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Health Tip: Understanding Cirrhosis

Lifestyle and heredity may be factors

(HealthDay News) -- Cirrhosis, a result of liver disease, is scarring of the body's largest internal organ. This scar tissue reduces the liver's ability to function.

According to the American Liver Foundation, here are the leading causes of cirrhosis:

  • Heavy alcohol use is the most common cause.
  • Chronic hepatitis B, C or D.
  • A liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis, which affects mostly women.
  • A bile duct disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Hereditary diseases including hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, diseases that affect sugar processing in the body, and autoimmune hepatitis.
  • Heart disease.
  • Exposure to toxins or pollutants.
  • Parasitic infections.
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