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|Cirrhosis of the Liver|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Hepatitis C, B, and D
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Inherited diseases, such as glycogen storage disease, hemochromatosis, or cystic fibrosis
- Genetic conditions such as:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), 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
- Erectile dysfunction
- Enlarged breasts in men—gynecomastia
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes—jaundice
- Dark urine
- Swelling in the legs and abdomen
- Loss of body hair
- Bleeding and bruising
- Vomiting blood
- Neurological problems, such as forgetfulness, confusion, agitation, or tremors
- Blood tests
- Liver biopsy
- Removing fluid from the abdomen and examining it
- Inserting a catheter into the liver vein and measuring the pressure within that vein—rarely necessary
- Other tests to determine what caused the cirrhosis and what complications may occur
- Controlling the cause
- Treating underlying medical conditions
- Preventing additional damage
- Treating symptoms and complications
- Having 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 broken blood vessel
- Fight infections
- Shed excess fluids
- Complications can no longer be controlled using medical therapy
- The liver stops functioning
- Stop drinking alcohol completely—If needed you may be referred to a rehabilitation program.
- Do not take any medications without your doctor's approval, including over-the-counter drugs.
- Eat a well-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. 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:
- 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. Needles 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.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
- Update Date: 09/12/2014