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Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of continuous, long-term liver damage. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue in the liver and prevents the liver from working properly.
Symptoms of cirrhosis
There are usually very few symptoms during the early stages of cirrhosis. Noticeable problems only tend to develop as more extensive damage develops.
Causes of cirrhosis
There are many different causes of cirrhosis. In the UK, the most common causes are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and long-term hepatitis C infections.
Diagnosing cirrhosis
If your GP suspects you have cirrhosis, they will check your medical history and carry out a physical examination to look for signs of chronic liver disease.
Treating cirrhosis
Cirrhosis can't be cured, but treatment aims to manage the symptoms and any complications, as well as stopping the condition from getting worse.
Preventing cirrhosis
You can reduce your chances of developing cirrhosis by limiting your alcohol consumption and protecting yourself from a hepatitis infection.
'I haven't touched a drop for three years now'
Six months of heavy drinking during a stressful period at work left Judith Heath with cirrhosis. She tells her story.