2016-06-16 14:26:48 UTC

Cirrhosis 101: What is Cirrhosis?

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  • Cirrhosis occurs when the liver is permanently scarred or injured by chronic conditions and diseases.
  • Common causes of cirrhosis include:
    • Long-term alcohol abuse.
    • Chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or C).
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
    • Hemochromatosis.
  • The liver is one of the most important organs in your body and weighs about three pounds. It sits in the upper-right side of the abdomen, below the ribs.
  • The functions of the liver include:
    • Changing food into energy.
    • Cleaning out your body (metabolizing, or helping your body use, medications and removing alcohol and poisons from your system). 
    • Making bile. (Bile is a yellow-brown liquid made by the liver from bile salts, cholesterol, bilirubin and lecithin.) 
  • The scar tissue that forms in cirrhosis harms the structure of the liver, blocking the flow of blood through the organ.
  • There are many ways to manage advanced cirrhosis:
    • Treat the underlying disease.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Practice good nutrition.
    • Work closely with a doctor.
    • Anticipate and treat complications.


© AGA September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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