Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cirrhosis Overview

What is cirrhosis?
A person with cirrhosis has severe liver disease that causes permanent damage to the liver, which can result in liver failure. Cirrhosis causes an irreversible scarring within the liver that compromises its ability to function. The most common causes of cirrhosis are alcoholism and hepatitis C. Serious complications of cirrhosis include gastrointestinal bleeding and liver failure.

What are the symptoms of cirrhosis?
Symptoms of cirrhosis include weakness, fatigue, swelling, abdominal pain, jaundice and abdominal swelling.

How does the doctor treat cirrhosis?
Treatment for cirrhosis includes the strict avoidance of alcohol, liver disease diet, vitamin supplements, and caution when using medications that are metabolized by the liver. Other options include surgery to control severe bleeding in someone with cirrhosis.

Continue to Cirrhosis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cirrhosis References
  1. Levitsky J, Mailliard ME. Diagnosis and therapy of alcoholic liver disease. Semin Liver Dis. 2004 Aug;24(3):233-47. [15349802]
  2. Tome S, Lucey MR. Review article: current management of alcoholic liver disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Apr 1;19(7):707-14. [15043511]
  3. Wakim-Fleming J, Mullen KD. Long-term management of alcoholic liver disease. Clin Liver Dis. 2005 Feb;9(1):135-49. [15763233]
  4. Walsh K, Alexander G. Alcoholic liver disease. Postgrad Med J. 2000 May;76(895):280-6. [1077528]
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