Cirrhosis Of The Liver

Written by Amy Hall
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Cirrhosis of the liver can be fatal, and many patients with cirrhosis must receive a liver transplant in order to survive. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcohol abuse, and it is characterized by severe scarring of the liver and eventual liver dysfunction. Cirrhosis is almost always accompanied by severe complications, such as bleeding disorders, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, hypertension, and change in the level of consciousness.

Cirrhosis can have a few different origins, but it is always a direct result of chronic liver disease. Hepatitis C and long term alcohol abuse are the two main causative factors leading to cirrhosis. In fact, Hepatitis C is the number one reason for liver transplantation in the United States. Hepatitis B can also lead to cirrhosis, as can certain medications, metabolic disorders, such as Wilson’s disease, autoimmune inflammation of the liver, and disorders with the drainage system of the liver.

Symptoms of Cirrhosis

There are certain telltale signs that cirrhosis may be present in a person. Loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal swelling and pain, fever, fatigue, and mental confusion can all point to cirrhosis. However, there are also other signs to look for that may be indicative of this condition. Memory impairment and confusion with or without hallucinations could signal cirrhosis, and should involve immediate medical attention.

Abnormally light or dark skin, redness on the hands or feet, lightheadness, fainting, lethargy, bloody or dark black bowel movements, and rapid heart rate can also signal cirrhosis. A person with this condition may appear agitated and have fluctuating mood swings. The inability to concentrate can also be indicative of cirrhosis. If you or someone you know has been experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you see a doctor immediately. The problem could be something other than cirrhosis, but your doctor will want to run some blood tests as well as perform a physical exam to rule out liver disease.

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