Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Cirrhosis and appetite loss
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Cirrhosis and appetite loss


  My mother has recently been diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis. She has had some treatment for varices of esophagus after she had a major bleeding episode. Her biggest problem now is in not being able to eat. She has been out of the hospital for about four weeks now and has been able to eat virtually nothing. She feels nauseous all the time and is afraid of vomiting. The one spoonful of soup (or sherbet or piece of cheese) that she gets down every two days or so seems to cause her much gas and pain. Is there any drug that she can be given to help her get an appetite back and reduce the after-effects. We are watching her lose weight and get weaker and weaker and are getting frantic!
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Dear Joanne,
Cirrhosis alone can cause a loss of appetite.  If your mother had scleotherapy, thn she may have a secondary motility disorder which could contribute to the loss of appetitie.  A third explanation should be considered if your mother has alcohol-induced liver disease.  Alcohol can damage the vagus nerves causing autonomic neuropathy.  One manifestation of this neuropathy can be gastroparesis which presents with nausea and loss of appetitie.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.  Ask specific questions to your personal physician.  If you are in SE Mchigan and wish a second opinion, we would be glad to see you n the Division of Gastroenterology, Henry Ford Hospital, office.  You can make an appoinment with Dr, Fogel, one of our experts in the diagnosis and treament of gastrointestinal diseases by calling our Physician referral Line at (800)653-6568
HFHSM.D.-rf
*keywords: nausea, cirrhosis, alcohol
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