Ending Liver Congestion Can Stop Liver Disease ProgressionMarch 31, 2017
Some healthcare clinicians refer to “liver congestion” as accepted nomenclature for liver health impairment. Others consider congestion as a problem limited to mucous obstruction of the sinuses and lungs. By acknowledging the concept of liver congestion as an impediment of blood and bile flow throughout the liver, the limitation relating congestion only to mucous is lifted. With this broadened understanding, liver congestion perpetuates the damage incurred by the Hepatitis C virus – and recognition of this sequence can aid in its prevention.
Earning the distinction as the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, the Hepatitis C virus primarily infects liver cells. Some facts about Hepatitis C include:
- At least three quarters of those infected develop chronic Hepatitis C infection.
- Causing inflammation and damaging liver cells, chronic Hepatitis C can progress to severe liver disease if unabated.
- Hepatitis C usually progresses slowly – typically taking 10 to 40 years before symptoms or complications from the virus emerge.
- As the Hepatitis C virus damages more liver cells, blood flow throughout this vital organ is restricted.
- Any additional factors that congest blood or bile flow within the liver worsen the potential damage the Hepatitis C virus can cause.
- Chronic Hepatitis C infection is associated with an increased chance of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.
Hepatitis C Disease Progression
Given enough time to fester, Hepatitis C can cause damage to the liver, progressing in the following way:
- Fibrosis – Scarring of the liver that may be reversible.
- Cirrhosis – Severe scarring of the liver that is described as a permanent hardening of liver tissue.
- Decompensated Cirrhosis – Extensive scarring of the liver that prevents its ability to function properly. This is potentially life threatening and typically requires a liver transplant.
Another way to perceive the progression of Hepatitis C is, the more congested the liver becomes, the greater the degree of liver damage. On the other hand, improving circulation of blood and bile throughout the liver brings liver cells the nutrients needed to repair and thrive while flushing out substances that are harmful and congesting.
Liver Congestion Contributors
In addition to the damage that Hepatitis C viral particles inflict, there are additional key contributors to liver congestion. Toxin and fat accumulation are two of the most likely aggravators of liver congestion.
- Toxin Accumulation – One of the liver’s roles is to detoxify the blood. However, substantial toxin exposure damages liver cells, which reduces the liver’s ability to detoxify. Working to reduce the amount of toxins the liver must process helps ease liver congestion.
Top liver detox strategies include:
• abstaining from alcohol consumption
• getting regular exercise
• avoiding foods laden with chemicals
• increasing water intake
• minimizing exposure to environmental toxins
• supplementing with herbs that help detoxify liver cells, such as those contained in Clinical LiverSupport
- Fat Accumulation – Excess fat in the liver (steatosis) is seen in more than half of all people with Hepatitis C – two to three times more than the general population. Studies have found that the combination of Hepatitis C and steatosis increases the risk of liver disease progression and may contribute to the development of liver cancer.
Liver congesting steatosis can be reduced or reversed by:
• losing excess weight
• avoiding alcohol consumption
• getting regular exercise
• eating a healthy diet
• minimizing sugar and simple carbohydrate consumption
• supplementing with herbs that help mobilize bile and metabolize liver fat, such as those found in Clinical LiverSupport
Liver congestion is not defined by mucous accumulation, but rather by impaired circulation. Those with Hepatitis C can help prevent liver disease progression by reducing congestion in their liver. By taking various steps to minimize toxin and fat accumulation, circulation in the liver improves. As congestion in the liver lessens, each cell is better nourished. Improved liver cell nutrition leads to better health and liver function – dampening any detrimental effects of the Hepatitis C virus.
http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/FAQ_eng.pdf, Frequently Asked ?’s About Hepatitis C, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.
http://hcvadvocate.org/publications/fact-sheets/hcsp-fact-series/hcv-disease-progression-facts/, HDV Disease Progression, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Hepatitis C Support Project, 2016.
http://mysickliver.weebly.com/compensated-vs-decompensated.html, What is “Compensated vs. Decompensated” Cirrhosis?, Retrieved September 11, 2016, My Sick Liver, 2016.
http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/hepatitis-c/, Hepatitis C, Retrieved September 11, 2016, Christopher Hobbs, 2016.
http://www.liversupport.com/3-safe-ways-to-detox-your-liver/, 3 Safe Ways to Detox Your Liver, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved September 11, 2016, Natural Wellness, 2016.