A healthy liver has the capability of self-repairing minimal damage, without negatively impacting the life expectancy of the person. Cirrhosis, however, causes so much damage that there is an inadequate amount of antioxidants to combat the free radicals. Subsequently, scar tissue develops, inhibiting proper functionality of the liver. For the most part, cirrhosis is asymptomatic, which means that a person will not experience any abnormal symptoms or conditions that are indicative of the disease, until the disease is in its advanced stage. There are some rare cases, in which certain symptoms such as rapid weight loss, loss of appetite, easy bleeding or bruising may occur. Cirrhosis is normally detected as a result of a test for a different disorder. The chances of early detection of cirrhosis can be increased by having annual examinations, or better yet, semi-annual examinations. Subsequently, your chance of receiving effective treatment improves.
The Child-Pugh scale categorizes cirrhosis into three types; and scores the types based on severity. The mortality rate of the individual is determined based on the Child-Pugh score. This particular method compares the condition of the patient with the liver of others who are suffering with cirrhosis of the liver. A score is given to the patient based on a relative assessment; providing an indication of the severity of the condition of the liver. Based on the score assigned, the patient will be classified in one of three classes, A, B, or C. Class A is the mildest of the three, and presents the best prognosis, presenting a life expectancy of about 15-20 years. The class B patient has about a 6-10 year life expectancy. These two categories provide reasonable time for the patient to seek advanced treatment options. The patient that is classified as category C has the worst prognosis out of the group, with a live expectancy of 1-3 years.
Abstaining from alcohol, along with proper nutrition, will not reverse the condition of the liver in the case of cirrhosis, but it will definitely slow the progression of the disease. This has the potential to extend the life expectancy of the patient. On the contrary, if you continue to consume alcohol and eat poorly, you will reduce the current life expectancy quite drastically. The class A and B patients have a high probability of extending their life expectancy through a number of different treatment options. It is unfortunate, but the class A patient normally progresses to the class B condition in a relatively short time. This is due to certain conditions like encephalopathy and gastrointestinal bleeding, which severely impact the liver, and exacerbates its condition. There are some diseases and infections which require surgery that have the potential to make the condition worse.
As previously stated, the class C patient has limited options as far as treatment is concerned. The first goal is to stop consuming alcohol and develop a healthy lifestyle, which has the power to improve your chances of survival. Through the guidance of your physician, a liver transplant can be arranged. The two less severe category patients will be able to cure these liver disorders with the use of certain medications. From that point, it is important that they continue to manage their diet as well as take additional steps to insure that they are leading a healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, we can deduce that the life expectancy of a cirrhosis patient is highly dependent upon the condition the liver is in at the point of diagnosis. This is why it is important to have yourself examined on a regular basis, which can improve the chance of early detection.