What causes cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is caused by long-term injury to the liver. Many things can cause it. This booklet has been written for people who have cirrhosis caused by viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis is a disease in which the liver becomes damaged after getting infected by a really small germ called a virus. Viruses that infect the liver are known as hepatitis viruses. You may have heard of hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. (Hepatitis D and E also exist.)

Each hepatitis virus has its own characteristics and passes between people in different ways. These viruses are also treated in different ways and some are easier to eliminate than others. For more information about hepatitis viruses, talk to a healthcare professional and learn more here.

There are many other causes of cirrhosis, including:

  • alcoholism
  • NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) or NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
  • metabolic diseases or inherited diseases (Hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, etc.)
  • severe reactions to prescribed drugs or prolonged exposure to toxins or chemicals