What are the causes of cirrhosis?

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Sunday, January 24, 2021 7:00 PM

Liver cirrhosis

The term cirrhosis refers to an advanced stage of scarring, or what is known as fibrosis in the liver tissues caused by some diseases and health problems that affect the liver, and despite the inability to recover from cirrhosis, the early detection of the health problem Treating it that caused it helps to reduce liver damage, and it may also help to completely remove the damage caused in some rare cases. [1]

To learn more about liver cirrhosis, read the following article: ( What is cirrhosis ) .

Causes of cirrhosis

The problem of cirrhosis of the liver develops over a long period of time as a result of continuous damage to the tissues of the liver, and there are a number of different reasons that may lead to this condition, and the most common of them can be explained: [2] In the following: [3]

  • Viral hepatitis and chronic , which includes hepatitis C , and hepatitis B .
  • Alcoholic liver disease, which refers to damage to the liver as a result of alcoholism.
  • Fatty liver disease Allakhola .

Chronic viral hepatitis

Chronic viral hepatitis is defined as a viral infection in the liver that lasts for 6 months or more. Infection, and there are several different types of viruses that may lead to infection with hepatitis, such as hepatitis A virus, E virus, B virus, C virus, and D virus, and for hepatitis A and E viruses, they often lead to severe hepatitis do not continue for a long time, it is the immune system in the body is able to eliminate the virus and get rid of the infection, but for hepatitis C, and b, d the immune systemIt may not be able to fight infection in some cases, which leads to acute, chronic or long-term infections, and it is worth noting that chronic hepatitis may cause some serious health complications, such as: cirrhosis, liver cancer , and liver failure. Early diagnosis and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis helps to avoid the development of this complication. [4] [5]

To learn more about hepatitis C, read the following article: ( Hepatitis C ) .

Alcoholic liver disease

Cirrhosis of the liver is the last stage of alcoholic liver disease, which is a disease characterized by damage to the liver and its functions as a result of consuming large amounts of alcohol, as the patient initially suffers Liver cells die every time alcohol is consumed as a result of the liver’s treatment of alcohol, and the liver is able to regenerate these cells and build new cells, but consuming a large amount of alcoholAddiction to it leads to the liver losing its ability to regenerate dead cells, which leads to permanent damage to the liver, and it should be noted that this damage may occur even if the level of sugar is not reached, and the risk of disease varies from person to person and genetics may play. A role in the high risk of disease, and the disease is more common among people in the age group between 40-50 years, and the proportion of men being infected is higher than the rate of infection of women, but the disease may appear in women after consuming less alcohol. [6] [7]

Alcoholic fatty liver disease develops in three main stages that may overlap with each other, and the first stage begins after consuming a large amount of alcohol, which leads to the accumulation of fat in the liver, and this stage is called the term alcoholic fatty liver disease, then The second stage of the disease begins with alcoholic hepatitis, which is a more dangerous stage than the previous one and occurs due to abuse of alcohol for a long time, and at this stage the disease may be diagnosed, and with more liver cells damaged and liver tissue scarring, the disease turns into cirrhosis In the liver to begin the final stage of the disease, and it should be noted that a person with the disease may not show any clear symptoms even after the onset of cirrhosis, and stopping alcohol consumption immediately after the disease is diagnosed may help prevent the progression of the disease and preserve healthy liver tissue. [7]

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is characterized by an abnormal accumulation of fats in the liver, and it is necessary to diagnose this disease not to have any other liver disease such as viral hepatitis, or to have a history of drinking in large quantities, and the risk of this disease increases if he suffers from some health problems Such as obesity , Type 2 diabetes, and Metabolic syndrome; [8] [9] It is a group of health problems that a person suffers simultaneously, and includes a disorder in the proportion of cholesterol , and triglycerides in the blood, and an increase in blood sugar level than normal, The higher the blood pressure, the greater the percentage of fat around the waist area. [10]

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is divided into two main types, namely, nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and in fact, nonalcoholic fatty liver is not dangerous to a person's life and is not Accompanied by symptoms, and there is no cure for the disease, but the affected person receives a vaccine to prevent hepatitis A and B to avoid damage to the liver, in addition to losing excess weight helps to reduce the proportion of fat accumulated in the liver, and in some cases and for unknown reasons the disease may develop Some people develop non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, as the accumulation of fat in the liver is accompanied by inflammation in the liver, which in turn may lead to liver damage, scar tissue formation and cirrhosis in some cases. [8]

other reasons

There are a group of less common causes and health problems, which may lead to suffering from cirrhosis as well, and some of them can be explained in the following:

  • Hereditary liver diseases: There is a group of hereditary diseases that affect the liver that may develop into cirrhosis in the liver, [3] and the following are some of them:
    • Hemochromatosis (hemochromatosis), also known as iron overload, is the accumulation of iron in the body and its increase above the normal range due to a genetic disorder in the intestine that leads to the absorption of iron from food beyond the body's need, which in turn leads to This leads to the accumulation of iron in the various organs of the body, such as: the liver, pancreas , joints, and the heart, which leads to damage and stop working in some cases. [11]
    • Wilson 's disease , which is a genetic disease that leads to the accumulation of copper in the liver and some other members of the body. [12]
    • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a genetic disease that affects the liver's ability to produce the alpha -1 antitrypsin protein, which is one of the proteins responsible for protecting the lungs, which increases the risk of some liver and lung diseases. [13]
    • The presence of galactosemia or galactosaemia, a disorder that affects the body's ability to process galactose sugar, leading to a build-up in the blood and an increased risk of some liver diseases. [14]
    • Cystic Fibrosis, and although this disease affects mainly the lungs, it may lead to scarring of liver tissue as well. [14]
  • Autoimmune hepatitis : The immune system of people with autoimmune hepatitis loses the ability to distinguish liver cells from hostile cells of the body, which leads to attacking and destroying liver cells. This disease is one of the forms of autoimmune diseases. The immune system naturally has antibodies to fight foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses. In this case, what is known as autoantibody is produced, and they attack specific healthy cells of the body, which leads to infection with various diseases. [15]
  • Blockage of the bile duct: It leads to increased pressure on the liver and damage to liver cells, and this blockage may occur as a result of a number of different health problems. [15]
  • Some types of infection: some types of bacterial infections and parasitic infection may lead to cirrhosis of the liver, and this type of the most common infections in the tropics, and examples of the schistosomiasis , which is a type of parasitic infection caused by infection worms Schistosoma (English Schistosoma: This infection causes damage to many different organs in the body, including the liver. [14] [15]
  • Heart failure: Severe cases of heart failure may lead to back pressure and congestion in the liver. [15]
  • Other conditions: such as severe side effects of some drugs, and exposure to some toxic elements, and it is worth noting that nearly a third of cases of cirrhosis are unknown to the cause . [14] [15]

Tips for preventing cirrhosis

A set of tips that help prevent cirrhosis can be summarized as follows: [16]

  • Quit drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, and smoking .
  • Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and be careful to lose excess weight, while making sure to get adequate rest for the body.
  • Consult your doctor before using any type of medicine and nutritional supplement, especially that contains vitamin A, iron, and copper.
  • Prevention of diseases that may affect the liver such as viral hepatitis, by examining the risk factors and taking the necessary safety measures, such as refraining from sharing injections, in addition to obtaining the vaccine designed to prevent viral hepatitis B, noting that it has not yet been discovered. An effective vaccine against hepatitis C. [17] [16]


  1. "Cirrhosis" , www.mayoclinic.org , 7-12-2018, Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  2. "Cirrhosis and Your Liver" , www.webmd.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  3. ^ A b " the Symptoms & Causes Of Cirrhosis" , Www.niddk.nih.gov , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  4. "What Is Viral Hepatitis" , www.niddk.nih.gov , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  5. Sonal Kumar, "Overview of Chronic Hepatitis" , www.merckmanuals.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  6. "Alcoholic liver disease" , medlineplus.gov , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  7. ^ A b "Alcohol-related Friends Liver DISEASE" , Www.nhs.uk , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  8. ^ A b Sanjiv Chopra 's (19-9-2018), "Patient Education: Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver DISEASE" , Www.uptodate.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  9. "Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease & NASH" , www.niddk.nih.gov , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  10. "Metabolic syndrome" , www.mayoclinic.org , 3-14-2019, Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  11. "What Is Hemochromatosis" , www.webmd.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  12. Adam Felman, "Everything you need to know about cirrhosis" , www.medicalnewstoday.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  13. "Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency" , medlineplus.gov , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  14. ^ A b t w "Cirrhosis Of The Liver" , Www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  15. ^ A b t w c , Colin Tidy (23-5-2018), "Cirrhosis" , Patient.info , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  16. ^ A b , Jeffrey A Gunter, "Cirrhosis Of The Liver: the Symptoms, Stages, Diet, And Life Expectancy" , Www.emedicinehealth.com , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.
  17. "Cirrhosis" , www.nhs.uk , Retrieved 23-3-2020. Edited.