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Cirrhosis of the liver

Scarring of the liver

Cirrhosis of the liver occurs when the liver is scarred or injured by chronic conditions or diseases, blocking the flow of blood through the organ and keeping it from functioning properly. In a healthy person, the liver makes bile, which aids in digestion of fats; helps turn food into energy; and cleans alcohol and poisons from the body. Common causes are chronic alcoholism and various forms of hepatitis.

Symptoms

May develop as the disease progresses, including fatigue and loss of appetite, swelling in the legs or abdomen; and bleeding or bruising easily.

Diagnosis

May be done through a variety of means, including laboratory tests, CT or ultrasound tests, and a liver biopsy using a long needle or laparoscope inserted into the abdomen through a tiny incision.

Treatment

A healthy diet, medication and sometimes liver transplants can treat this disease.