As per liver cirrhosis doctor, cirrhosis of the liver is a degenerative disease where liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar formation. As the scar tissue is accumulated, blood flow through the liver is diminished, which causes more liver cells to die. The healthy liver cells are permanently destroyed and the scarring is irreversible. The liver then becomes nodular in appearance. The loss of normal liver tissue slows the processing of nutrients, hormones, drugs and toxins by the liver, as well as production of proteins and other substances made by the liver.
Cirrhosis is caused by chronic (long-term) liver diseases that damage liver tissue. It can take many years for liver damage to lead to cirrhosis.
Three most common causes are chronic alcoholism, Viral hepatitis & NAFLD(Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
Chronic alcoholism is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis in the world. Drinking too much alcohol can cause the liver to swell, which over time can lead to cirrhosis. The amount of alcohol that causes cirrhosis is different for each person.
Chronic Viral Hepatitis
Chronic hepatitis C is the another leading cause of cirrhosis. Hepatitis C causes the liver to swell, which over time can lead to cirrhosis. About one in four people with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis. Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis D also can cause cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
Fat build up in the liver that is not caused by alcohol use, is called Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which can lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH can cause the liver to swell and can lead to cirrhosis. People with NASH often have other health issues including diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and poor eating habits.
Bile Duct Disease
Bile duct disease limits or stops bile from flowing to the small intestine. The bile backs up in the liver causing the liver to swell and can lead to cirrhosis. Two common bile duct diseases are primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Spider-like blood vessels
- Severe itching
- Jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Easy bruising secondary to low platelet counts
- Bleeding from dilated veins in food pipe
- Fluid build up and painful swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites)
- Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE), a buildup of toxins in the brain that causes confusion, as well as both mental and physical complications
- Preventing further damage to the liver – Avoid alcohol, treatment of hepatitis
- Treating the complications of cirrhosis
- Preventing liver cancer or detecting it early, and
- Liver transplantation