Cirrhosis Of The Liver Life Expectancy

First, let's discuss what liver cirrhosis is, and then we can talk about a cirrhosis liver diet that can help give your liver a break and prolong your life.

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by long-term inflammation damage. The damage can be caused by a variety of things, but the most common are chronic alcoholism or hepatitis c. Some less common causes of damage are from a chronic viral infection or certain medications. The liver repairs the damage by replacing those areas with scar tissue. However, too much scar tissue can make the liver malfunction.

Cirrhosis can often lead to other health problems, and about 5% of people with cirrhosis can end up with liver cancer. Once cirrhosis reaches a stage where the liver can no longer function properly (liver failure), a liver transplant will be necessary.
However, there are things that can be done prior to needing a transplant that can help reverse the effects of the liver damage. One of those things is a cirrhosis liver diet, rich in the right kinds of foods. And guess what? It's not a special diet full of hard-to-find items. It's a diet that has all of the healthy components, and one that everyone should be eating. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins are all a part of the cirrhosis liver diet. Sounds familiar, right? We've been hearing about these same foods over and over because they are good for our bodies and can help heal existing damage.

Some people with cirrhosis may not have all of the minerals and vitamins that they need (especially vitamins A, K, E and D) , and these healthy foods will most likely take care of most of these, but your doctor can help you determine if you will need supplements.

A cirrhosis liver diet should be one that is free of alcohol and unhealthy fats. (However, small amounts of healthy fats such as those from fish, certain oils and nuts are necessary for your body.)

Besides a healthy diet and supplements, there are other techniques to help give your liver a break, allowing it to repair itself. There isn't enough room here to explain all of the ways to help the liver reverse the damage from cirrhosis, but there is a full solution that will give more detail about a cirrhosis liver diet, the right supplements to take and important stress-relieving exercises.

Just know that you don't have to give up and that you can live a longer, more fulfilling life with the right fuel for your body. And that goes for those suffering with liver cirrhosis and those that are not.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Help with liver cirrhosis life expectancy?
    My Grandpa has been in the hospital many times in the last 6 months, and he looks like a skeleton and sometimes he lapses out of consciousness and sleeps alot. But he's on Lactulose and I just want his pain to be over, when he's on the lactulose he is feeling better, but I'm not sure for how long but he looks dead and weak and tired...even with the Lactulose, how long would he have in this stage?

    • ANSWER:
      From what you tell us, I'm sorry to say that it sounds like your grandpap is in the very end stage of the disease where the liver is so close to total failure. Most likely, it will not be very long, but there is no way to know for sure. If he is going in and out of consciousness, is very weak and sleeps most of the time, those are symptoms of the very end. He will probably go into a coma and not come out of it. He is taking Lactulose because ammonia is building up in his body that the liver can no longer handle. Lactulose helps get rid of the ammonia. High ammonia levels can cause him to feel sick, tired, and can cause him to be confused, have memory loss, and just be out of it so to speak.

  2. QUESTION:
    What is the life expectancy for advanced cirrhosis of the liver?
    What is the life expectancy for a person with advanced cirrhosis of the liver? A family member is currently in hospital with jaundice and a swollen stomach, and I don't think the prognosis looks good. What is the usual life expectancy?

    • ANSWER:
      My first symptom of cirrhosis for me was a swollen stomach. I had no other symptoms. It turned out my liver was functioning at only 10%. I had no jaundice. The doctors gave me an estimate of 5 years before total failure would occur and told me I would need a transplant in order to stay alive.

      Three years later I had my transplant done. The transplant surgeon told me after viewing my actual liver that I would have only lived another year or a little longer at best with my cirrhotic liver, so the estimate was pretty accurate. He also said that the time I would have left would not be very good, that I would be very sick. My cirrhosis was caused by an autoimmune disease.

      If your family member has had a biopsy, that should tell them a lot about how much damage has been done which will give them the ability to give a time frame. It would just be an estimate since there are a lot of factors that come into play in determining how long a person will be able to stay alive. I hope your family member will be able to get a transplant should they need one. It saved my life.

  3. QUESTION:
    Cirrhosis/Liver disease life expectancy. Please help???
    Does anyone kow the life expectancy of someone in the late stages of cirrhosis?
    My mom is very ill, she is a chronic alcoholic. She stopped drinking last week, but was diagnosed with cirrhosis many years ago.
    I need to know if anyone has been through this and knows what I can expect.

    She is jaundice, and in the past week has had high levels of amonia in her blood, also, she vomits all the time, can barely keep anything down.
    Today she is having her stomach drained again, this will make the 4th time, fluid builds up in her uppper stomanch area, and it makes it very uncomforatable for her. He legs also are very swollen today (ankles) she cannot walk she is so week. She went from wieighin 145 pounds to now about 98 in a matter of 3 months. I am afraid that it is too late. She has been admitted to the hospital so much that now the Hospitals now just say that the damage is done, they cannot help her. Last year she was in ICU - .......please give me any opinions you may have.

    • ANSWER:
      There are a few things that I know to give you
      as information. (you might already know this) The best doctor to have for
      a patient with cirrhosis is a Hepatologist.
      She can be given medication to bind the ammonia in her blood to be eliminated from the
      body which should help to clear her mind some. She could be placed on diuretics, like
      Lasix and Spirolactone to help relieve the sodium content in her blood and also
      remove some of the fluid and help keep it from
      coming back so fast. If they take alot of fluid
      from her abdomen, they might give her
      albumin, a Protein. The fact that she did
      not stop drinking alcohol, may mean she cannot
      be placed on the transplant list for a donor
      organ because they usually request that the
      patient be free of alcohol for about six months.

      With what you have stated that her condition is
      now, it doesn't look promising...but I would
      not give up. The doctors look at many things
      considering a patient: whether they have a
      strong, well beating heart, whether they can
      withstand a long surgery, whether they have
      cirrhosis in one area of the liver or throughout,
      whether they have love and support of family
      and friends, and how much a person truly
      wants to live,etc. Ascites( fluid in the abdominal
      area) and Encephalopathy (memory, and mental
      confusion problems caused by toxins) and
      the fact that she drank clear up to a week ago..
      means that the end is in site.....She may last
      a long time this way or depending on what I
      have stated above...it could be very short.
      Each person's body chemistry, diseases,
      and conditions are unique and have to be
      evaluated to see what may be in the future.
      If you have an advanced directive with your
      Mom signature on it, you may be able to
      talk with her doctors and get her medical
      records and have a second opinion and also
      be able to answer for her since she might
      not be able to answer for herself. There are
      free forms on the internet according to your
      state. It should be signed in front of two
      witnesses, but a notary can stamp it and make
      if valid. I hope this info is of some help to you.
      It is sad that a daughter has to watch all this
      happen to a mother they love...as long as
      you are able to be there with her, she will
      have peace in knowing that you really care.

      You asked what you can expect. There are
      a few things that may take place: her heart
      may start to beat irregular. If you get her
      blood work results, if the sodium and potassium
      levels are either too high or too low, this
      will cause an irregular beat and is an
      emergency. If she starts to cough up blood and
      not just vomit (it may look like coffee grounds,
      or a darker color) this is also an emergency
      cause she could be bleeding internally. If she
      feel faint and goes into a coma...there may be
      little chance she will come out of it without the
      doctors help. What can you do? be there for
      her so she doesn't feel alone. Watch for
      any of these signs above and keep a record
      of how she is feeling day to day and let the
      doctor know what exactly is happening with her.
      Be with her at all her doctor appointments so
      that you can be sure she is taking medication
      right and doesn't get so confused she puts
      herself in more danger. She might not be
      able to break the habit of alcohol especially
      since she has been so sick, but knowing that
      others understand and will try to help her in
      anyway despite of this all, may give her the
      strength she needs to try.

  4. QUESTION:
    life expectancy for cirrhosis of the liver?
    What is the life expectancy of someone with cirrhosis of the liver?

    • ANSWER:

  5. QUESTION:
    Advanced Stage of Cirrhosis of the Liver - Life Expectancy?
    My mother is in the hospital suffering from cirrhosis. She has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, she has had bleeding from the variceal (in her esophagus), her blood pressure dropped to 55/38 Saturday, and was put on vasopressors. She lost a lot of blood where her hemoglobin count was below 6.5. She was put into an induced coma and is still not awake today. She is also on a life support ventilator... but not because she isn't breathing on her own, because they wanted to make her more comfortable... I've been told she will need a liver transplant but she first needs to be sober 6 months... I asked if she would survive those 6 months and I keep getting told they can't say and don't know... I just need some answers... I've offered to give part of my liver for a transplant but their stating that this hospital hasn't ever performed a live liver transplant... I need help and answers!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Your mother has cirrhosis which put her in a crisis situation that is life threatening. Hopefully they can get her stabilized. This is not an unusual occurrence with having cirrhosis since internal bleeding is a big risk and does happen sometimes. Your mother has 2 big problems in her medical condition which is she had both hep C and apparently has a drinking problem since the transplant center has required her to be sober for at least 6 months. They do this with all people who have an alcohol/drug problem.

      There are many people waiting on transplants and there is a big shortage of donated organs. They cannot afford to waste even one, so that is why it is so important to give the organs to people who are the most sick and the people who will take good care of their transplanted organ. If they would give an organ to an alcoholic who has not quit drinking and has not addressed the problems of why they drink, this person would start drinking again and destroy their new organ which is a big tragedy since it could have saved the life of someone else who would take excellent care of it. Also, a liver transplant costs over 0,000 so it would be such a shame to waste all this money on top of wasting the organ.

      Your mother would have to pull out of this crisis and do the 6 months of sobriety first. Then she would have to pass an evaluation process where a board of doctors would go over her case to determine whether or not she would be a good candidate for surgery. If yes, she could be placed on the national waiting list to wait for an organ. A person has to be well enough to withstand the surgery since they will not give an organ to someone who is going to die on the table or shortly thereafter.

      Your hospital does not do live donor transplants, so even if your mother could go through the process and is accepted, you would have to go to a hospital that does live donor transplants. You would also have to be a match for your mother, be at least 18 years old, and be in excellent health. You would have to go through an evaluation also just like your mother. Many hospitals have cut back on their live donor transplants because they are finding out that these types of transplants are having a lot of complications after surgery. A lot of hospitals no longer do them, so you might have a difficult time finding a hospital that does them.

      Can your mother survive for 6 months to even begin to try to get a transplant? I can't answer that and her doctors probably don't know either. She is in crisis mode right now and only time will determine if and how well she pulls out of that. You would have to have powers to see into the future to answer this question because there are so many factors that come into play with this disease. Bleeding internally is always a risk with cirrhosis. My doctors used to require me to get checked every 3-6 months with an endoscopy to band any varices. This greatly reduces the risk of bleeding. Once they get her bleeding under control and gets her counts back up to normal, hopefully they can wean her off the vent and get her back on her feet again.

      If your mother wants to try and get a transplant if she gets well enough, your first step should be to go to a transplant center and start the process rolling by getting her set up for 6 months of sobriety. My transplant center would require her to go through a program or rehab of some kind. She would also have to agree to have random drug/alcohol testing done anytime they felt like giving her one. If she would be accepted and placed on the list, she would also be subjected to random testing while she waits. If she ever would test positive, she would be removed from the list immediately. They are really tough on anyone that has a history of drug/alcohol abuse. Your mothers disease will progress much faster if she drinks on top of having hep C. That's like throwing gasoline onto a fire.

      I hope everything works out for your mom and she is able to get the help she needs.

  6. QUESTION:
    life expectancy of someone with cirrhosis of the liver?
    My boyfriend may have cirrhosis of the liver...chances are really really high...tests are not back yet tho. Can anyone tell me the life expectancy of someone who has this (caused by alcohol) without treatment and with treatment? He drinks beer daily and whiskey sometimes. He also has diabetes. He is 49 yrs old.
    Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      Everything will depend on how much damage has been done to his liver. Cirrhosis has 4 stages. If he is in the early stages, and if he stops drinking now and forever, he stands a chance of getting well again. If he is in the late stage, he will most likely need a liver transplant in order to get well again. Cirrhosis is when scar tissue replaces healthy tissue in the liver so that it can no longer do the job it is supposed to do. If the damage is too severe, nothing will work except a transplant.

      I don't mean to be so blunt, but there is one thing I am sure of which is that if he continues to drink with a damaged liver, his life expectancy will be greatly reduced. It will lead to total failure and death. Alcohol is poison to the liver and will continue to damage it until it can no longer work at all. People with cirrhosis frequently have kidney problems too. Since he already has diabetes, he is looking at some really life threatening health problems in the near future unless he changes his lifestyle.

      If he does need a transplant to survive, then it will be a long and hard road for him. Transplant centers require at least 6 months of proven sobriety before they will even consider one for a transplant. So this means your boyfriend would not only have to deal with the disease of cirrhosis, which is not much fun I might add, but he will also have to deal with his addiction to alcohol. Then he must be healthy enough to be able to survive this serious surgery. There is an evaluation process that he must pass in order to be listed to wait for an organ after his 6 months of proven sobriety.

      He would have to go through all this before he even gets the actual surgery, so you can see what I mean when I say it's a long and hard road to travel. You need to get real serious with him about his health and that his drinking will be fatal if he does not stop. Good luck and wish you and him the best.

  7. QUESTION:
    Life expectancy of cirrhosis of the liver?
    My uncle was admitted into the hospital in 2004 and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol. My mom told me that we are lucky that he lived, the doctors were telling my family to be prepared for the worse. He was very skinny and had jaundice, I could barely recognize him. He was eventually well enough to be released from the hospital and went to rehab, which he has now been out of for a while. At the time, I was young and didn't really understand what was going on, but now I'm nervous. I have heard many different things about how long those diagnosed with this condition will live but have always been somewhat confused. Over the past couple years, it seems his mental stability has deteriorated. I've done some research and it seems like he has encephalopathy, always acting like he is drunk and he's very forgetful. His sleeping patterns are very off as well. Overall, I feel as if his health is slowly getting worse. I am positive he hasn't had a liver transplant.
    What's going on?
    Can someone tell what stage of cirrhosis he had based on the information?
    Also, does anyone know the typical life expectancy of a person with this specific stage of the condition? I'm very nervous and no one has really told me a lot about the disease.
    Any help is appreciated.Thank you!

    • ANSWER:
      When the liver cells become damaged from alcohol, the
      immune system of the body responds to this damage
      and causes the liver to develop inflammation inside
      of it...which causes the liver to enlarge in size.

      If the alcohol is not stopped and the inflammation
      isn't treated, it can lead to the liver cells dying off
      and forming scar tissue inside the liver. This
      can then, no longer, be reversed. This is
      a progressive disease known as Cirrhosis of
      the liver.

      Being drunk can mimic many of the same
      conditions that occur in having Cirrhosis. It
      has to be determined how far advance an
      alcoholic is in the disease..possibly by a liver
      biopsy. Encephalopathy causes mental
      confusion, disorientation, unclear thinking,
      sleep pattern changes, flappy hand tremors,
      etc. This can be mistaken for being drunk.
      A drunk may also develop a beer belly.
      However, someone who is advanced in
      Cirrhosis develops fluid inside the abdomen
      because the liver can no longer produce a
      protein that holds fluid inside our vessel,
      known as Albumin. This conditions is known
      as Ascites. If a patient has this and they
      have difficulty breathing or eatting, the doctor
      can remove this fluid by a procedure known
      as paracentesis.

      I'm going to give you links about Cirrhosis of
      the liver that may be of some help to you.
      If he needs a liver transplant, I gave you a
      couple for this, also.

      Only the doctor can tell how far advance he is
      in the disease and give you an educated guess
      of how long he may have left to live.
      An alcoholic has to be detoxed from alcohol for
      a period of six months prior to be evaluated for
      placement on a transplant list.
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cirrhosis/DS00373
      http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/cirrhosis.html
      http://www.surgery.usc.edu/divisions/hep/patientguide/index.html
      http://www.transplantliving.org/

      Hope this information is of some help.

  8. QUESTION:
    Life expectancy with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver?
    non-alcoholic, diabetic, heart disease, colon cancer (remission), diverticulitis, high blood pressure and hypothyroidisum

    • ANSWER:
      You need more details in order to answer this question with even a good guess. What is the reason for cirrhosis? Hep C? If yes, then the progression could be quicker to total liver failure.

      If this person is experiencing lots of fluid retention that needs tapped often, encephalopathy (confusion due to high ammonia levels), jaundice, internal bleeding and bruises easily, then their liver is near total failure and death could occur anywhere from a few months to a year. Remember this is just an estimate for someone who has all these symptoms.

  9. QUESTION:
    How bad is level 4 cirrhosis and what is the life expectancy?
    If a smoker with diabetes has level 4 cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse and Hepatitis B, what is the likelyhood of liver failure? About how many years could they live this way? How long could they life this way if they stop drinking?

    • ANSWER:
      I'm not sure what classification you are using for your "level 4 cirrhosis". Mostly the Child-Pugh classification is used.

  10. QUESTION:
    What is the life expectancy with someone having Advanced stage of cirrhosis of the liver?
    Hi Im 20yrs odl and have a father who is 56 yrs old. He was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver in Aug 2010. Recently he went in to a dr.s appointment and they found some more stuff on his liver. Im not sure what was found but it wasnt any good news. But the dr.s say hes already in an advanced stage and he is not a candidate for a liver transplant. They said they cant do anything else to help the cirrhosis get better but he can take his medications and continue his regular dr. appointments. The dr told him and our family to enjoy life with him while we still can... This confused me... Is my dad going to pass away soon??? The didnt give us a time limit.. So now Im just wondering how much longer do I have with my father ?? :(

    • ANSWER:
      Why did they say your father could not get a liver transplant? He is certainly young enough. Did he ever go through an evaluation for a liver transplant done by a transplant clinic? The only cure for cirrhosis is a transplant and with him being in the advanced stage of the disease seems like he would be able to possibly get one. Does he have a lot of other medical problems that would prevent him from surviving the liver transplant surgery?

      There is really no way to tell when your father will reach total liver failure. It depends on so many factors such as what is causing his cirrhosis, how much damage his liver has right now, whether or not there is a way to slow down the progression of the disease, other underlying health issues, etc. It could be weeks or months. It could be years. If the "more stuff" they found on his liver was cancer, then that might be the reason for denial of a transplant. Cirrhosis is not cancer. They are very different from one another.

  11. QUESTION:
    what is the life expectancy of a person with end stage liver disease (cirrhosis)?

    • ANSWER:
      from experience in my own family it only took about 8 weeks give or take a few days.

  12. QUESTION:
    How long can someone live with liver cirrhosis?
    We found out in September that my dad, 55, has liver cirrhosis. He said he's had Hepatitis C since 1982. I have no idea how long he's had cirrhosis; he's been sick for years, but we never knew what it was because he wouldn't go to the doctor. He had to have his spleen removed a couple weeks ago. He's very confused at times and stays in pain and never feels good. It's stressing me out because I'm moving away for grad school in a couple months. Do you think he'll live long? What's the life expectancy of cirrhosis if you don't have a transplant and have no spleen?
    He isn't jaundice

    • ANSWER:
      Only a doctor who has done testing on your father will be able to estimate how much time he might have until total liver failure might occur. I can tell you that the symptoms only get worse as the disease progresses. End stage cirrhosis usually brings bleeding problems (blood doesn't clot right and internal bleeding is a big threat), jaundice, fluid retention especially in the abdomen that is very difficult to control and may need tapped often, increased confusion and behavior changes due to high ammonia levels, and extreme fatigue where they want to sleep all the time. It's not unusual for someone to sleep over 16 hours a day when total failure is near. The body just becomes very weak and exhausted.

      I wonder why your father is not looking at getting a transplant because he is still young enough to do well and might be a good candidate for the surgery. It's a struggle to go through the whole process of getting one, but it would save his life. The only cure for cirrhosis is a transplant. I have talked with many people at my transplant clinic who were either waiting on a transplant or already had one because hep C destroyed their liver. He would have to be totally committed to getting well and do everything the doctors tell him to do. He would have to be evaluated as a first step at a transplant clinic. Has anyone suggested this to him? If he was my father with this disease, I would nag him until he couldn't stand it anymore to try and get one. He might not have to die young if he seeks help. Without it, this disease will kill him. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I know because I had cirrhosis. I also had a transplant and would have been long dead by now if I didn't get one. I hope your father decides to fight for his life instead of just letting this disease take its course.

  13. QUESTION:
    Life expectancy of someone who has cirrhosis?
    I know that no one would be able to give me an actual expectancy, but i'm wondering if anyone has encountered this same issue maybe with a friend/family member?

    My mother was admitted into the hospital about 4 days ago. They know she has some type of liver failure, and they're about 99% positive it's cirrhosis. My mother has been a long term alcoholic, and with all of her symptoms they believe this is definitely the diagnosis, but are un-able to be 100% sure because she isn't stable enough to get a liver biopsy. My mother was in regular unit care, and was put into ICU today because of partial heart failure. Her doctor said something about the fluids weren't draining. But that her heart looks good now, and she's breathing without oxygen. They can't tell what caused the heart problem. They said it could be because of an infection because of her liver failure, or her going into Detox, or many other things. The doctor told me today that my mother will most likely need a liver transplant, but that she probably won't make the list (Because of her alcoholism) and that even if she did make the list, she couldn't with stand the surgery. The doctor made it seem like things really weren't looking good, and that she's getting worse. I have read up on Cirrhosis, and know that there is no cure besides a liver transplant. I am scared that my mother only has days now to live, or maybe weeks. I am just wondering if there is anyone else out there who has encountered a similar tragedy and might have any input for me? Or if it has happened to someone they know, how long that member had to live after being "diagnosed".

    I have been visiting her everyday, in between work and after work, and I fear I may need to take time off from work because of her worsening condition.

    ANY input would be so very much appreciated.. thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Your mother is going through a crisis right now due to her having cirrhosis which brings about many problems as you probably have already read about in your research of the disease. If she can pull out of this crisis, she may be around for awhile yet, but everything depends on how much damage she has right now and how close to total liver failure she might be. I had cirrhosis from an autoimmune disease. The tip off that something was wrong was fluid retention in my belly. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed, evaluated for transplant and received one 5 years ago. When physical signs appear from cirrhosis, the disease is usually far advanced. When I was diagnosed, my liver was 90% destroyed with scar tissue which replaces healthy liver tissue.

      I'm sorry to say that your mothers chance of getting a transplant soon is not possible. The first requirement for an alcoholic is that they detox for at least 6 months and must participate in rehab and'/or counseling to address their drinking issue. They must have a complete lifestyle change and will never be able to drink again even after the transplant. Once they go through this 6 months and rehab, then they can be evaluated for a liver transplant. They must then pass an evaluation that will determine whether or not you can get listed to receive a transplant. This includes a lot of medical testing along with psychiatric evaluation. If the person is too sick, they will be denied. The alcoholic also much agree to have random alcohol/drug testing done anytime they feel like asking for one if the person is accepted to be listed. If the test is ever positive, they will be immediately removed from the list and be denied a transplant.

      Even though it is difficult for an alcoholic to get a transplant, it is not impossible. The person must have a total lifestyle change and be committed to getting well. They must comply with everything their doctors tell them to do. They not only have to deal with the disease of cirrhosis and all the problems that come with that, but they must also be addressing their addiction to alcohol on top of it which makes it very difficult. Many people either cannot or will not do it. If the cirrhosis is advanced, then it's just a matter of time before it will take their life. The liver doctor is the best person to ask how long since they know all the results of the medical tests. You just can't compare one person to another until you see the tests and amount of damage.

      It's not unusual for an infection to take the life of someone with cirrhosis. Sometimes that fluid that accumulates in the abdomen can become infected which can be life threatening. Since your mother had some partial heart failure, I don't know if she is having fluid such as congestive heart failure or the fluid that builds up from cirrhosis. It may be a combination of both. Time will tell whether or not she can pull out of this crisis and go on. I'm sorry she is so sick, but it really should be no surprise for a long term alcoholic. It's a very sad situation that many families experience with loved ones who just refuse to stop drinking. It takes a long time, but eventually it catches up to them.

  14. QUESTION:
    my mum has been diagnosed with decompensated liver disease & id like to know what her life expectancy is?
    She has had a "late diagnosis" and is in the cirrhosis stage of ADL. The doctors have not said what her life expectancy is likely to be but id rather be realistic and prepared as im in charge of getting all her affairs in order.
    If anyone has knowledge about this particular diagnosis, id be grateful of any information. Mum has been in the ICU for 3 weeks and just off oxygen, so she is showing slow progress.
    Thanks in advanced

    • ANSWER:
      This is a progressive disease.
      When the liver cells die off, the functions that they do to keep the body healthy start to deteriorate. When certain signs appear,
      because the liver cannot handle doing the
      500 functions it is known to do for the body,
      then the doctors believe they are in the
      end stages of the disease.
      Some of these signs are Portal Hypertension.
      Because blood doesn't flow well through the
      liver anymore, it causes a build up of blood
      to back up into the portal vein under the liver. Blood in the abdomen travels through the liver on it way back to the heart. This backed up blood goes into smaller vessel known as varies and these can become weak and break open and bleed. That is definitely an emergency situation then. These varies are found in the esophagus, rectal area, and also the belly button area.
      This is just one of the signs of the liver failure.

      Encephalopathy is another sign.
      We use proteins in our body, the byproduct
      of it use is ammonia. The liver would take
      this ammonia and break it down into urea to
      be disposed of in the urine. The liver can
      no longer do that now. This ammonia
      can cross the blood brain barrier in the brain
      and cause the patient mental confusion and
      disorientations. Many people think they
      have alzheimers or dementia...it is the ammonia toxin in the brain. The doctors use a drug known as Lactulose to try to remove some of this ammonia.
      That is another sign.

      The next one is fluid build up in the Abdominal area. This is known as Ascites. This comes from the liver not being able to make a protein known as Albumin. Albumin is a protein that helps hold fluid in our vessels, but it leaks out now and collects in the abdomen. The patient can have this fluid removed through a procedure known as paracentesis and it helps relieve the patient from the discomfort of it.

      If your Mom has these...these are "signs "of
      being in the end stages. Still these are just
      signs and it is not for certain how long she
      may live like this before she will be at rest.

      Now for the "test" to determine how long
      a patient may live:

      When a person is placed on the transplant
      list, the doctors check for certain things on
      their blood work to determine how long
      a patient may live without a transplant being
      performed. They check the bilirubin, INR,
      and the Creatinine and Sodium.

      The Bilirubin is changed from a non soluble
      form to a soluble form in the liver, normally...this is one of its functions. The liver can no longer do this...so the bilirubin rises in the Blood and when they take the blood test they can see this on her blood lab results.

      The liver also makes factors for the blood to
      clot...this is the INR test. If the liver cannot
      make these factors, the blood doesn't clot
      well and the patient bruises and bleeds
      easily. So there are two Liver functions tests that they watch.

      The next is the Creatinine.
      This is a byproduct of our muscle use. The
      kidneys remove this from the body. If the
      kidneys, which are next in line to fail after the
      liver, cannot remove this...then the kidneys
      are starting the process of going into failure
      themselves.

      Sodium has to do with the heart...
      many liver patients with cirrhosis are placed
      on a lower sodium diet and a diuretic because a person with cirrhosis tends to hold onto sodium in their body. This Sodium has to be watched very closely to be sure the patient heart beats in rhythm...it has to stay in a certain range.

      These blood tests are important...but the
      film testing like the Ultrasound, MRI, and
      CT scan are just as important. They can
      show if there are any growths in the liver,
      how much the liver has shrunk in size, whether there is any blood flowing through the liver, and other things. The liver biopsy is the best test to be certain of the condition of the liver cause they are looking at the exact cells of the liver and not just films of it. The doctor than decides where the patient is placed on the transplant list. If they are at the bottom of the list...they are the healthiestand may even go off the list. As they go up the list toward the top..they are sicker and in need of a transplant alot sooner or they will die.

      Your Mom may not be on the transplant list
      yet...but this gives you a look at how the
      doctor can determine how long she might
      be able to live. However, it is just an
      estimate...for no one knows for sure.
      I've heard people say they have only been
      given 6 months to live and now it is three
      years later.
      It depends on what other medical conditions
      they have, how old they are, if they want to
      live and have family support, if they progress slowly or fast in the disease, how much of the liver is affected and many other things.

      Your Mom should be in the care of either
      a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

      I don't know how old your Mom is...but there
      is help out there for you that you might
      be of benefit:

      I would get in touch with the Area of the
      Aging in your area. (Even if your Mom
      isn't considered elderly)....they may
      give you ideas of where to go for help...
      they provide many services that can
      help if your Mom is a certain age.
      They have meals on wheels, have people
      who can stay with your Mom, sometimes
      provide medical needs like diapers, etc.

      If your Mom is told she only has 6 months
      to live...the doctor may sign a form to
      see she has Hospice, if she decides she
      wants to be at home and doesn't want
      a transplant.

      Some church organization will step in
      and also help. Some have medical
      equipment they will lend out.

      I would notify the ambulance that you
      have a sick loved one who might need
      their services. That way they come
      to know where you are located and what
      they are responding to when called.
      If you are not able to transport your
      Mom in a vehicles of yours...they
      sometimes have a "transport" ambulance.
      (You have to ask them about what the
      requirements are for that).

      Here are some links that you can click on
      for information:
      For cirrhosis:
      http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm
      For information on Transplantation
      evaluation:
      http://www.surgery.usc.edu/divisions/hep/patientguide/index.html
      For Advanced directive (if needed):
      http://www.caringinfo.org/stateaddownload

      I hope this is of some help to you.
      Best of wishes to you and your Mom.

  15. QUESTION:
    Liver cirrhosis and liver cancer?
    My husband has just been informed that he has "slight scarring" on the liver and that his liver is enlarged. I have many questions regarding this, but PLEASE, I am looking for serious-minded answers, not for people telling me that he should stop drinking or other kinds of moralizing; it is hard enough as it is. First: the doctor said "there is slight scarring but no sign of cirrhosis". I don't quite understand this because I though scarring of the liver IS cirrhosis, although it might be at a very early stage in his case. Also, is an enlarged liver the same thing as fatty liver, or could there be other reasons for it being enlarged? Unfortunately, his main health issue is not the liver but advanced heart failure (severe dilated cardiomyopathy) and also COPD. He was told some years ago that he has Hepatitis C but then it was in a dormant state. Could his Hepatitis C have caused the scarring over time even if it has been in a dormant state? Also, when the scarring has started, is it bound continue? His doctor says that his liver is "working", although I'm not sure whether she meant that it is working without any problems or working at a diminished capacity. I have done a lot of reading and it seems to me that he has many of the symptoms associated with acute liver failure: itching and small red lesions scattered over his body, a brief (one day) period of yellow skin and vomiting, periods of flu-like symptoms with fever, loss of appetite, severe sleep disturbances, clay-colored stool, brown urine, and his nails have turned very light. Also, he quit smoking, not because of his own determination but because he lost taste for cigarettes, which apparently is a sign of liver failure. He also bruise and bleed very easily, and he is easily fatigued. Many of these symptoms are of course also associated with heart disease, but it seems that they have become worse in the last couple of months. His bleeding and bruising can of course be caused by the heavy doses of coumadin he is on, but it seems that the bruising has gotten worse too. He is also getting easy confused and is becoming more and more forgetful. He is 60 years old. So, this is what I wonder: Can the heart disease and/or the COPD have caused the liver disease, or affect it negatively? And vice versa, what effect does the liver issue have on the heart disease and the COPD? His doctor wrote in the last report that there is no sign of ascites but he keeps saying that he feels very bloated and to me it seems like fluid, not fat. He often complain of discomfort in his lower right side and get winded very easily (also a sign of the heart disease, of course). How serious is this liver problem? If in fact he does have acute liver failure due to Hepatitis C, what is the outlook? I don't believe liver transplant is an option in his case due to his advanced heart failure and generally poor condition. If it is left untreated and he continues to drink (he has at least 3 beers and usually a couple of shots of hard liquor per day. I am desperately trying to make him stop or seek help, but I am not able to), what is likely to happen? If scar tissue continues to build up in his liver, how dangerous is it and what kind of life expectancy does he have? Is it a matter of decades or years/months before his liver gives in completely? How do people with this kind of disease typically die, slowly by wasting away or suddenly? If it is not acute liver failure, what else could it be? Does the complications of Hepatitis C always come from cirrhosis/scarring caused by it, or can it cause symptoms independently without leading to cirrhosis? And is scarring always a sign of cirrhosis or can there be other reasons for it? If so, how likely is it that the scarring does lead to cirrhosis (unless it is the same disease just at different stages) How great is the risk of developing liver cancer? Is this risk increased because of his generally poor health or is it determined by other factors? Please, please, any information at all would be of great help. I know that all these questions should be directed to his doctor, but my husband refuses to let me meet her, and he himself seems to live in denial and doesn't want to know anything about his disease. This is my reality, and any information you could provide would be gratefully accepted. Thankyou for reading all the way through this long question.

    • ANSWER:

  16. QUESTION:
    advanced cirrhosis's, liver no longer working?
    what is the life expectancy of someone whose liver is not working at all? Even if treating the symptoms, the liver no longer works. How long can one live like that?

    • ANSWER:
      If your liver was not working at all, it would be just a short time before you would die. My guess would be within a few days. But a person can live with very little liver function. I lived with 10% function for several years. I have heard of others living with as low as 5%. Now you couldn't live a long time with that low of function, but it is quite possible to survive awhile with just a little bit of function left.

  17. QUESTION:
    Scarring of the liver and cirrhosis?
    My husband has just been informed that he has "slight scarring" on the liver and that his liver is enlarged. I have many questions regarding this, but PLEASE, I am looking for serious-minded answers, not for people telling me that he should stop drinking or other kinds of moralizing; it is hard enough as it is. First: the doctor said "there is slight scarring but no sign of cirrhosis". I don't quite understand this because I though scarring of the liver IS cirrhosis, although it might be at a very early stage in his case. Also, is an enlarged liver the same thing as fatty liver, or could there be other reasons for it being enlarged? Unfortunately, his main health issue is not the liver but advanced heart failure (severe dilated cardiomyopathy) and also COPD. He was told some years ago that he has Hepatitis C but then it was in a dormant state. Could his Hepatitis C have caused the scarring over time even if it has been in a dormant state? Also, when the scarring has started, is it bound continue? His doctor says that his liver is "working", although I'm not sure whether she meant that it is working without any problems or working at a diminished capacity. I have done a lot of reading and it seems to me that he has many of the symptoms associated with acute liver failure: itching and small red lesions scattered over his body, a brief (one day) period of yellow skin and vomiting, periods of flu-like symptoms with fever, loss of appetite, severe sleep disturbances, clay-colored stool, brown urine, and his nails have turned very light. Also, he quit smoking, not because of his own determination but because he lost taste for cigarettes, which apparently is a sign of liver failure. He also bruise and bleed very easily, and he is easily fatigued. Many of these symptoms are of course also associated with heart disease, but it seems that they have become worse in the last couple of months. His bleeding and bruising can of course be caused by the heavy doses of coumadin he is on, but it seems that the bruising has gotten worse too. He is also getting easy confused and is becoming more and more forgetful. He is 60 years old. So, this is what I wonder: Can the heart disease and/or the COPD have caused the liver disease, or affect it negatively? And vice versa, what effect does the liver issue have on the heart disease and the COPD? His doctor wrote in the last report that there is no sign of ascites but he keeps saying that he feels very bloated and to me it seems like fluid, not fat. He often complain of discomfort in his lower right side and get winded very easily (also a sign of the heart disease, of course). How serious is this liver problem? If in fact he does have acute liver failure due to Hepatitis C, what is the outlook? I don't believe liver transplant is an option in his case due to his advanced heart failure and generally poor condition. If it is left untreated and he continues to drink (he has at least 3 beers and usually a couple of shots of hard liquor per day. I am desperately trying to make him stop or seek help, but I am not able to), what is likely to happen? If scar tissue continues to build up in his liver, how dangerous is it and what kind of life expectancy does he have? Is it a matter of decades or years/months before his liver gives in completely? How do people with this kind of disease typically die, slowly by wasting away or suddenly? If it is not acute liver failure, what else could it be? Does the complications of Hepatitis C always come from cirrhosis/scarring caused by it, or can it cause symptoms independently without leading to cirrhosis? And is scarring always a sign of cirrhosis or can there be other reasons for it? If so, how likely is it that the scarring does lead to cirrhosis (unless it is the same disease just at different stages) How great is the risk of developing liver cancer? Is this risk increased because of his generally poor health or is it determined by other factors? Please, please, any information at all would be of great help. I know that all these questions should be directed to his doctor, but my husband refuses to let me meet her, and he himself seems to live in denial and doesn't want to know anything about his disease. This is my reality, and any information you could provide would be gratefully accepted. Thankyou for reading all the way through this long question.

    • ANSWER:
      Lena, an alcoholic is THE most difficult of all patients to help, especially when you want to do so much. ALL that you describe is due to alcohol. At first alcohol causes liver cells to fill with fat and produce an enlarged fatty liver which alone has caused sudden death. In time, as liver cells die, scarring results and can then progress (under the microscope) to produce a smaller scarred liver called alcoholic cirrhosis. The liver then produces inadequate clotting factors which can produce skin and other hemorrhages, as well as leak fluid into the belly (ascites), and change blood circulation to overload and damage an eenlarging heart under strain as well as dilated, thin-walled esophageal veins (varices) which can anytime suddenly rupture as great quantities of blood are coughed up. Hepatitis c also damages the liver and is believed to be a cause of liver cancer. As long as your husband continues to drink alcohol, he will continue to go downhill and die in spite of your efforts. Try the phone book or call Al-Anon, an organization for spouses of alcoholics for much more information on how to deal with your extremely difficult situation. You cannot go it alone and expect and success.

  18. QUESTION:
    I recently got diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. I have a few questions:?
    I am a young adult, and I've been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. I do not heavily drink, I'm not over weight, and the doctor couldn't find any other reason why I have it. I just do.
    I've been having symptoms of much fatigue and weakness (my main concerns for 5 years, undiagnosed), loss of appetite, bloating, itchy skin, enlarged spleen, low white blood cells and platelets (they got pooled in my spleen) and my doctor finally pointed me to the CT scan, and soon a biopsy, which has brought me to this.
    My questions are:
    -Can I continue drinking around/less than once a month, less than 4 shots each night?
    -Is my life expectancy shorter than a normal person's, just by having the disease? If so, how shorter?
    sure, I have a problem with alcohol...? I never get drunk, just tipsy, and usually less than once a month. I think I've drank less than 10 times.

    • ANSWER:
      I'm having a hard time believing you're not a heavy drinker my friend. You have cirrhosis but want to know if it's Ok to do shots of hard alcohol? First, you need to come to grips with the fact that you have a problem with alcohol. You need to STOP DRINKING altogether to detoxify your system AND your liver. The liver is the only organ in the body that WILL regenerate itself provided it's not too far gone. Chlorophyll stimulates the liver to regenerate and sources of Chlorophyll are: Chlorophyll capsules, Wheatgrass (juice or tablets) and Alfalfa. I would strongly recommend you take the capsules as well as the Wheatgrass juice. Yes, with cirrhosis of the liver, your life will definitely be shorter. Don't forget, there's nothing that alcohol can't ruin. Good luck to you my friend, I wish you the best.

  19. QUESTION:
    Any information on Cirrhosis of the Liver, treatments and maintenance?
    My father was an alcoholic his whole life and has been diagnosed with cirrhosis. He also has Hepatitus. What are the treatment options. Also, what is the life expectancy with this condition? Anyone dealt with this? Any information will help. Also foods and things that should be done to help? I know this should be discussed with the DR. t he hasnt gone to a specialist yet for further treatment and maintence, and options. He may not go for a while since he is poor and has no health care. I just want to know anything for now until that appointment.

    • ANSWER:
      He does need to go to see a doctor as management of cirrhossis is complicated. Treatment of his condition will include

      1) Treatment of underlying cause
      2) Treatment of complication
      3) Regular followup

      Treatment of underlying cause is to ask him to stop drinking. That will seriously help his cirrhosis. You have also mentioned that he has hepatitis. Aggressive anti viral treatment of his hepatitis is needed to slow down his progression.

      Complication of cirrhossis are those that cause by portal hypertension, such as esophageal varices, ascites, and splenomegaly. Cirrhosis also increases the chance of having hepatocellular carcinoma. Other complications includes encephalopathy, hepatorenal, hepatopulmonary syndrome, etc ....

      The most important is esophageal varices, as it is the most common cause of death in cirrhossis. Patient will typically vomit blood (hematemesis) and having black tarry stool. Regular checkup with doctor with a OGD (a endoscopic device) to band varices are needed. There are various drugs that can lower the portal hypertension, like beta blocker, diuretics, etc.

      Regular ultrasound is also needed to look for any liver lesion suggestive of hepatocellular cancer. Various surgical treatments is available.

      Finally as for encephalopathy, lactulose, antibiotics, and low protein, high calorie diet will help

      As for his life expectancy, you can look at something called child pugh score, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child-Pugh_score
      It is a score calculated from 3 blood test and 2 clinical signs. After you calculated the score, it will give you a probability of survival within certain number of year.

      Good luck

  20. QUESTION:
    I am 53 yr old male, post double lung transplant 2 years ago?
    Suffered severe complications post transplant, causing lost of oxygen to the brain, also suffered stroke...damage to left side and severe brain damage/memory loss, cognitive damage. Then suffered severely enlarged spleen, underwent splenectomy, other complications: Immunoglobulin deficiency requires bi-weekly IVIG Infusioins, now have early Cirrhosis of Liver (confirmed on open liver biopsy), and now suffer GFR Level IV Kidney disease...the good news is my lungs are working fairly well! Suffer daily with nausea and intermittent vomiting (perhaps from kidney disease?) Also latest blood work shows increased CO2 levels and increasing BUN levels. I guess i knew going into the lung transplant that the avg life expectancy was about 3-5 years....but with all the complicaitons I've had I can't help but wonder if my expectancy has been shortened?

    • ANSWER:
      Even though your quality of life is probably not that great from what you say you have beaten the odds so far Maybe you will be one of those patients that baffle doctors & live longer than they expect you to. Remember they are only going by the book & not the person itself.

  21. QUESTION:
    prognosis for health problem?
    I'm looking for a general answer, a rough guesstimate of IN GENERAL, what might be the life expectancy of an 86 year old man with the following conditions:
    congestive heart failure/leaky valves
    cirrhosis of the liver with ascites, treated with diuretics and 1 paracentesis
    diabetes
    gallstones
    dementia
    This man is in the hospital currently, his abdomen was drained day before yesterday but fluid is already building up again.
    This is my father; I'm a child from the "first" family and the "second" family will not let us contribute to any medical decisions. Is death possibly imminent (2-3 Wks) or are we talking months/years here?
    I'm looking for a general idea of what we might expect. We tried to talk to the doctor and it caused a huge family uproar and we've been told to back off. Any help is appreciated.

    • ANSWER:

  22. QUESTION:
    Why does research show that Christians live longer and healthier than Atheists?
    There is numerous studies but this pretty much sums it up:

    Studies of more than 126,000 people have shown that those who regularly attend church are 29 per cent more likely to live longer than non-churchgoers. A University of Texas study found that church attenders live up to seven years longer than non-attenders, and the most regular attenders have the longest life expectancy.

    A Duke University study of 2391 people who were at least 65 years old found that regular churchgoers who also prayed daily or studied the Bible daily were 40 per cent less likely to have high blood pressure than those who did not. Elderly churchgoers had better mental health and were less likely to have high degrees of a protein associated with age-related illness. (See our news archives for some news articles on these revealing findings.)

    Why?
    It is probably not hard to understand why. Churchgoers generally are much more restrained when it comes to many problem-causing areas of modern society. There is a willingness, certainly among most evangelical Christians, to put the brakes on long before problems develop that are associated with drunkenness (for example, medical problems such as cirrhosis of the liver and shrinkage of the brain, or serious road injuries caused by driving while drunk), brawling, drugs, AIDS, gambling, cigarette-related cancers, and such, because these are lifestyles that most churchgoers try to avoid.

    This does not mean that an atheist won't reach 100, or a Christian won't die as a teenager, or that all churchgoers will have better health. But it does mean that if you had to choose who would live longest between a born-again Christian and an atheist, other things being roughly equal, you would win a lot more times if you always bet on the Christian.
    http://www.religionandhealth.com/resources.html

    Most of the research is available here, but also has been reported on CNN and FOX and MSNBC how prayer and religion effect health!

    • ANSWER:
      It's strictly a numbers game. There are more christians than there are atheists. It is easy to manipulate the facts when there are not any real scientific studies to back up the results.

  23. QUESTION:
    How bad is level 4 cirrhosis and what is the life expectancy?
    If a smoker with diabetes has level 4 cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse and Hepatitis B, what is the likelyhood of liver failure? About how many years could they live this way? How long could they life this way if they stop drinking?

    • ANSWER:
      well if you have cirrhosis you are headed to liver failure.

      cirrhosis basically means that your liver has become scarred from damage due to alcohol and hepatits virus.

      the alcohol makes the damage from the hepatitis worse. so stop the alcohol defnitely.

      at the point that someone's belly starts getting full of liquid (called ascites), and there are veins sticking out on their belly, and there is yellowing of the skin and eyes, then those are signs of liver failure.

      drinking is especially not good if your liver is not functioning right. drinking makes your blood sugar fall. your liver normally makes sugar in time of need and releases it into your blood. but if the liver is not working right, it can't do that. so the blood sugar stays low when you drink and that is not good.