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Causes of Cirrhosis

Alcoholic Liver Disease
Up to 70 percent of people with cirrhosis of the liver develop it because of chronic alcoholism. Alcoholic cirrhosis usually develops after more than a decade of heavy drinking. The amount of alcohol that can injure the liver varies greatly from person to person. In women, as few as two to three drinks per day have been linked with cirrhosis; and in men, as few as three to four drinks per day have been linked with developing the disease. Alcohol seems to injure the liver by blocking the normal metabolism of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Chronic Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is another type of viral hepatitis. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Similar to hepatitis C, when a person is infected with HBV, the body may be able to effectively kill the virus. However, in a number of situations, the body cannot kill the hepatitis B virus and chronic hepatitis B develops. Over several decades, chronic hepatitis B may lead to cirrhosis.
The hepatitis B virus is probably the most common cause of cirrhosis worldwide, but it is less common in the United States and the Western world.
Hepatitis D
Hepatitis D is a third type of viral hepatitis that can cause cirrhosis. The hepatitis D virus is different from other types of viral hepatitis because, in order to multiply, the hepatitis B virus must also be present.
Autoimmune Hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis is a form of liver inflammation. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own liver cells. Autoimmune hepatitis is usually quite serious and can get worse over time if not treated. Although scientists do not know the cause or causes of autoimmune hepatitis, they speculate that certain bacteria, viruses, toxins, and drugs may trigger the disease in people who are genetically susceptible to it.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

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