Cirrhosis of Liver
- 15 min15 minutes
- Depends on ConsultDepends on Consult
- Location 1
Cirrhosis is long-term (chronic) liver injury. The liver is your largest internal organ, and it performs many functions. The liver converts food into energy, removes toxic material from your blood, makes important proteins, and absorbs necessary vitamins from your diet. If you have cirrhosis, it means many of your healthy liver cells have been replaced by scar tissue. This prevents blood from flowing through your liver, which makes it difficult for your liver to function. This scarring is not reversible, but treatment can prevent it from getting worse. CAUSES • Alcoholic consumption. • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease • Hepatitis B & C infection. • Autoimmune hepatitis. • Diseases that cause blockage of ducts inside the liver. • Inherited liver diseases. • Reactions to certain long-term medicines. • Long-term exposure to certain toxins. SYMPTOMS You may not have any signs and symptoms at first. Symptoms may not develop until the damage to your liver starts to get worse. Signs and symptoms of cirrhosis may include: • Weakness and tiredness (fatigue). • Loss of appetite. • Nausea. • Weight loss and muscle loss. • Itchiness. • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). • Buildup of fluid in the abdomen (ascites). • Swelling of the feet and ankles (edema). • Appearance of tiny blood vessels under the skin. • Mental confusion. • Easy bruising and bleeding. DIAGNOSIS Your health care provider may suspect cirrhosis based on your symptoms and medical history, especially if you have other medical conditions or a history of alcohol abuse. Your health care provider will do a physical exam to feel your liver and check for signs of cirrhosis. Your health care provider may perform other tests, including: • Blood tests to check: ◦Whether you have hepatitis B or C. ◦Kidney function. ◦Liver function. • Imaging tests such as: ◦MRI or CT scan to look for changes seen in advanced cirrhosis. ◦Ultrasound to see if normal liver tissue is being replaced by scar tissue. TREATMENT Treatment depends on how damaged your liver is and what caused the damage.