Cirrhosis develops when scar tissue begins replacing healthy tissue cells all around the liver. The condition may be the result of long-term excess alcohol or drug use, or hepatitis B or C. The latter is contracted through intercourse or contact with infected blood. Hepatitis C infection is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis in the U.S. When scar tissue builds up over the years, the organ becomes hard and lumpy, and this gradually interferes with the liver's ability to function. The liver is less able to filter blood, which can cause ruptured blood vessels. In some cases, spleen enlargement or splenomegaly may occur as a complication of liver cirrhosis.
The liver has a unique role when it comes to cleansing the blood and organs, and its proper function is vital to the wellness of the entire body. Fatigue is one of the most commonly described symptoms by individuals with liver cirrhosis, regardless of whether the condition develops from chronic alcohol consumption or hepatitis C. Fatigue may be experienced on and off or constant, and can vary in intensity from mild to debilitating.
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