The problem is connected with portal veins. These types of veins usually deliver blood from the stomach, pancreas to the liver. The circulation through the liver is very important as it works as a filter. It removes toxins and other harmful elements. When blood produces extreme pressure on the veins, in this case, doctors usually state that a patient has portal hypertension. It is important to note, that this type of disease can be treated if you consult a doctor as soon as possible. But the problem to find the problem is rather serious, and it is such an undertaking.
What are the signals of the problem?
One of the most noticeable symptoms of portal hypertension is connected with gastrointestinal bleeding. It appears when a person has black stools. If you have this problem, it is a sign of internal bleeding. Another problem that is usually seen includes ascites. It is the state when a person notices that his belly is becoming bigger. If it happens together with black stools, it is undoubtedly portal hypertension.
The root of the problem is connected to liver damages. The most serious problem, in this case, is cirrhosis. It is developing because of two widespread reasons: hepatitis and alcohol addiction. Cirrhosis is the result of restoring damaged cells in the liver. It can cure itself by replacing damaged parts of the organ. The consequence of this self-treatment leads directly to cirrhosis. Among other roots of the problem doctors usually single out the negative effects of medications, fibrosis, a fatty liver disease that is not connected with alcohol intake.
What factors increase the risks of portal hypertension?
You should clearly understand that everybody can become a victim of the disease. But some conditions increase the chances of portal hypertension development. Firstly, this problem usually troubles those who suffer from alcohol addiction. The risk of cirrhosis, in that case, is rather high, as alcohol damages the liver. But some other conditions produce almost the same or even worse effects on the liver:
- Taking drugs is also dangerous, especially when a person uses needles to take it. Through it, he can get infections that can develop hepatitis.
- Getting a tattoo is also dangerous when a tattoo-master uses unsterile tools.
- Doctors are also in the group of risks as they work with infected blood.
- Heredity is also important, especially when a mother had hepatitis. In that case, the risk of portal hypertension is increasing.
- Unprotected sex can also lead to the problem because of infections.
How to diagnose the problem and what measures to take?
If you don’t have any symptoms of portal hypertension, it is rather difficult to diagnose the problem. One of the best ways to find it is to use an ultrasound. With the help of this method, doctors look at the portal vein. They observe the process of blood flow through the vein. If an ultrasound is helpless, then doctors usually use a CT scan.
But there is another popular method of how to diagnose the problem. It is called elastography. The idea of this method includes testing of liver tissues in the state of being pushed and probed. Lack of elasticity can be a sign of the problem. If a person has bleeding, in this case, doctors send a patient to endoscopic examination.
When the diagnosis is set, it is high time to take measures to support the body. The key way to treat yourself is to change the way of life. The most necessary changes include diets. If you keep to a diet, and the problem still exists, you should change it to another one. In this case, it is better to consult a doctor to choose the right one. The next key factor of improving your health is giving up smoking and alcohol intake. And another popular way of treatment is physical activity. An active way of life usually helps avoid serious health problems.
If we pay attention to medications, doctors usually prescribe beta-blockers to treat the problem. It helps reduce blood pressure in the body. Among other medications, the most popular are propranolol and isosorbide. They are also aimed at the problem of high blood pressure. Taking this medicine reduces the risk of internal bleeding.
There are some other ways to cope with the problem. The newest one is called a transjugular intrahepatic portal-systemic shunt. The idea of this method is connected with creating new pathways for blood circulation. It simply affects the way of blood flow in the body. And sclerotherapy is also widely used among doctors to cope with portal hypertension. This method helps prevent bleeding in the blood vessels of the liver. It blocks unhealthy blood circulation and eliminated the problem of varicose.
What complications can be set in?
One of the most serious complications that can occur because of portal hypertension is called portal hypertensive gastropathy. This deviation usually enlarges blood vessels and increases blood pressure in veins. Even transjugular intrahepatic portal-systemic shunt can become helpless in this case, as new ways of blood circulation are blocking. It causes permanent bleeding.
Scientists from Rochester University found out, that the problem of portal hypertension can lead to some other additional complications that must be taken into consideration. Except for internal bleeding and fluid buildup in the stomach, there are two dangerous complications set in. They are connected with kidney problems and lungs. And the scientists also found out additional symptoms that can be signs of portal hypertension development. It includes yellow skin and extreme weight loss.
What can be done to protect your liver from damages?
In general, it is impossible to replace damaged cells in the liver, but it is possible to treat portal hypertension. It is necessary to follow all the recommendations given by doctors. Only complex therapy can lead to improvement. It must include leading a healthy lifestyle, regular medicine taking and regular examinations if the problem exists or you have any suspicions. Almost every problem in the body is connected with harmful elements people get from regular alcohol intake and smoking. These habits damage our bodies and can lead to serious chronic diseases not connected only with hypertension.
Hepatitis is considered to be the leading factor of portal hypertension development. Now it becomes possible to prevent the problem. There are lots of ways to protect yourself. Consult a doctor about hepatitis vaccination. If you are afraid of hepatitis development in the body, you can ask for screening, especially when your mother suffered from it. Portal hypertension is a deviation that can be cured if it was diagnosed in time. But the best way to cope with the problem is to lead a way of life that won’t let the problem appear. Unprotected sexual affairs and drug addiction can be the reasons for different problems, and portal hypertension is one of them.