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).