*A note from Babylon healthcare providers: patients with these medical conditions are referred to outside specialists to manage their care. However, you are still welcome to discuss your concerns with your Babylon provider.
Cirrhosis is damage to the liver that turns healthy working tissue into inflamed cells, which can lead to scar tissue. As a result, the liver cannot perform some or all of its important functions. The liver is responsible for filtering blood, absorbing nutrients, breaking down and removing harmful substances, and much more.
The liver has the amazing ability to heal and even regrow itself under normal conditions, but cirrhosis can be severe enough that the liver loses these abilities as well. As you can imagine, this can lead to a number of serious medical conditions. A conversation with your doctor is the best way to assess your risk and address any symptoms you might be experiencing.
There are many variables that impact someone’s risk of developing cirrhosis. These include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Hepatitis B, C, and D
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Excess copper or iron in the body
- Damaged or misformed bile ducts
- Certain genetic disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Some sexually transmitted diseases
- Use of medications methotrexate or isoniazid
Steps to take
The list of risk factors above is largely made up of other health conditions. This is because when conditions aren’t properly managed or addressed, they progress causing damage to the liver that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.
If you have a medical condition, the best way to prevent it from causing further harm to your body is to have regular appointments with your doctor. Take your medications as prescribed, avoid substances that can be harmful, and consider changes to your health seriously. Dealing with smaller issues today will prevent them from becoming dangerous health issues in the future!
If you need help with alcohol use disorder, drug use, or sexual health issues, your doctor can support you through these problems as well. Their goal is to help you, not judge you. These are real health issues, not something you are expected to overcome on your own.
Some people experience early symptoms of cirrhosis, but late-stage symptoms are much more common. If you notice any of these symptoms, or simply aren’t feeling well, it’s recommended that you reach out to your doctor so that they can accurately diagnose and treat you.
- Yellowing of the skin, eyes, or both
- Itchy skin
- Pain or swelling in the belly area
- A high temperature
- Swelling in the legs and ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale-colored stool
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Bruising often or easily
- Sudden changes in personality or alertness
Experiencing these symptoms does not mean for certain that you have cirrhosis. However, you should reach out to your doctor with any new or worsening health issues.
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