Cirrhosis is a severe liver disease that leads to loss of normal liver functions over time. It is characterized by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules. It is a chronic liver disease that can severely affect a person’s routine functioning.

In simpler terms, when a person is said to be suffering from Cirrhosis, healthy tissues in the liver are being replaced with scar tissue. This change causes an obstacle to the blood flow and slows down or nullifies the normal functions of the liver.

Cirrhosis is one of the leading causes of death around the world.

Common causes of Cirrhosis

  • Severe viral infections like Hepatitis B, C and D may eventually lead to Cirrhosis. It is important to be immunized against these diseases as a result. Hepatitis can be contracted through a variety of foods or exposure.
  • Extreme alcohol abuse over a period of years is also a common cause of Cirrhosis. Excess alcohol eventually weakens the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body while leading to other problems too.
  • Patients suffering from heart failure may suffer from Cirrhosis if there is fluid buildup in the liver.
  • Cystic fibrosis may also cause Cirrhosis in many patients.
  • Glycogen related diseases wherein the body cannot produce enough Glycogen and other blood sugar related problems when not controlled may lead to Cirrhosis.
  • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency may also lead to Cirrhosis of the liver in several cases.
  • Other abnormalities of the liver like Hemochromatosis where excess iron is absorbed into the liver, or Wilson’s disease wherein excess Copper is stored in the liver may also lead to Cirrhosis over the years.
  • Overuse or even prolonged use of prescription drugs may also eventually affect the liver and cause Cirrhosis over the years.

Some of the common symptoms and signs of Cirrhosis

  • If a person suffers from Jaundice or constant discoloration of the skin, eye, face then it could signify Cirrhosis.
  • Constant weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss may also lead to Cirrhosis.
  • Change in the color or texture of the nails on the hands and feet may also be a sign of Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Spider angiomata which are vascular lesions may also be a sign of Cirrhosis.
  • Formation of Ascites may also be a symptom signifying Cirrhosis.
  • Asterixis may also signify Cirrhosis on patients already suffering from weak livers.
  • A sudden change in the size of the liver, either enlarging or shrinking may be a sign of Cirrhosis.
  • Hypogonadism, a condition wherein Men suffer from impotence, infertility, loss of pleasure may also be considered a sign of weakening livers or Cirrhosis.
  • Portal hypertension a condition wherein blood carried from the intestines flows more slowly and causes more pressure may eventually signify Cirrhosis too.

Other problems associated with Cirrhosis

  • Cirrhosis may cause a weakening of the immune system and expose a person to other diseases.
  • The fluids in the abdomen may become infected when a person suffers from Cirrhosis, causing further abdominal complications.
  • Insufficient blood supply to other essential organs can also be associated to worsening Cirrhosis.