Advanced or congenital
Heart failure, causing blood to repeatedly back up into the liver
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Risk factors include:
Use of drugs toxic to the liver
Diabetes that is poorly controlled
Ingestion of too much iron
Cirrhosis often causes no symptoms early in the disease process. Symptoms start when the liver begins to fail, as scar tissue replaces healthy cells. Symptom severity depends on the extent of liver damage.
Early symptoms include:
Abdominal swelling, tenderness, and pain
Enlarged breasts in men
Later symptoms, some due to complications, include:
Yellowing of the skin or eyes (
Loss of body hair
Appearance of thin, purplish-red, spidery looking blood vessels on the skin, especially around the navel
Water retention and swelling in the legs and abdomen
Complications can no longer be controlled using medical therapy
The liver stops functioning
Endoscopy—This is used to tie off bleeding blood vessels (varices) or inject drugs to cause clotting. A thin tool with a lighted tip is inserted down the throat to help the doctor see and access the varices, which are located in the esophagus.
Be careful not to further damage your liver.
Stop drinking alcohol.
Do not take any medications without your doctor's approval, including over-the-counter drugs.
Eat a balanced diet. You may need extra calories and a generous amount of protein to help your liver regenerate.
If your liver disease is more advanced, you may need to limit protein intake, because your weakened liver won't 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, doctors recommend:
Avoiding raw seafood
If you are diagnosed with cirrhosis, follow your doctor's
To decrease the risk of cirrhosis:
Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Practice safe sex to lower your chance of getting hepatitis B.
If you use IV drugs, do not share needles, which can spread hepatitis B, C, or D.
Receive hepatitis vaccines.
Follow your doctor's recommendations about blood tests when taking medications that may damage the liver.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a