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While on my way to work, I got a shocking message from my best friend Lyn telling me that her grandfather has just passed away at around 3 in the morning. I felt so sad because Lyn’s grandfather has been so good to me. He considers me just like his own grandchild. I have no idea what was the cause of his death and since using of cellular phone is not allowed in our working station; I keep on wondering why he died so soon.

During our 1-hour lunch break, I didn’t let the time pass without asking my best friend what was the cause of his grandpa’s death. And she quickly replied liver cirrhosis. I don’t have much knowledge about the said disease so I immediately did a research and here’s what I found on Wikipedia. Cirrhosis derives from a Greek word kirrhos, which means tawny (yellowish-brown/orange-brown). The English medical suffix –osis means disease. And from that root words, I was able to conclude that liver cirrhosis is a disease or a condition in which the liver becomes yellow-brown or orange-brown in color.
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A normal or healthy liver, once examined using hospital medical equipment, appears in brown color and has a smooth surface. It weighs about 1200 to 1600 grams and considered as the largest and strongest organ found inside the body. Strongest because it is responsible for a number of functions such as to regulate metabolism, produce enzyme, and detoxify poisons or excessive waste build up. This digestive organ has also the capacity to regenerate most of its cells when they become damage. However, just like any other organs found in the body, the liver will then fail to function especially if not taken care well. And cirrhosis is one of the common conditions associated with the liver. 

So how does cirrhosis of the liver happen? For sure this is also the question that runs in your mind. Well, based on my research, liver cirrhosis could either be due to hepatitis (an infection of the liver), poor lifestyle, metabolic or inherited disorder, primary biliary cirrhosis or autoimmune chronic hepatitis. Apart from those causes, too much alcohol consumption is also associated with the said liver disease.  

Alcohol causes the liver to make more fatty acids. These fatty deposits in the liver if not cleared out of the body causes damage to the liver. From uncleared fatty acids, the liver may now generate fibrous scar tissue or fibrosis. Fibrosis is still curable through abstinence on alcohol and having a healthy diet. However, if the person continues to drink, cirrhosis may develop in which the liver cells die and the body is no longer capable to regenerate them. Liver cirrhosis is categorized under chronic disease, meaning nothing can be done to repair the liver or cure the disorder especially if it is already at the end stage. And this is what happened to my best friend's grandfather. He continues to drink alcohol and never shared to his family the moment he experienced abnormalities in his system. Since his liver damage is already at worst stage, the doctor can no longer save his life. 

Aside from cirrhosis, I also learned that there are so many diseases associated with alcoholism like cancer, tuberculosis, anemia, lung- and heart-related diseases, mental disorders, infertility, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, and other infectious diseases. 



*Note: Images are found using Google Image Search

 


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