Cirrhosis is a chronic (lifelong) liver problem. It results from damaged and scarred liver tissue. Cirrhosis can’t be cured. But it can be treated. Your healthcare provider can tell you more.
The liver is a large organ in the upper right part of the belly. A healthy liver metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It makes a digestive fluid called bile and removes toxins from the blood. The liver is also involved in the blood-clotting process.
When you have cirrhosis
When you have cirrhosis, your liver becomes damaged and scarred. The liver doesn’t function as it should. In some cases, cirrhosis can lead to liver failure. If it does, your healthcare provider will tell you whether you may need a liver transplant. You can slow down the progression of cirrhosis if you stop all alcohol use. Also, if you have metabolic problems like being overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol and triglycerides, you can also slow down the progression of cirrhosis by trying to improve those diseases.
Causes of cirrhosis
Cirrhosis causes include the following:
Viral liver infections, such as hepatitis
Chronic bile duct blockage
Certain inherited diseases that can result in too much copper or iron being stored in the liver
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Common signs and symptoms
Typical cirrhosis signs and symptoms include the following:
Fatigue, weakness, and lack of appetite
Vomiting with or without blood
Weight loss or weight gain
Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
Swollen belly and legs
Easy bruising of the skin
Dilated veins in the esophagus and stomach
Poor mental function
March 21, 2017
Cirrhosis in Adults: Etiologies, Clinical Manifestations, and Diagnosis. UpToDate
Image reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.,Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S,Lehrer, Jenifer, MD