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Liver Cirrhosis

​​​​​​Liver Cirrhosis ​​is a progressive disease that scars the liver, which is a big organ in the upper right side of the belly.​​​


​Some people with cirrhosis have no symptoms.

​When symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Fluid build-up in the belly and leg swelling.
  • Skin br​uising.
  • Yellowing of the skins or whites of the eyes, called jaundice.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Confusion that can come on suddenly.

Cirrhosis also makes it more likely that you will get infections, and it can increase your risk of liver cancer.



When something harms the liver, the organ tries to fix itself. In the process, scars form and liver harden. Common causes of liver damage include:​​

  • Viral hepatitis B and C infection.
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Fatty liver disease not due to alcohol.

Is there anything I can do to prevent further liver damage?

Yes! To help protect your liver:

  1. Avoid alcohol.
  2. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any new medicines, including painkillers such as NSAIDs. Also, talk to your doctor before taking any herbs, vitamins or supplement. Some medicines and supplements can damage the liver.


Treatments depend on the cause of cirrhosis, how severe it is, and what symptoms you have. Treatments fall into a few main categories, including those that:

1. Treat the cause of the disease — Some cause of cirrhosis can be treated. For example, people with cirrhosis caused by heavy alcohol use can stop drinking alcohol. People with chronic viral hepatitis B or C can take medicines.

2. Lower the risk of bleeding — Cirrhosis can cause the blood vessels around the oesophagus (food pipe) to swell or even burst and bleed. To prevent that from happening, doctors may prescribe medicines called “beta-blockers”. These medicines reduce blood pressure in the liver, and help to reduce the chance of bleeding.

3. Prevent and decrease fluid build-up in the belly — In people with cirrhosis, the belly sometimes filled with fluid. To prevent and decrease fluid build-up, doctors will advise you to reduce the amount of salt you eat and may prescribe medicines called “diuretics”.

4. Treat confusion — Advanced cirrhosis can lead to confusion. Doctors may prescribe you lactulose (a medicine to soften the stool) or certain antibiotics to treat the confusion. Liver transplantation may be an option in people with end-stage liver cirrhosis.

Contributed​ by Gastroenterology & Hepatology