Cirrhosis and Liver Damage

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the final phase of chronic liver disease. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about this condition and its effect on the liver in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cirrhosis is permanent scarring of the liver. Hepatitis and drinking too much alcohol are the most common causes. A fatty diet, certain medicines and even your own immune system can also damage your liver.

Your liver helps you digest your food. It also removes toxins from your blood and makes important proteins that your body needs, such as proteins to help your blood clot.

Depending on how badly your liver is damaged, it may be able to partially recover. If your liver cant recover, your doctor can refer you to a transplant center.

If you have cirrhosis, your skin can turn yellow and you can have swelling around your waist and legs. Some patients also get swollen veins. You can throw up blood or have blood in your stool.

Some patients can develop confusion, which can lead to coma. Confusion can be managed with medicines. Sometimes the same problems that lead to cirrhosis also increase your risk of liver cancer, so your doctor will need to screen you for cancer.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.