Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function as a result
of chronic damage to the liver. With mild cirrhosis, the liver can make repairs
and continue its function in the body. However, with more advanced cirrhosis,
more and more scar tissues form in the liver which cause the liver to gradually
lose its ability to function normally.
The most common causes of cirrhosis are chronic alcohol abuse, chronic viral hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection, autoimmune hepatitis, cryptogenic cirrhosis (cirrhosis due to unknown causes) and inherited disorders such as hemochromatosis (abnormal accumulation of iron) and Wilson's disease (abnormal accumulation of copper).
The less common causes of cirrhosis include unusual reaction to some drugs, and prolonged exposure to toxins.
There is often no sign or symptom until the liver damage is already quite extensive.