Cirrhosis CausesCirrhosis can happen as the result of many long-term liver conditions. The two most common causes are alcohol abuse and hepatitis C. Some other possible causes of cirrhosis include:
- Chronic hepatitis B
- Chronic hepatitis D
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inherited conditions
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
- Blocked bile ducts
- Drugs and toxins
- Other infections
- Congestive heart failure.
Sometimes the cause of cirrhosis remains unknown, even after a thorough medical examination.
(Click Causes of Cirrhosis for more information.)
Symptoms of CirrhosisDuring the early stages of cirrhosis, a person may not even know that his or her liver is being damaged. He or she may not have any symptoms or notice any physical changes in his or her body. If someone does have cirrhosis symptoms, they might include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain).
As the liver continues to be damaged and scarred, it may stop performing one or more of its normal functions. For example, it may stop cleaning harmful wastes, toxins, and drugs from the blood. The liver may also stop making enough of the proteins your body needs to function properly.
When the liver becomes badly damaged with cirrhosis, several problems can begin to happen:
- Fluid can build up in the stomach area and legs
- The intestines may start to bleed
- With time, mental function can also slow down.
(Click Cirrhosis Symptoms to learn more, including serious symptoms of this disease.)