|Cirrhosis of the Liver|
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- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Hepatitis C , B , and D
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inherited diseases, such as glycogen storage disease , hemochromatosis , or cystic fibrosis
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), associated with:
Bile duct blockages, associated with:
- Congenital defects
- Scarred ducts—sometimes related to inflammatory bowel disorders
- Gallbladder surgery
- Drugs and toxins:
- Heart failure , causing blood to repeatedly back up into the liver
- Poor appetite, nausea, or weight loss
- Abdominal swelling, tenderness, and pain
- Appearance of thin, purplish-red, spidery looking blood vessels on the skin
- Menstrual problems
- Enlarged breasts in men
- Jaundice —yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Dark urine
- Water retention and swelling in the legs and abdomen
- Enlarged liver or spleen
- Loss of body hair
- Bleeding and bruising
- Vomiting blood
- Neurological problems, such as forgetfulness, confusion, agitation, or tremors
- Inability to process medications
- Blood tests
- CT scan , ultrasound , or liver/spleen scan—to identify changes in the liver
- Liver biopsy
- Laparoscopy —looking at the liver via a thin tube with a lighted camera
- Inserting a catheter into the liver vein and measuring the pressure within that vein; rarely necessary
- Removing fluid from the abdomen and examining it
- Other tests to determine what caused the cirrhosis and what complications may occur
- Control the cause
- Treat underlying medical conditions
- Prevent additional damage
- Treat symptoms and complications
- Liver cancer screenings
- Treat hepatitis and complications that arise
- Reduce the absorption of waste products and toxins in the digestive system
- Reduce the risk of a blood vessel-breaking
- Fight infections
- Shed excess fluids
- Complications can no longer be controlled using medical therapy
- The liver stops functioning
- Stop drinking alcohol completely.
- Do not take any medications without your doctor's approval, including over-the-counter drugs.
- Eat a balanced diet . Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, like beans and poultry.
- If your liver disease is more advanced, you may need to limit protein intake, because your weakened liver will not be able to process it properly.
- You may need to limit salt in your diet, because it increases water retention.
- Take any vitamin supplements your doctor recommends.
- Put your feet and legs up to decrease swelling.
- Due to increased risk of infections, take these steps:
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
- Get hepatitis vaccines.
- Practice safe sex to lower your chance of getting hepatitis B.
- If you use IV drugs, do not share needles, which can spread hepatitis B, C, or D.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Follow your doctor's recommendations about blood tests when taking medications that may damage the liver.
American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org
American Liver Foundation http://www.liverfoundation.org
Canadian Liver Foundation http://www.liver.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
American Academy of Family Physicians. Information from your family doctor. Cirrhosis and chronic liver failure: what you should know. Am Fam Physician. 2006;75(5):781.
Cirrhosis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis . Updated February 21, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2013.
Cirrhosis of the liver. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated July 19, 2013. Accessed August 28, 2013.
Hirschfield GM, Gershwin ME. Primary biliary cirrhosis: one disease with many faces. Isr Med Assoc J. 2011;13(1):55-59.
Molodecky NA, Kareemi H, Parab R, Barkema HW, Quan H, Myers RP, Kaplan GG. Incidence of primary sclerosing cholangitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hepatology. 2011;53(5):1590-1599.
Understanding cirrhosis of the liver. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/cirrhosis-of-the-liver . Accessed August 28, 2013.
2/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Chang Y, Ryu S, Sung E, et al. Weight gain within the normal weight range predicts ultrasonographically detected fatty liver in healthy Korean men. Gut . 2009;58(10):1419-1425.
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -