As the main character in the well known soap opera "Dallas", Larry Hagman (who is also the subject of the last page of the magazine) had no mercy for his enemies. Fighting for power and money, he used to defeat his opponents fraudulently with a sarcastic smile. However, in his everyday life he proved to be helpless in the fight against his dreaded enemy: alcohol. He kept on drinking till he finally destroyed his liver. In the end, the only thing that could save his life was a transplant. Alcohol is the worst enemy of the liver. And yet, it is not always the factor that causes the breaking out of the disease. The viruses also attack the liver and destroy it. Is there any chance for people who suffer from hepatitis and cirrhosis to be cured? What we suggest you is an answer to this question, given by the well known German and European specialist, Ph.D. Michael Mans.
A very well known preconceived idea says that those who suffer from liver diseases are themselves the main cause of the sufferings they endure, because of the alcohol excess
This statement is only partially true
What is the truth?
Only 30-40% of liver chronic diseases are caused by an exaggerate alcohol drinking. 60 % of them have some other causes. The liver diseases may appear on account of excessive administration of synthetic medicines. The virus infections are also responsible for 55% of the liver serious diseases, for example hepatitis B which is a Std (sexually transmitted disease).
Do you think that it is possible for sexuality to sicken the liver?
Yes, it is possible because the hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through sexual relations practiced without condom. There are over three million people who suffer from hepatitis B only in the European Community and one million of them suffer from chronic forms of the disease.
What does "chronic "mean?
In most of the cases, the immune system of the adults naturally eliminates the hepatitis B virus. But 5 -10 % do not succeed in doing so. The viruses remain in the liver and they destroy it. In 10 ten years time, the disease takes its course into cirrhosis or even cancer. Fortunately there has been discovered a vaccine against hepatitis B, which protects the organism from viruses for about ten years. There is also a combination of injections against hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A, B, what do these letters stand for?
A, B, C, D and E stand for different types of viral infections of the liver. Hepatitis A is the least serious type because it never becomes chronic. The viruses of the hepatitis may be transmitted through contaminated food or water. These viruses may be found on the ice-cubes from the fruit and alcohol cocktails, in fish and on shell fish. Hepatitis A provokes massive intestinal troubles which result in diarrhoea and fever. Fortunately it may be cured without any other complications in a few weeks or for more serious situations in a few months. Only 1% of the cases may become acute forms, when a liver transplant is necessary. Hepatitis A is much less dangerous than B or C types.
What does letter C stand for?
Hepatitis C is the most dangerous as it may become chronic resulting in cirrhosis or cancer. Unfortunately there is no vaccine against it. The most common way of spreading is in hospitals, through blood transfusions.
What exactly does cirrhosis mean?
It means that the liver whose normal state is soft turns into a kind of a knot, smaller than a fist, crossed by fibrous filaments.
Why does it cause death?
The liver is the central clinic laboratory of the body. When it stops functioning, the toxins remain inside the organism. The albumins, which are so vital, are no longer produced either. Moreover, there appear esophageal bleedings which are extremely dangerous.
What is the connection between the liver and the esophagus?
Why does alcohol destroy the liver?
Alcohol assimilation stimulates a poisoning substance which harms the liver. Moreover, fats accumulations appear in its cells and thus it turns into a fattish liver, which may cause an acute hepatitis. It is believed that this is an autoimmunization process: the organisms defending cells do not react to the foreign virus - like aggressors anymore. They rush upon their own body in this case, the hepatic cells, destroying them.
In this case, is alcohol abstinence a tardy remedy?
Fattish degenerescency takes its course naturally. The patient feels so bad that he cannot drink alcohol any longer. As a matter of fact, half of the patients die in a short period of time.
They say that alcohol kills you little by little
Not necessarily! The fact is that alcohol drunk with a high frequency and in large quantities leads to a complete destruction of the liver.
And to only one solution: the transplant
This does not always happen. Nowadays, there are many ways of treating cirrhosis, among which Interferon plays an important part; Interferon prevents the disease from taking its course, if it is administrated in time. Unfortunately Interferon has a lot of noxious side effects. Another medicine called Lamivudine may be orally administrated for hepatitis B without any side effects. The American researchers are about to work out a method which should replace the liver transplant by hepatic cells injection. Anyway, the most important element in treating liver diseases remains the strict diet, based on the vitamins and enzymes contained by fresh fruit and vegetables. Enemies:
1. Unprotected sex may transmit hepatitis B.
2. Alcohol is the cause of fattish liver and cirrhosis.
3. Excessive administration of medicines may seriously damage the liver.
4. Shell-fish often transmit the hepatitis A virus. Friends:
1. St. Johns wort (Herba hyperici) is useful for liver detoxication.
2. Thistle (Cirsium Lanceolatum) regenerates the liver.
3. Vaccine protects us from hepatitis A and B.
4. Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) facilitates the well functioning of the hepatic cells.
A Brief Medical Dictionary
Placed in the right side of the abdomen, the liver is a large gland, weighing between 1.1 and 1.6 kg. for an adult person. It has over five hundred different functions, among which the vitamins and glucides stocking and blood wastes elimination.
The liver secretes the bile, a viscous and bitter liquid, which plays an important part in the food digestion, coloring the feces in brown. It metabolizes the proteins and the glucides, contributes the regularization of the blood sugar values, stores and metabolizes the fats and produces to the cholesterol. One of its most important functions is to destroy the toxins in the blood. Having such complex functions, it is not something we should be amazed of, that the liver is susceptible of being subjected to a lot of affections. The inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis.
Hepatitis A, of a viral origin, may be transmitted through food and water. It is usually accompanied by fever, vomiting and a yellow coloring of the epidermis and of the mucous membranes, known as icterus. Hepatitis A is not considered to be a serious disease, but it often causes post viral Depressions.
Hepatitis B is much more serious; it has a viral origin, too, and it may be transmitted through sexual relations, through blood, through contaminated syringes and needles. Those who take drugs and make use of syringes that have been used before are highly exposed to hepatitis B. The symptoms of the disease are: headaches, fever, shivers, great tiredness and icterus, which appear all of a sudden, after an incubation period, between one and six months. Even if it is adequately treated, hepatitis B is rather difficult to be treated and, is one case out of ten, it may be fatal.
Hepatitis C is the most dangerous one. It may easily become cirrhosis, liver sclerosis and thus the liver gets hard and fibrous. There is only one step left to cancer.