What is portal hypertension?

What is portal hypertension?

What is portal hypertension?

The hepatic portal vein is responsible for transporting blood from the digestive organs to the liver. An elevation in blood pressure in the portal vein is dangerous to health and results from blockages that restrict the flow of blood to the liver. This condition is called Portal Hypertension.

Portal hypertension is mainly caused by alcoholism, drug abuse and intake of drugs leading to cirrhosis of the liver.The pressure in the hepatic portal system can also increase due to clotting in the portal vein.

The symptoms unfortunately, are not easily recognizable at the onset of the condition. However, in most cases, if one is suffering from the cirrhosis of the liver, the chances of developing portal hypertension are greatly enhanced. The complications arising out of portal hypertension, which may serve as indications of the condition, are as follows:

  1. Black stools due to bleeding in intestine
  2. Vomiting of blood
  3. Accumulation of fluid in stomach
  4. A state of confusion
  5. Forgetfulness,
  6. Low platelets and white blood cells

Diagnosis of Portal hypertension is based on clinical examination of the patient. For example, accumulation of water or fluid in the stomach increases the size of stomach making it look swollen, dilated veins can be noticed during checkup. Besides this, lab tests, x-ray and endoscopy will help diagnose portal hypertension.

The root causes of the condition are not reversible, however abstaining from alcohol, avoiding over the counter drugs, strictly controlling the diet, following an appropriate medication routine, surgery, and other therapies can help prevent complications.

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