Being the largest internal organ in the body, the liver performs many metabolic functions that are essential for healthy living, such as synthesis and storage of essential biomolecules, detoxification of potentially harmful substances, etc. Any liver disease that persists for more than 6 months is termed chronic liver disease (CLD). Many etiologies have been identified, commonest of which is chronic hepatitis B/C virus infection and alcoholic liver disease. Other causes include: autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, biliary cirrhosis, etc.
The end stage of most chronic liver diseases is cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is a condition characterized by the presence of regenerative nodules in the liver with the destruction of liver architecture. In the Western world, cirrhosis is the third leading cause of death in patients aged 45 to 65years (after cardiovascular disease and cancer). Depending on the etiology, the progression of liver injury to cirrhosis takes many years.
Patient with liver cirrhosis may present with the Peripheral stigmata of CLD. These include: parotid enlargement, spider veins, abnormal development of the breast in males (gynecomastia), pubic hair loss, finger clubbing, testicular atrophy, Jaundice, general edema, etc.
Management is majorly supportive; treatment of the underlying causes; and preparation for liver transplant. However, independent clinical investigations found out that acupuncture and herbs are effective for the treatment of cirrhosis with ascites in patients with chronic liver disease. Patients with end stage liver cirrhosis have been noticed to benefit from integrated treatment protocol consisting of acupuncture, infrared radiation, dietetics, and herbal medicine. This combination therapy effectively eliminated ascites, normalized urine volume and color, restored appetite, and normalized liver and kidney functions in majority of patients, while the others demonstrated significant reductions in ascites, appetite improvements, reductions of nausea and vomiting, improved urine volume and color, improvements in liver and kidney functions.
Thus, the use of acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine may significantly improve symptoms in patient with liver cirrhosis.
HeathCMi.Acupuncture Plus Herbs Alleviate Cirrhosis And Ascites. 25 April 2016 Link