Understanding Cirrhosis of the Liver: First steps for the newly diagnosed

 

What is cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a form of damage to the liver. The liver is about the size of a football. It’s on the right side of the body and it’s protected by the rib cage. It has over 500 functions and is very important. You cannot live without your liver.

When the liver is damaged, it develops scars as it tries to fix the damage. Early stages of scarring are called fibrosis. Someone has cirrhosis when serious and extensive injury or scarring has developed in the liver. The scarring can stop the liver from working properly.

Cirrhosis is a very slow-acting disease. It can take up to 30 years to develop. The amount of time it takes for cirrhosis to develop depends on a few factors, including the cause of the cirrhosis, a person’s general health, lifestyle and genetics.

Cirrhosis is a serious condition. If left untreated, it can lead to liver failure, liver cancer or death. Only a small number of people with cirrhosis will develop these serious problems. The good news is that there are things you can do to manage cirrhosis and improve your health.

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