When the liver is damaged due to lifestyle choices or disease, scar tissue can replace healthy tissue. This scar tissue is non-living hard, fibrous tissue that can overtake the liver. When enough scar tissue is present in the liver, it can impact the organ’s function. This is called liver cirrhosis and cannot be reversed. If left untreated, it can lead to liver failure that can be deadly. Knowing what causes liver cirrhosis can help minimize damage and reduce the chance of cirrhosis of the liver.
Top Causes of Cirrhosis of the Liver
- Alcoholism. Chronic, long-term alcoholism can damage the liver. Heavy drinking of alcohol over many years can cause swelling and scar tissue in the liver and eventually cirrhosis of the liver.
- Genetics. There are genetic diseases that can lead to liver cirrhosis. These include autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and hemochromatosis.
- Hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C can cause liver swelling and cirrhosis – there is treatment for hepatitis C which can prevent liver damage.
- Bile duct disease. Diseases that affect the bile duct can cause bile to backup into the liver, causing swelling and scar tissue.
- NAFLD. Non-alcohol fatty liver disease is fatty buildup in the liver that can cause nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. This can cause swelling and scarring that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
Cirrhosis of the liver can be managed in the early stages. Seeking treatment from a gastroenterologist can help slow damage to the liver and reduce the chances of end-stage liver disease.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David P. Yamini, MD
Westside Gastro Care
2001 Santa Monica Blvd #1286
Santa Monica, CA 90404