Liver Disorders and Cirrhosis

The liver is an important organ that helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Liver disease (hepatic disease) is a broad term to describe the many conditions and disorders that can affect the proper functioning of the liver. Some of the most common sources of liver disease include:

Cirrhosis is defined as scarring of the liver. Scar tissue replaces healthy tissue and blocks the normal flow of blood through the liver. If left untreated, cirrhosis can lead to complications such as liver failure, ascites (abdominal fluid), bleeding, confusion, and liver cancer.

There are many causes of cirrhosis including chronic alcoholism, chronic viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, some inherited diseases, and diseases that damage the bile ducts.


Many patients will not experience any symptoms of cirrhosis in the early stages. However, eventually cirrhosis may cause these symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Spider-like blood vessels