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Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage.

Cirrhosis may not cause symptoms at the start. Later symptoms include feeling sick and tired, yellow skin and eyes, itchy skin and a swollen tummy.

Treatment for cirrhosis usually involves treating the cause, to stop it getting worse. Some people eventually need a liver transplant.

Common causes of cirrhosis include drinking too much alcohol, a long-term liver infection such as hepatitis B or C, and being obese.

To reduce your risk of cirrhosis, cut down on alcohol, be a healthy weight, and avoid hepatitis by using a condom during sex and not injecting drugs.

Read more on the NHS website.

Cirrhosis may not cause symptoms at the start. Later symptoms include feeling sick and tired, yellow skin and eyes, itchy skin and a swollen tummy.

Symptoms of cirrhosis

You may not have any symptoms during the early stages of cirrhosis.

As your liver becomes more damaged, you may:

If cirrhosis gets worse, some of the symptoms and complications include:

See a GP if you think you may have cirrhosis.

Read more on the NHS website.

Treatment for cirrhosis usually involves treating the cause, to stop it getting worse. Some people eventually need a liver transplant.

Medical treatments

There's no cure for cirrhosis at the moment. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms and any complications and slow its progression.

Treating the problem that led to cirrhosis (for example, using anti-viral medicines to treat hepatitis C) can stop cirrhosis getting worse.

You may be advised to cut down or stop drinking alcohol, or to lose weight if you're overweight. 

A GP can help you get support if you need help to stop drinking or to lose weight.

If your liver is severely damaged, a liver transplant may be the only treatment option.

Self-care

If you have cirrhosis, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chances of further problems and complications. These include:

Dietary changes

Malnutrition is common in people with cirrhosis, so it's important you eat a healthy, balanced diet to help you get all the nutrients you need.

Cutting down on salt can help reduce the chance of swelling in your legs, feet and tummy caused by a build-up of fluid.

The damage to your liver can mean it's unable to store glycogen, which is a type of fuel the body needs for energy.

When this happens, your muscle tissue is used for energy between meals, which leads to muscle loss and weakness. This means you may need extra calories and protein in your diet.

Eating healthy snacks between meals, or having 3 or 4 small meals each day, rather than 1 or 2 large meals, may help.

Read more on the NHS website.

To reduce your risk of cirrhosis, cut down on alcohol, be a healthy weight, and avoid hepatitis by using a condom during sex and not injecting drugs.

Read more on the NHS website.

Common causes of cirrhosis include drinking too much alcohol, a long-term liver infection such as hepatitis B or C, and being obese.

Read more on the NHS website.