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Man, 79, sees liver function decline rapidly after presenting with ‘distended abdomen’

A variety of disorders known together as fatty liver disease are distinguished by the presence of a buildup of fat within the cells of the liver. As a result of bad dietary patterns and high amounts of alcohol use, it has become increasingly frequent in Western countries. Due to the absence of symptoms in the early stages of the illness, a significant portion of persons who are afflicted are sadly unaware that they have it. The failure to treat symptoms when they first appear, on the other hand, could have devastating effects on one’s general health.

The Archive of Canadian Family Physicians published an article in 2013 about a patient who was 79 years old and had end-stage cirrhosis. The patient had been admitted to a hospital.

After arriving with severe ascites and receiving medication for the condition, the elderly patient noticed a quick decline in liver function and an escalation of symptoms within three weeks of his visit. Despite this, the severity of his symptoms continued to worsen.

After doing an assessment on the patient, the researchers explained the following about the patient’s symptoms: “His general appetite has diminished, and this is troubling to his family.”

“His abdominal cavity is extremely bloated, although there is no discomfort upon palpation or rebound soreness […].” Additionally, he is suffering from mild bilateral peripheral oedema.

The patient reported early satiety along with continuous nausea; nevertheless, the patient had not experienced any vomiting and had not had a bowel movement in the previous three days.

These symptoms have proven to be useful indicators during clinical examinations for the purpose of assisting in the diagnosis of ascites, and they will typically play a role in guiding any decisions regarding therapy that a physician makes.

Cirrhosis of the liver can have an effect on a number of different organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the kidneys, and the skeletal system. This is a fact that is now generally accepted.

Scarring of the liver brought on by chronic liver injury is referred to as cirrhosis in the medical field. This condition makes it impossible for the liver to function normally.

It is also referred to as “end-stage liver disease” since it happens in the later stages of the ailment when it is in its most severe form.

Cirrhosis is typically an indicator that the organ has been extensively scarred, and it is possible that the condition will not present any noticeable symptoms.

The scarring that develops during this stage of the illness is characterized by a significant buildup of ascites in the abdominal cavity. This is because ascites is a byproduct of the scarring process.

The following is an excerpt from the report on the case study: “At the end stage of cirrhosis, ascites can cause symptoms such as abdominal distention, nausea and vomiting, early satiety, dyspnea, lower-extremity oedema, and restricted mobility.

“Ascites can be diagnosed clinically by looking for symptoms such as a full and protruding abdomen, doing percussion on the flanks, and looking for dullness that shifts.”

The condition known as ascites is characterized by an accumulation of fluid in the cavity that exists between the lining of the abdomen and the abdominal organs.

Even if the harm has already been done, avoiding health risks like drinking can keep it from getting any worse, which in turn increases a person’s expected lifespan.

According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, up to eighty percent of patients who have been diagnosed with cirrhosis have been documented to have one or more related gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

According to the journal, the most common gastrointestinal symptoms include abdominal bloating, which is experienced by 49.5% of patients, abdominal pain, which is experienced by 24% of patients, belching, which is experienced by 18.7% of patients, diarrhea, which is experienced by 13.3% of patients, and constipation, which is experienced by 8% of patients.

The National Health Service (NHS) suggests a few different approaches that can be taken in order to manage these symptoms and reduce the advancement of fatty liver disease.

These include:

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese
  • Doing regular exercise to reduce muscle loss
  • Practising good hygiene.

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