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Re: liver function - a question....

Posted by allison on November 3, 1999, at 17:43:04

In reply to Re: liver function - a question...., posted by Deb R on November 1, 1999, at 20:00:10

From my experience with my mother's cirrhosis, liver function is not the easiest thing to determine or predict.

They can tell if it's distended or enlarged. They can tell how it's scarred. They can measure its function (my mother qualified for a transplant).

However, if it stops working (and I am by deduction assuming here that this can include reduced function but I may be wrong and invite others to join in here), they CANNOT tell you WHETHER OR WHEN a liver will start functioning again.

There were several times when my mother was hospitalized that I waited several days for doctors to see if her liver would begin to work again. If it doesn't, it can be a gruesome death for the survivors to endure. Of course, one is already yellow, but then turns an ochre green as toxins build up in the system. Then other organs fail (kidneys, lungs, heart). But this takes several days as I understand it.

Yes, the liver can regenerate itself (my mother always used this excuse to keep drinking), but only to a point. Then liver function decreases and doctors add drugs to help it compensate. That said, I've read that milkthistle (or something like that, it's been a while and I think I've kind of blocked it out) helps liver function.

As I've said before, prescription doses can be a problem too, because it's hard to predict liver function and how well the body is eliminating drugs, so there is always a risk of dangerous buildup. This is where the doctors failed my mother.




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