All You Need To Know About Cirrhosis In Children
Cirrhosis is a condition marked by the formation of scar tissues in the liver which is usually a result of the damage caused by some severe disease or disorder involving the liver. If we talk about cirrhosis in infants, it is usually triggered by biliary atresia or some genetic disease whereas, in case of older children, it can be a result of conditions like Wilson’s disease, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Treatment for the same is offered at the best hospital in Pune.
The liver is the largest gland in our body responsible for carrying various functions that are important for our existence. It plays a vital role in detoxifying the body and regulates various metabolic functions. Scarring due to cirrhosis prevents the liver from functioning efficiently thereby leading to an unhealthy build-up of wastes and toxins in the blood which eventually disrupt the normal metabolism. Paediatric doctors in Pune suggest that if the problem is left untreated for long, the child might even need a liver transplant.
Leading causes of Cirrhosis in children:
One of the major misconceptions related to cirrhosis is that it is caused by excessive alcohol intake. As per the best doctor in Thane, while alcohol abuse might be a leading risk factor for adults, in case of small children, it is usually a result of a broad spectrum of liver diseases and disorders, some of which have been mentioned below:
- Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inherited diseases and disorders like glycogen storage disease, Tyrosinemia, Wilson disease, Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency and cystic fibrosis
- Diseases involving the bile duct i.e. biliary atresia, sclerosing cholangitis, congenital hepatic fibrosis and choledochal cysts
- Side effects of certain drugs and toxins
- Fatty liver disease
Symptoms you need to look out for:
The child will not show any major symptoms during the initial stages and these become prominent only after portal hypertension or if the liver starts to fail. The symptoms vary from one child to another depending upon the severity of the damage and the area affected by scarring. Patients undergoing treatment for cirrhosis in the best child specialist hospital in Thane, show the following symptoms:
- Fatigue and general body weakness
- Red palms
- Loss of hair
- Enlarged liver and spleen
- Oedema caused by water retention in the limbs
- Traces of blood in vomit
- Itching and rashes on the body
- Indigestion and abdominal infections
- Sudden tremors
- Abdominal infections
- Inactiveness (in case of infants and toddlers)
Diagnosis and Treatment:
As far as the diagnosis is concerned, it is carried out by performing certain tests and screenings to evaluate and access the extent of the damage. These include blood tests, CT scans, ultrasound and liver biopsy.
The condition cannot be treated; however, it can be managed effectively with proper treatment which majorly focuses on controlling the cause and preventing any further damage. Medication may be prescribed to help with the symptoms as well as to treat the underlying condition responsible for it. Since children are not capable enough to understand the severity of the situation, it is the parents who have to take the call. Watch out for any of the symptoms and consult a specialist if you notice any of these in your child. Do not delay the treatment and make sure your child takes all the medication on time. Seeing your little one in such condition is surely overwhelming but it is important to be strong and follow all the guidelines.