Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF CIRRHOSIS OF
When chronic diseases cause the liver
to become permanently injured and scarred, the condition is called
cirrhosis. The scar tissue that forms in cirrhosis harms the
structure of the liver, blocking the flow of blood through the organ.
The loss of normal liver tissue slows the processing of nutrients,
hormones, drugs, and toxins by the liver. Also slowed is production
of proteins and other substances made by the liver.
Cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of death by
disease. About 25,000 people die from cirrhosis each year. There also
is a great toll in terms of human suffering, hospital costs, and the loss
of work by people with cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis has many causes. In the United States, chronic
alcoholism is the most common cause. Cirrhosis also may result from chronic
viral hepatitis (types B, C, and D). Liver injury that results in cirrhosis
also may be caused by a number of inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis,
alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, galactosemia,
and glycogen storage diseases.
If a person's bile duct becomes blocked, this also
may cause cirrhosis. Other, less common, causes of cirrhosis are severe
reactions to prescribed drugs, prolonged exposure to environmental toxins,
and repeated bouts of heart failure with liver congestion.
People with cirrhosis often have few symptoms at first.
The two major problems that eventually cause symptoms are loss of functioning
liver cells and distortion of the liver caused by scarring. The person
may experience fatigue, weakness, and exhaustion. Loss of appetite is
usual, often with nausea and weight loss.
In the later stages of cirrhosis, jaundice (yellow
skin) may occur, caused by the buildup of bile pigment that is passed
by the liver into the intestines. Some people with cirrhosis experience
intense itching due to bile products that are deposited in the skin. Gallstones
often form in persons with cirrhosis because not enough bile reaches the
The liver of a person with cirrhosis also has trouble
removing toxins, which may build up in the blood. These toxins can dull
mental function and lead to personality changes and even coma (encephalopathy).
Early signs of toxin accumulation in the brain may include neglect of
personal appearance, unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating,
or changes in sleeping habits.
Drugs taken usually are filtered out by the liver,
and this cleansing process also is slowed down by cirrhosis. The liver
does not remove the drugs from the blood at the usual rate, so the drugs
act longer than expected, building up in the body. People with cirrhosis
often are very sensitive to medications and their side effects.
Treatment of cirrhosis is aimed at stopping or delaying
its progress, minimizing the damage to liver cells, and reducing complications.
In alcoholic cirrhosis, for instance, the person must stop drinking alcohol
to halt progression of the disease. If a person has hepatitis, the doctor
may administer steroids or antiviral drugs to reduce liver cell injury.
Medications may be given to control the symptoms of
cirrhosis, such as itching. Edema and ascites (fluid retention) are treated
by reducing salt in the diet. Drugs called diuretics are used to remove
excess fluid and to prevent edema from recurring. Diet and drug therapies
can help to improve the altered mental function that cirrhosis can cause.
For instance, decreasing dietary protein results in less toxin formation
in the digestive tract. Laxatives such as lactulose may be given to help
absorb toxins and speed their removal from the intestines.
Patients with cirrhosis often live healthy lives for
many years. Even when complications develop, they usually can be treated.
Many patients with cirrhosis have undergone successful liver transplantation.
(National Institutes of Health)
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE OF CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER
Edgar Cayce gave many readings for individuals suffering
from cirrhosis of the liver. On the whole, these readings are very
consistent with the medical perspective on the causes of cirrhosis.
Most often the liver became overwhelmed in its job
as primary detoxifier of the body. Whether by excessive alcohol
consumption or other sources of toxicity, the liver became "torpid" or
"sluggish" in its functioning. It was not able to keep up with the
toxic load of the system and essentially became poisoned. In some
cases an infectious force (such as malaria or flu virus) was a causative
factor. The infection settled in the liver and compromised its function.
Decreased systemic vitality and impaired immune function were usually
noted in such instances. In any case, the liver became "hardened"
or developed "spots" characteristic of cirrhosis.
Invariably other organs of the digestive and eliminating
systems became involved (or were originally involved as part of the general
etiology of the disorder). Problems with the kidneys, spleen, pancreas
and stomach were often associated with the cirrhosis. Thus cirrhosis
of the liver is best regarded from a systemic perspective with regard
to causation and treatment.
EDGAR CAYCE'S THERAPEUTIC MODEL
The treatment recommendations made by Cayce for cirrhosis
reflect the specific and systemic aspects of the disease. Hot castor
oil packs applied over the area of the liver were frequently prescribed
to stimulate the circulation to the liver and improve eliminations.
A basic cleansing diet and colonic irrigations were often suggested to
increase eliminations through the alimenatary canal. Manual therapy
(spinal manipulation and massage) were also suggested to improve circulation
and eliminations. As typical of Cayce's holistic approach, the mental
and spiritual aspects of therapy were emphasized.
Here are the basic therapies recommended for the treatment
of cirrhosis of the liver:
- HEALING THE LIVER: Although all of the therapies are intended to
assist with healing the liver, castor oil packs are most specifically
directed to this organ. The hot packs are to be placed directly
over the liver to stimulate circulation and healing through absorption
of the oil.
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight
glasses of pure water daily, colonic irrigations (preferably) or enemas,
and cleansing diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Castor oil packs
across the abdomen are recommended to improve eliminations through
the liver and colon. Mild laxatives may be helpful if constipation
is a problem. Fume baths followed by full body massage helps
the body eliminate toxins through the skin.
- MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE): Osteopathic or
chiropractic treatment is recommended to relieve any pressures that
may be hindering circulation and decreasing eliminations. If
osteopathic or chiropractic treatment is not available, the use of
an electric vibrator along the spine may be helpful. Gentle
massage is suggested to relax the body and improve circulation and
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation
and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper
alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity
and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly
of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates
("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS: Beef juice taken as a medicine is suggested
for persons suffering from weakness and general debilitation.
Olive Oil taken in small quantities during the day is recommended
to improve assimilations and eliminations through the alimentary canal.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing
are frequently discussed the Cayce readings. Particularly, an
attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important.
A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained
by focusing on a high purpose (ideal) for being healed.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health