Abdomen and leg swelling
The doctor will prescribe medication (spironolactone and/or furosemide) to try to clear the fluid retention by increasing your urine output. It is important that you do not take excessive water and salt. Patients with ascites and leg swelling on average should restrict their intake to 1 to 1.2L of fluid a day and avoid table salt and soy sauce. If the abdomen swelling is massive and causes breathlessness, a drain can be inserted to drain out the fluid in the hospital.
Brain confusion (Encephalopathy)
Avoid taking unnecessary drugs which may stress the liver further. Constipation is a common cause of brain confusion and the doctor may prescribe laxatives to help you clear your bowels regularly to reduce the toxic load on the liver. Any signs of infection or deterioration of mental state should prompt for early consultation with the doctor. Dietary protein should be adequate but not excessive for those sensitive to brain confusion.
An endoscopic examination can be carried out to determine if the veins in the esophagus (food pipe) are swollen due to liver disease. If so, you may need a medication called propranolol to reduce the risks of bleeding. Large swollen veins can also be tied with special bands during endoscopy to reduce the chances of bleeding. Vomiting of fresh blood or passing of black, tarry and foul smelly stools should prompt that an urgent consultation at the hospital needed.
Risks of liver cancer
The risks of liver cancer is increased in Liver Cirrhosis. Six monthly ultrasound and alphafetoprotein blood test are recommended for the surveillance of liver cancer. If detected by screening, they are usually early and can be definitively treated.
Cirrhosis can improve and even reverse in some situations. The main aim is to remove the cause of the injury and to allow the liver to repair itself. With treatment, early cirrhosis can be detected, thus preventing further deterioration. Even when complications develop, many of these complications can be controlled and patients can be maintained at compensated stage (with relatively normal functions). For end-stage liver cirrhosis, liver transplantation provides a cure for Cirrhosis patients.