What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a chronic disease of the liver, which results in liver scarring and liver failure. 

When your liver is damaged, it tries to repair itself but forms scar tissue in the process. This scar tissue prevents your liver from functioning normally and blocks blood flow through your liver. 

What Causes Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis occurs as a result of the following:

  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Chronic hepatitis B and/or C
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Inherited liver diseases
  • Long-term use of certain medications
Excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and viral hepatitis increase your risk of developing cirrhosis. You can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, lifestyle, and diet, including reduced alcohol intake.


What are the Symptoms of Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis typically does not cause any symptoms until the late stages of the disease. At this point, symptoms may include:
  • Bloating
  • Bruising or bleeding that occurs easily
  • Confusion, memory loss, or other cognitive changes
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling in the lower half of the body
  • Weight loss
  • Yellowed skin or eyes (jaundice)

What is the Treatment for Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis does not have a known cure, but doctors will recommend a treatment plan to help prevent further liver damage and liver failure. 

Treatment for cirrhosis depends on the cause. Your doctor will recommend avoiding alcohol in cases of alcohol-induced cirrhosis. Other treatments for cirrhosis caused by non-alcoholic related conditions typically include medication and lifestyle and diet changes.

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