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Reversible cell injury is an injury that occurs in the cell that can be undone or reversed. As discussed in the Week 1 live chat, cells can adapt to changes in size, number, and type. The DNA in a cell will always remain the same. Cell injury, for the most part, is reversible until so much damage is done to the cell, it cannot regenerate, resulting in irreversible cell injury and death. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an example of a condition where cell injury can be reversed if lifestyle and diet are managed properly. (Soto-Angona et al., 2020. p.8). Cell injury and death are a part of a normal and healthy process. Cell renewal replaces any cells that have been injured or have died. It is important to live a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent irreversible cell damage and death.

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There are two ways that cells are removed from the body. They are removed by either apoptosis, which is the natural process by which the body removes injured cells. If the process of apoptosis is interrupted, this can create other issues in the body.  The second, and more permanent way, that cells are removed from the body are by necrosis, which is a removal that occurs on cells that are damaged beyond repair. Necrosis occurs when the cell death occurs within living tissue. Necrosis causes inflammation and cuts off the venous return to the part of the body it is occurring in. Necrosis completely inhibits tissue regeneration and cell renewal. For more information please visit

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Necrosis can lead to gangrene. Gangrene occurs when a large quantity of tissue becomes necrotic. I have, as a geriatric psych nurse, encountered several patients with diabetes related ischemic necrosis. The most severe encounter that I had was a patient that had a left below the knee amputation due to diabetic necrosis in his legs and was close to losing the right leg as well. It is important to educate patients on how to live a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent irreversible cell death from occurring, and in turn preventing any disease or disorder that can happen as a result.




Soto-Angona, Ó., Anmella, G., Valdés-Florido, M. J., De Uribe-Viloria, N., Carvalho, A. F., Penninx, B. W. J. H., & Berk, M. (2020). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a neglected metabolic companion of psychiatric disorders: common pathways and future approaches. BMC Medicine.

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