Cirrhosis is not just for Alcoholics Anymore…

Say the word, “cirrhosis” and we think of alcoholic liver disease.  However, alcohol is not the only cause of fatty liver and cirrhosis.

Fat accumulating in the liver for any reason can cause inflammation and scar tissue known as fibrosis.  When the fibrosis is severe, it can cause the liver to not work.  Severe fibrosis is then known as cirrhosis.

Abdominal fat, insulin resistance, diabetes and family history can cause fatty liver.  Fatty liver can lead to NASH.  NASH occurs when the fat in the liver gets inflamed.  Fibrosis occurs as a result of inflammation.

Scar tissue in the liver blocks the normal blood flow through the liver.  The back-up of blood can dilate the veins in the stomach and esophagus.  The dilated veins can bleed.  Liver damage can lead to low proteins in the blood.  These proteins help with blood clotting and keep fluids inside the blood vessels.  If these proteins are not present, the blood will not clot properly and fluid will leak out of the blood vessels into the abdomen causing ascites.  If the liver is damaged, ammonia may accumulate and cause problems with thinking and remembering.

How to avoid cirrhosis if you do not drink alcohol?

Watch your abdominal fat and get your diabetes controlled.  Certain medications for diabetes improve fatty liver and help with weight.

Help your liver stay healthy.  It works for you.