The whites of the eyes and the skin may turn yellow (jaundice), and urine may be dark yellow or brown. Sometimes the patient develops persistent high blood pressure due to the scarring (portal hypertension). It can cause veins to enlarge in the stomach and in the tube leading from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus).These enlarged veins are called varices, and they can rupture and bleed massively.Symptoms of cirrhosis are usually caused by the loss of functioning liver cells or organ swelling due to scarring.
Bile is formed in the liver and is carried by ducts to the intestines. In some people, one drink a day can cause liver scarring.Chronic liver infections, such as hepatitis B and particularly hepatitis C, are commonly linked to cirrhosis.In the past, people have contracted hepatitis C through blood transfusions.As of 2003, cirrhosis resulting from chronic hepatitis has emerged as a leading cause of death among HIV-positive patients; in Europe, about 30% of HIV-positive patients are coinfected with a hepatitis virus.Liver injury, reactions to prescription medications, exposure to toxic substances, and repeated episodes of heart failure with liver congestion can cause cirrhosis.
The disorder can also be a result of diseases that run in families (inherited diseases) like: Obesity has recently been recognized as a risk factor in nonalcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.Some surgeons are recommending as of 2003 that patients scheduled for weight-reduction surgery have a liver biopsy to evaluate the possibility of liver damage.Poor nutrition increases a person's risk of developing cirrhosis.A doctor who suspects cirrhosis may order blood and urine tests to measure liver function.Because only a small number of healthy cells are needed to carry out essential liver functions, test results may be normal even when cirrhosis is present.Portal or nutritional cirrhosis is also called Laënnec's cirrhosis. Long-term alcoholism is the primary cause of cirrhosis in the United States. Although most men can safely consume two to five drinks a day, one or two drinks a day can cause liver damage in women.