Cirrhosis (of the liver)

Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition in which the liver responds to the injury or death of some of its cells by producing interlacing strands of fibrous tissue, between which are nodules of re-generating cells. The liver therefore becomes tawny and characteristically knobbly (due to the nodules).

There are many possible causes of cirrhosis of the liver.

These can include:

  • Alcoholism (alcoholic cirrhosis)
  • Viral hepatitis (postnecrotic cirrhosis)
  • Chronic obstruction of the common bile duct (secondary bilary cirrhosis)
  • Auto-Immune Diseases (chronic aggressive hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis)
  • Chronic heart failure (cardiac cirrhosis).

Symptoms & Effects of cirrhosis of the liver may include:

  • Portal hypertension
  • Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Hepatoma

Current conventional medical opinion is that cirrhosis cannot be cured but its progress may be stopped, i.e. it can be prevented from getting worse by removal of the cause.

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