my mother was diagnosed with (non-alcohol) cirrhosis 1/19/11. Her Dr waited almost 5 months before he mentioned she was already @ Stage 4 when the biopsy was initially done in January. A friend's father recently passed from (alcohol related) cirrhosis and his last few months were heart-breaking. I know every individual handles disease differently but are the stages any different for the disease based on whether its alcohol related or not?
Alcohol/non-alcohol cirrhosis: is there a difference in regards to being Stage 4?
Added 15 May 2011:
Thank you SOOO much for taking the time to respond! You have been more helpful than four of her Dr's who have known she's @ stage 4 since January.
No - to my disgust, the cirrhosis has been completely disregarded and when I questioned her hematologist on the particular stage, he wiggled out of answering any questions in regards to explaining "STAGE 4" because that's not his "field of expertise." ~ His office ORDERED the biopsy to begin with ~ About 2 weeks after the biopsy, he did let her know that she has cirrhosis - but never ONCE mentioned STAGE 4! She didn't even know "stages" for cirrhosis existed and the only reason I knew was because of my friends father recently passing away from cirrhosis. The general practice Dr & Gastroenterologist gave us the same brush off. She's on 14 different types of medications and at least 9 of them specifically state that medication isn't good for anyone with liver problems or disease. There's not a Hepatologist here, in Panama City, FL - So we forwarded all her info to MAYO clinic in Jacksonville & we're waiting for a callback to schedule an appointment.
Thank you both - Laurie & Mary - for responding to my post. I wish you both the best & appreciate u taking the time to help me!
The stages are not any different whether the cause is alcohol related or not. The following is a good summary of cirrhosis:
•Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury. Scar tissue replaces normal, healthy liver tissue, preventing the liver from working as it should.
•In the United States, heavy alcohol consumption and chronic hepatitis C have been the most common causes of cirrhosis. Obesity is becoming a common cause of cirrhosis, either as the sole cause or in combination with alcohol, hepatitis C, or both. Many people with cirrhosis have more than one cause of liver damage.
•Other causes of cirrhosis include hepatitis B, hepatitis D, and autoimmune hepatitis; diseases that damage or destroy bile ducts, inherited diseases, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; and drugs, toxins, and infections.
•Many people with cirrhosis have no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain and bloating, itching, and spiderlike blood vessels on the skin.
•As liver function deteriorates, one or more complications may develop. In some people, complications may be the first signs of the disease.
•The goals of treatment are to stop the progression of scar tissue in the liver and prevent or treat complications.
•Treatment for cirrhosis includes avoidance of alcohol and other drugs, nutrition therapy, and other therapies that treat specific complications or causes of the disease.
•Hospitalization may be necessary for cirrhosis with complications.
•A liver transplant is considered when complications of cirrhosis cannot be controlled by treatment.
I'm assuming your mother is following a strict diet and not consuming medications such as acetominophen and not consuming alcohol. Are her symptoms being treated effectively?
I wish I could be of more help, best wishes,
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