Cirrhosis is a condition of the liver where the normal and healthy tissues are replaced by scar tissues. This replacement of healthy tissues reduces the functioning of the liver. It is a progressive disease that develops slowly over the years. As an irreversible and severe condition, if cirrhosis is left untreated it can stop the liver function permanently. Scar tissues disrupt the portal vein which restricts the blood flow to the liver. Due to the obstruction of blood flow in the portal vein, it can lead to portal hypertension.
What Causes Cirrhosis and How Can You Get It?
A person develops cirrhosis because of other liver diseases or conditions. It is the last stage of fibrosis (scarring). Here are a few possible causes of Cirrhosis:
Alcohol-related Liver Disease (ALD)
Alcohol is one of the primary reasons that can cause cirrhosis as toxins are broken down by the liver. Regular drinking over the years raises the risk of cirrhosis. It leads to fat build up which causes inflammation in the liver. Alcohol abuse leads to overworking of the liver which damages the healthy tissues.
Viral Hepatitis occurs due to inflammation of the liver. It is usually a blood-borne infection which damages the liver and often leads to cirrhosis.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease(NAFLD)
The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease from obesity, metabolic syndrome causes fat to build up in the liver leading to inflammation and damage. NAFLD often leads to cirrhosis and is prevalent in people who have:
- Abdominal obesity
- High Cholesterol
This condition occurs when body’s immune system starts attacking the liver cells. Autoimmune hepatitis is genetic and is more common in women than men.
Other Genetic Conditions
There are some genetic predispositions that people inherit which can lead to liver cirrhosis.
Hemochromatosis – It is a condition in which iron accumulates in the liver leading to cirrhosis.
Wilson’s Disease–It is a rare genetic disorder that leads to an excess of copper accumulating inside the liver and other organs of the body. Consulting a liver transplant hospital is the only option in case of Wilson’s disease.
Damage to Bile Ducts
Bile ducts are responsible for carrying bile juice from the liver to the small intestines. In case the bile ducts get damaged or blocked, bile juice can back up inside the liver which can cause cirrhosis. Bile ducts can get damaged because of cystic fibrosis or gallstones.
Drugs or Prescribed Medications
Certain medications, when taken over a long time, can cause irreversible damage to the liver and lead to cirrhosis.
Budd-Chiari syndrome is a condition where blood clots occur inside the hepatic vein– the blood vessel that carries blood from the liver.
Cirrhosis is a severe condition and must be taken care of before the liver stops functioning. A patient with cirrhosis will witness several confusion symptoms from spleen enlargement like fluid accumulation in the abdomen, bleeding from veins. As an irreversible and life-threatening condition, cirrhosis can be controlled by medications; however, in cases where medicines don’t work, a liver transplant is the only option. Labelled as the best liver transplant hospital in India, we at Max Healthcare have a meritorious record of treating patients with end-stage liver diseases and giving them a healthy life. With over 2000+ liver transplants, 200-member team and 20 years of experience; we aim at providing the highest standard of care during and post-surgery.