sorry to hear about your boyfriends condition. I can just imagine how scary it must feel to someone as young as you are.
I seen some others have given you some great information and though I don't have Hep C myself I'd be glad to try and help you gain a better understanding of cirrhosis. So welcome to our community!
I am also stage 4 cirrhotic but due to alcoholism. I have some symptoms of decompensation but fortunately they are treatable so I am doing just fine. I received my diagnosis 3 years ago and stopped drinking immediately. Since then I have read daily learning all that I can about my disease. I know it's tough to filter out old facts, new facts and what pertains to you.
Many of our members here are also living with Hep C so they participate in both communities, feel welcome to post any questions and we will do our best for you.
Thank you! His doctor says hes stage 4 cirrhosis but what we don't understand is he looks fine? Doesn't have the swollen abdomen or any other symptoms that most experience. His dr also said his liver is fine enough to live a perfectly normal life as long as he takes care of it.
I'm sorry to hear about your alcoholism, his is partly due to that. He's deff struggled throughout his life with addiction, alcohol being the MAIN gateway to other harmful drugs which has unfortunetely now led him to hep c.
Are you on a salt free diet and what are your symptoms you have been experiencing with this disease? We just don't understand how he can look and feel great and be at a stage 4. I also have an aunt with stage 3 cirrhosis and what's odd is she looks far more worse than my boyfriend does.
Here is the short version on how cirrhosis works. Everything we ingest kills liver cells but this is okay because the liver has this amazing ability to heal itself but when massive amounts of liver cells are being destroyed (alcohol abuse, hep C, etc.) the liver can't keep up so scar tissue begins to form. This is what we call fibrosis and in more severe cases cirrhosis.
Many people do not discover they have liver disease until they have reached the end stage and decompensated symptoms have began to manifest. It is when these symptoms are no longer treatable that transplant becomes the only option left and unfortunately this is not an option for everybody.
Liver disease known as cirrhosis commonly occurs in two stages, compensated and decompensated. In first stage of cirrhosis, the liver still has the ability to function normally or compensate for the damage. When extensive damage occurs and the liver can no longer function normally, decompensation occurs.
Symptoms of decompensation are listed here:
As for myself I am stage for with symptoms of decompensation but they are still treatable. My cirrhosis doesn't seem to be progressing and my hepatologist at the transplant center doesn't expect I will ever require transplant as long as I maintain abstinence, healthy diet and light cardiovascular exercise. Routine labs and imaging are also required.
So you see once the cause is eliminated it is possible to slow the progression but unfortunately this is not a possibility for everyone. It all depends on the cause and treatment available.
Thanks Randy that information was very informative. This is all still new to me. Doctor told us my boyfriend could still live a normal healthy life if he took care if himself. I don't think he's decompensated as his dr has never mentioned it to us. Have u ever had a EGD done to look for bleeding in the portal vein? We go for one in 3 months.
Yes I have an EGD done yearly to monitor my grade 3 varices. Esophageal varices (enlarged varices) sometimes form when blood flow to your liver is obstructed, most often by scar tissue in the liver caused by liver disease. The blood flow to your liver begins to back up, increasing pressure within the large vein (portal vein) that carries blood to your liver. This pressure (portal hypertension) forces the blood to seek alternate pathways through smaller veins (collateral veins), such as those in the lowest part of the esophagus. These thin-walled veins balloon with the added blood. Sometimes the veins can rupture and bleed. The procedure only takes 10-15 minutes and I have never experienced any pain or memory of the procedure.
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