Primary biliary cirrhosis – symptoms in women do not differ in certain specificity. The chronic course of the pathology is accompanied by the gradual replacement of healthy cells with connective and scar tissue. The disease is formed against the background of damage to the bile ducts, is recorded in the working-age population aged 25-55 years. Most women are unaware of the presence of pathology, and the first symptoms appear during pregnancy.
Brief description of pathology
Primary liver cirrhosis in women develops against the background of progressive autoimmune processes in the body. In the early stages of development, there is no pronounced clinical picture. The presence of pathology is confirmed by changes in the composition of the blood. As the disease spreads, the disease covers healthy cells of the organ, provoking their replacement by connective and scar tissue, which can be seen in the photo. This process is accompanied by a loss of liver function.
Pathology is typical for women in the 40-60 age group. However, modern medicine more often records cases of early development. Often, the first signs of liver cirrhosis in women are observed during pregnancy. This is due to the load imposed on the body and its complete restructuring.
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Stage of the disease
Histological examination of organ tissue will help determine the stage of the disease. For this purpose, a puncture is performed, during which a small area of the liver is taken. According to ongoing studies, the following stages of pathology are distinguished:
- Stage 1 (portal stage). When studying the structure of the liver, necrotic areas, inflamed foci and infiltrates are recorded. There are no stagnant processes, the parenchyma is not involved in the pathological process,
- Stage 2 (periportal stage). The inflammatory process is spread deep into the organ, the bile ducts are affected. In the organ, stagnant processes are observed, signs of progression appear, including swelling of the cytoplasm,
- Stage 3 (septal stage). This stage is characterized by the development of fibrotic changes. With a careful examination of the liver, connective tissue cords are recorded, the level of copper is overestimated,
- Stage 4 (cirrhosis). The organ is completely replaced by connective and scar tissue, the functional purpose is reduced to zero. In the absence of supportive therapy, a person dies.
Complex diagnostic measures will help to determine the rudiments of cirrhosis in women. Timely examination and diagnosis make it possible to prescribe the optimal therapy regimen. Correct and competent treatment increases the chances of a favorable outcome.
Pregnancy with a severe diagnosis
It is quite possible to conceive a child in the presence of a pathological process. However, before a future pregnancy, it is advisable to consult with your doctor and visit an obstetrician-gynecologist. The pathology does not affect the ability to get pregnant. Difficulties arise during the period of active development of the fetus.
Before conception, the specialist recommends to undergo a full range of studies aimed at determining the state of the mother’s body. This measure will make it possible to predict possible complications in the course of pregnancy and to start implementing an algorithm of measures to suppress them.
If the disease is detected in pregnant women by chance, this information must be provided to the obstetrician-gynecologist. The specialist must maintain complete control over the woman’s condition, select the optimal drugs and adjust the treatment regimen. All actions are aimed at ensuring that a woman can give birth to a healthy child without complications. For this purpose it is necessary:
- timely take a blood test,
- refuse to take medications that have a negative effect on the liver,
- adhere to a dietary diet to reduce the load on the digestive system,
- strengthen the body with vitamin and mineral complexes.
The development of pregnancy with cirrhosis of the liver is possible, the main thing is not to self-medicate. A consultation with a doctor will help you choose the optimal treatment regimen and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. The most positive prognosis is observed in the early stages of the development of the disease. The risk of complications arises with twin pregnancy.
Attention: the course of pregnancy in the presence of abnormalities in the liver is a purely individual process. Its favorableness is influenced by a lot of factors. In order to avoid serious complications, experts recommend notifying the doctor in a timely manner about the problem. Especially if a woman wants to give birth on her own (without a planned cesarean section) or there are twins in her womb.
Provoking factors: people at risk
The causes of the disease in both women and men have not been fully identified. Experts make some assumptions, but they have not received practical confirmation. Possible provoking factors include:
- genetic predisposition,
- gallbladder disease
- autoimmune processes.
The causes of liver cirrhosis are often due to a genetic predisposition. According to the studies, the risk of developing the disease persists in people whose family has had cases of pathological disorders in the gallbladder and its ducts.
Multiple observations made it possible to identify individuals at risk. These include: women over the age of 35, identical twins, people with autoimmune diseases. If a person “fits” according to one of the stated criteria, experts recommend visiting medical institutions more often and undergoing a comprehensive examination.
Clinical picture of the disease
What causes cirrhosis has not been fully identified. However, there are certain signs that indicate a problem. How does liver cirrhosis manifest and what is characteristic of this process? Much depends on the individual characteristics of the organism. So, the first symptoms of liver cirrhosis in women do not differ in severity, general discomfort in the right hypochondrium does not affect the quality of life. In most cases, there are no manifestations. The presence of a problem is indicated by changes in the composition of the blood and structural disorders of the organ during ultrasound examination.
The disease progresses rapidly, as the inflammatory process spreads, the following symptoms are recorded:
- itchy skin, the intensity of which gradually increases,
- changing the natural skin tone to yellow,
- the appearance of dark spots on the joints,
- the presence of a bitter taste in the mouth,
- aching pain in the right hypochondrium.
As cirrhosis of the liver progresses, symptoms in women increase. The itching becomes unbearable, multiple brown spots appear on the body. The pigmented areas become coarse, the lower limbs swell. The pain syndrome is gradually increasing, there is a high risk of bleeding.
With cirrhosis of the liver, the symptoms in women and the reasons for their development do not have a clear relationship. Various deviations from the digestive system are capable of provoking the development of pathology, and the completeness and intensity of clinical manifestations depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.
At the initial stage, diagnostic measures will help to identify the disease. For this purpose, a person is recommended to pass a general blood test, urine test and undergo instrumental examinations. In modern medicine, ultrasound, CT, biopsy and MRI are widely used. The task of each technique is to determine the structural changes in the liver.
The most informative method is considered to be MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Its task is to differentiate pathology from other liver diseases, in particular benign and malignant tumors, hepatitis and carcinoma. MRI allows you to get information about structural changes in the organ, its vessels and to study the state of the parenchyma. The technique has become widespread among patients who have masses in the organ.
The technique is used to confirm developmental abnormalities in the liver and assess its general condition. It is carried out exclusively on an outpatient basis on the instructions of the attending physician. Often, MRI is performed using a contrast medium in a hospital.
Medical and preventive measures
How to treat the disease and are there specific methods of exposure? Therapy for cirrhosis in women is carried out according to a certain scheme, which is adjusted depending on the severity of the pathological process. The therapeutic effect is based on drug therapy. What drugs are appropriate for use? The following groups of medicines are widely used:
- hepatoprotectors (Ursosan, Essentiale, Ursofalk). Their action is aimed at restoring metabolic processes in the organ, normalizing the outflow of bile and eliminating itching,
- cytostatics and glucocorticoids (Budesonide and Prednisolone). Their task is to inhibit the progression of autoimmune processes. This group of drugs makes it possible for a speedy recovery, but at the same time it has high toxicity,
- means for restoring metabolic processes (Stimol and Cuprenil),
- drugs to eliminate itching (Atarax and Suprastin).
The symptoms that appear indicate the need to use one or another group of drugs. The therapy scheme is adjusted depending on the condition of the person. In the absence of positive dynamics and rapid progression of the disease, it is advisable to carry out organ transplantation.
It is quite possible to live with cirrhosis of the liver, but only if the person follows the prescribed therapy regimen and diet. The main task of the diet is to unload the organ as much as possible and provide it with the optimal amount of nutritional components. This action allows you to accelerate the production of liver enzymes, without which the process of normal digestion is impossible.
The patient needs to eat frequently and fractionally (5-6 times a day), consume at least 2 liters of water, reduce salt intake, fill the diet with food rich in vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. It is advisable to abandon dairy products, fried, spicy and fatty foods.
Is it possible to live with cirrhosis? Many people cope with the diagnosis quite well. They live a full life by following the clinical recommendations of specialists. In most cases, cirrhosis cannot be cured. To maintain a normal state, it is necessary to undergo symptomatic therapy, timely eliminate concomitant pathologies and not ignore planned visits to the doctor.
How long the patient will live depends on the stage of the pathological process and the recommendations followed. On average, this figure varies from 3 to 12 years. Some patients live for about 20 years, everything is purely individual.
The first signs of liver cirrhosis in women and manifestations with the progression of pathology.