Liver disease Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

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Cirrhosis is when the permanent scarring of the liver has replaced the healthy tissue. While cirrhosis is most often associated with chronic alcohol consumption, it is brought about by many types of liver disease. Here’s how you get from liver disease to cirrhosis.

Inflammation to Fibrosis

When you have liver disease, the liver enters into a perilous cycle to heal itself. The immune system sends the signal to repair cells triggering chronic inflammation and to continue depositing collagen. In a healthy liver, the collagen stiffens around the tissue, and any extra is discarded. However, with liver disease, there is no signal to stop the inflammation discarding the excess collagen. So, the inflammation and more deposits of collagen continues. This leads to more liver stiffening and the development of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is when collagen and other proteins build up between the cells. This forms scar tissue which can block or limit blood flow within the liver, eventually starving and killing healthy liver cells. More scar tissue forms, and unlike healthy liver cells, it cannot function or repair itself.

Fibrosis to Cirrhosis

While fibrosis is reversible even into the later stages of liver disease, there is a point where the damage is too significant, and the liver can’t fix itself. No treatment can cure cirrhosis; by staying away from things that could harm your liver further, like liquor, certain drugs, and fatty food, you can help improve some of the scarrings. Treatment for individuals with cirrhosis includes managing its symptoms and treating the underlying cause to prevent liver function from worsening or liver failure. Those with cirrhosis have a high risk of developing liver cancer and eventually needing a transplant.

Our livers are versatile, continuing to work even when they’ve become seriously scarred. Most individuals with liver disease do not know it until routine blood work picks it up or symptoms become present in the later stages. Talk with your doctor about preventative measures you can take if you’re at risk of liver disease.

Regular liver checks are important for those at high risk of liver disease.

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of liver disease. A fibroscan is a quick way to determine the health of your liver and the presence of liver disease. Should your results indicate fatty liver or other liver conditions, our staff will talk with you about enrolling studies that may be an option. To learn more, call us at (480) 470-4000, or fill out a request form online today!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-basic-information

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/the-progression-of-liver-disease/#cirrhosis-severe-scarring


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One of the best things about the holiday season is that goodwill towards others takes it up a notch as people race to pay it forward. The desire to give back is a perfect segue into volunteering in a clinical research study. Here at Arizona Liver Health, our mission is to advance the care of those impacted by liver disease. Volunteering in research studies is the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s why.

Woman holding gift and smiling, give back, clinical research

What is a Clinical Research Study?

Research studies are the primary way to determine if a new drug, device, vaccine, or therapeutic approach is safe and effective in people. Each potential new option may provide a treatment path where none existed previously. They may also be the same as or more effective than other available options or they hope to offer a new way to detect or prevent a specific medical condition.

After extensive laboratory testing, they move on to be analyzed in clinical research studies. Volunteers of all ages, ethnicities, and genders are necessary for these studies to see how these work in the human body. Those with the condition the study aims to treat and those generally in good health are needed. The FDA regulates and monitors studies over every research phase and must have their approval before becoming available to the public.

How Can I Sign Up as a Volunteer?

Each study has specific criteria that determine the ideal candidate for which the trial was designed. While you may not be the right candidate for one study, others may be a better fit. Once you apply, the medical team will then contact you and gather all pertinent information.

Qualified candidates then move on to the informed consent process and so forth. Any that are not a good fit have the option of being alerted of future studies or looking into other options.

Advancing Medicine and Beyond

Advancing medicine is a way to give back that never runs out or expires. Qualified candidates may also gain access to new options not publicly available that may be as good as or better than what is available now. Our medical staff’s expert care ensures you are prioritizing your health while learning more about your condition. Oftentimes, reimbursements for time and travel may be available for those who qualify—making it a great way to earn some extra cash around the holidays.

Tis the season to give back through research, clinical research

Volunteering in clinical research studies isn’t the right decision for everyone. We would love to answer any questions you may have for those wanting to know more about our studies here at Arizona Liver Health. To view a listing of current studies, a brief overview of each is available on our website’s study page. Or, give us a call today at (480) 470-4000.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5339376/

https://www.antidote.me/blog/why-volunteer-for-research-studies


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December 15, 2020 CirrhosisClinical Research0

Cirrhosis is the replacement of healthy liver tissue with non-living scar tissue. It is a complication of liver disease from the progressive damage caused if not treated. Most people have no symptoms in the early stages, where the progression has the greatest chance of being reversed. If you are at risk for liver disease, the time to act is now.

What Causes Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is the result of chronic inflammation and swelling that scars the liver. It can take many years to get to this stage. Many different liver diseases can progress to cirrhosis. However, the most common ones are Hepatitis C, Alcohol-related Liver Disease (ARLD), Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), and Hepatitis B.

20% of people with NASH may develop cirrhosis, liver disease research

In general, alcohol addiction and obesity are risk factors that can predispose you to liver disease and, ultimately, cirrhosis. NAFLD is the most common liver disease where fat accumulates in the liver and eventually can progress to liver failure. Insulin resistance, family history, metabolic syndrome, sedentary lifestyle, and chronic consumption of foods high in calories and fat are risk factors for NAFLD.

Cirrhosis Stages

The progression has 4 stages. The stage also determines whether the liver is compensated or decompensated. Compensated means the liver can still perform most of its essential functions despite scarring. Decompensated means the scarring now prevents the liver from functioning properly.

  1. Stage 1– Some scarring of the liver, but no complications and few symptoms.
  2. Stage 2– Blood flow through the liver becomes blocked, and pressure increases inside it. Enlarged veins that are a result of the added strain. Fatigue, itching, loss of appetite, fluid retention in legs, and bruising are more symptoms.
  3. Stage 3– The liver scarring becomes advanced, and the abdomen swells. Possible liver failure and serious complications can occur. This stage marks the transition into decompensated cirrhosis. Yellowing of the eyes and skin, brain fog, slurred speech, redness of the palms of hands, and internal bleeding are other symptoms.
  4. Stage 4– End-stage liver disease can develop, which is fatal if a transplant is not found.

Early Detection and Treatment

The liver is an amazing organ that can regenerate itself. Even with some scarring, the liver can heal itself well into the later stages when caught and treated. Cirrhosis has no cure. Though, by addressing any underlying conditions, making healthier lifestyle changes, and medications to control symptoms, patients can manage the progression. If you’re at risk, talk with your doctor.

Did you know fatty liver can lead to cirrhosis, liver disease research

Arizona Liver Health conducts free fibroscans that can detect diseases of the liver such as NAFLD and NASH. Once results are ready, our medical staff will help you determine if additional steps are needed. If your results indicate abnormal liver function, our team will discuss enrolling studies for the liver that may be an option. Schedule your FREE fibroscan today! Request an appointment here.

References:

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/cirrhosis/#information-for-the-newly-diagnosed

https://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/article.htm

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/understanding-cirrhosis-treatment#2



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