CIRRHOSIS

A chronic liver disease which causes damage to liver tissue, scarring of the liver progressive decrease in liver function, excessive fluid in the abdomen, bleeding disorders, increased pressure in the blood vessels and brain function disorders. The damaged and scarred liver becomes unable to adequately remove waste products from the blood and the formation of scar tissue leads to increased pressure in the veins between the intestines and spleen to the liver.

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Excessive alcohol use is the leading cause of cirrhosis. Other causes include infections (such as hepatitis), diseases and defects of the bile drainage system (such as biliary stenosis or obstruction), cystic fibrosis, and increased iron and copper absorption.

The type of cirrhosis depends on the cause of the disease. Complications of cirrhosis can be severe. Neurological problems (such as hepatic encephalopathy) can develop. Increased fluid collection in the abdominal cavity (ascites) is caused by decreased body protein, increased sodium, and increased pressure within the liver's blood vessels (portal hypertension).