Cirrhosis of the Liver Community
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What should I take besides lactolos and milkthisle for my alchoholic cirrhosis.

My names Mike and I have beginning stage alchoholic cirrhosis. I was wandering what besides lactolos and milk thistle, as far as medications I should be taking for my cirrhosis. Also what tests should my hepatology doctor give me to monitor the disease. Thank You.
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683231 tn?1467323017
Ok so there isn’t really much evidence to support taking Milk Thistle. Basically it doesn’t do much if anything so my suggestion is to not waste your money.

I guess you mean your taking lactulose. Did your doctor prescribe this medicine? In people with cirrhosis Lactulose is used to treat a symptom of decompensated cirrhosis called hepatic encephalopathy or HE for short. Have you been diagnosed with HE?

If you do have HE this would not really be considered early cirrhosis. Having HE means you have more advanced cirrhosis.

As far as meds I would strongly recommend following your doctors recommendations and not take any medicine not approved by your doctor.

If you need to take a pain medicine you should avoid all NSAID medicines like Advil or Aleve as well as Aspirin as we with cirrhosis are at increased bleeding risk and those medicines increase bleeding risk. If you need pain meds patients with cirrhosis are recommended only to take Tylenol generic name is acetaminophen. This medicine should only be taken for the minimum time needed and not note than 2000 mg per day.

There is no magic bullet to treat cirrhosis. There is no know medication to reduce scarring of the liver.

What we can do is prevent any further damage if possible. If as in my case you have hepatitis c you need to get treated and cured. If your cirrhosis is caused by alcohol you MUST stop all drinking. If the cause of liver damage is removed this will possibly allow the liver to begin to heal. At a minimum stopping any further damage will at least prevent further progression of liver disease.

As we with cirrhosis are at increased risk of liver disease we should be having liver ultrasounds and a blood test called AFP alpha-fetoprotein to look for early signs of liver cancer (HCC Hepatocellular carcinoma)

I have abdominal ultrasounds and blood testing for AFP as well as a liver enzyme panel and CBC (complete blood count)

You should also have an upper endoscopy to look for esophageal varices. Esophageal varices are in large blood vessels in the swallowing tube that can become so enlarged they can burst and the person is at risk of bleeding to death. Symptoms would be vomiting what looks like coffee grounds which is actually partly digested blood that has reached the stomach.

What you need to do is stop consuming all alcohol. If overweight try to reach a normal weight as excess body fat can cause the liver to have fat cells called fatty liver disease which can also contribute to liver damage.

Also avoid salt as salt can cause ascities which is retaining large amount of fluid in the abdomen which in severe cases can cause the patient to look pregnant. This is treated by having this excess fluid drained. Also people can be prescribed duretics to reduce this excess fluid.

Another symptom is edema which is swelling of the lower limbs and feet.

You should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B and get your flu shot every year as soon as it becomes available as we with cirrhosis are considered to be somewhat medically fragile and somewhat immune compromised.

Best of luck
Thank You very much Lynn, I appreciate the info. I'll check with my doctor to get the AFP bloodwork done. I have almost 50 days sober today and going strong. If there is anything else you think I should know feel free to tell me. Thank You.
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